U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told House leaders on Tuesday he did not support invoking the 25th Amendment process to impeach Donald Trump, while securing an impeachment vote against the embattled president.
“With just eight days of the president’s term, you and the Democratic caucus demand that Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment,” Pence wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, referring to the process that would declare Trump unable to fulfill. its functions. and install Pence as interim president for the remainder of the term.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or in accordance with our Constitution,” he said.
Democrats quickly mobilized to begin Trump’s impeachment process after encouraging his supporters last Wednesday to “march” to the U.S. Capitol and “fight.”
In a violent insurgency, rioters swarmed outnumbered police, sacked and ransacked the building, and interrupted Congress as it certified Joe Biden’s election victory.
Pence, who chaired the vote, along with Pelosi and other lawmakers, were forced to take cover. Five people died during the unrest, including a US Capitol Police officer.
The vice president’s letter came just hours before the House of Representatives voted on a resolution calling on Pence to start the 25th Amendment process and “declare what is obvious to a horrified nation: that the president is incapable of successfully carry out his duties and powers of his office. ”
Pelosi said Pence’s failure to trigger that process would lead to an impeachment vote for Trump on Wednesday. She described Trump as “deranged”.
But Pence told Pelosi his call to invoke the 25th Amendment was misplaced, saying it was designed to “deal with presidential incapacity or handicap”, not as a “means of punishment or usurpation.”
He also pointed out that despite intense pressure from his party to invalidate the swing state electoral votes won by Biden, he fulfilled his constitutional duty to certify the results.
“I will not give in now to the efforts of the House of Representatives to play political games at such a serious time in the life of our nation,” he wrote.
Earlier in the day, Trump said the 25th Amendment was “risk-free” for him.
© 2021 AFP