The Herald reports:
Donald Trump’s former ally and Vice President Mike Pence has not ruled out invoking the 25th Amendment in the last days of Trump’s presidency, sources say.
The move would strip the President of his powers, transferring them to Pence, but CNN reports he is saving the option in case Trump “becomes more unstable”.
The report comes as disturbing new details emerge about the apparent murderous intentions of some of the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the US Capitol this week, including killing Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
What happened was bad enough with five dead, including a police officer. But it could have been far worse.
A Reuters photographer recounted what rioters were discussing as they tore through the Capitol on January 6 – including hanging the Vice President from a tree for being a “traitor”.
Despite being a Republican, Pence is now loathed by a number of Trump supporters after endorsing Joe Biden’s electoral college victory.
They loathe him because Trump lied to them and told them that Pence could unilaterally ignore the results of the election and declare Trump President again. He incited a mob against his own VP.
Pence did not endorse anything. He simply did his job – oversaw the counting of the votes.
It is highly unlikely the 25th amendment will be triggered, but if it is, here is the process:
- The VP and a majority of the Cabinet inform the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office
- The Vice President immediately assumes the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
- The President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists.
- The VP and a majority of the Cabinet affirm to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their view that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office
- Congress must meet with 48 hours to determine if the President is able to discharge the powers and duties of his office
- The President resumes his powers 21 days after the Congress meets, unless Congress votes by two-thirds majority in each house that The President is unable to do do the job.
If the 25th was invoked, then Trump’s term would expire before the 21 days is up.
Personally I don’t think the 25th amendment should be used, unless Trump tries to do something like declare martial law. It is not designed to remove a bad President from office (impeachment is for that). It is designed to allow an Acting President if the President is unconscious or has had some sort of breakdown that they can’t function.