Pelosi calls for using 25th Amendment on Trump

Washington

In this Oct. 22, 2020, photo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump should immediately be removed from office or Congress may proceed to impeach him.

Pelosi on Thursday joined those calling on the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to force Trump from office. It came a day after a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing the building into lockdown. Trump called them “very special” people and said he loved them.

She said at the Capitol: “The president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America.”

MORE | Sen. Schumer calls for Trump to be ‘immediately removed from office’

Pelosi says he could do further harm to the country: “Any day can be a horror show for America.”

Democrats and some Republicans want Trump removed before his term ends on Jan. 20 with Democrat Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The 25th Amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare the president unfit for office. The vice president then becomes acting president.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is also calling for President Donald Trump to be “immediately removed from office” following Wednesday’s riot at the United States Capitol.

Schumer, who is expected to become the Senate Majority Leader in the new congress, called for a second impeachment of the President or for the Vice President and Cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment after four people died at the Capitol during the riot.

“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer,” Schumer said Thursday. “The quickest and most effective way – it can be done today – to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”

The 25th Amendment says the vice president and a majority of principal officers of executive departments “or of such other body as Congress” may provide a declaration to Congress that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” At that point, the vice president would assume the powers of acting president.

The amendment was proposed after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It outlines the procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation or incapacitation.

MORE | Gov. Cuomo: Capital riots a ‘failed attempt at a coup,’ NY National Guard sent to DC

The amendment was applied during the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. It helped with the process of replacing Spiro Agnew as vice president. It also went into play when Richard Nixon resigned.

Here is how the 25th Amendment works:

Section 1

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3

Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when 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, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

Schumer is not alone in his calls for removing Trump.

Republican Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger also called for the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment. Kinzinger made the remarks Thursday in a video posted to Twitter.

Kinzinger says, “the president is unfit. And the president is unwell.”

He went on to say Trump “must now relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily.”

Democratic Florida Rep. Charlie Crist, who serves the Tampa Bay area, called for the 25th Amendment to be used Wednesday.

“There’s a provision in the 25th Amendment that will allow for the removal of a president under exigent circumstances. If this isn’t that, I don’t know what is,” he said.

Crist also tweeted, “It’s time to remove the president.”

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