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Home / Tips and Tricks / 25th Amendment: What It Is, What Pence Says, How It Would Remove Trump When Invoked

25th Amendment: What It Is, What Pence Says, How It Would Remove Trump When Invoked



Donald Trump

President Trump has less than two weeks in office. For some critics that is still too long.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / Getty Images

More than 200 lawmakers – 191 MPs and 37 senators – now support the removal of President Donald Trump from office with less than two weeks left in his tenure, after Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol by hundreds of Trump supporters in which five people were killed and federal property destroyed and made illegible.

The pro-Trump group planned to disrupt a procedural electoral count that was certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. After the incident, Congress certified Biden’s presidency in the early hours of Thursday morning. Almost immediately, lawmakers, cabinet members, and a U.S. trade group began calling out loud to invoke the 25th Amendment and impeach Trump, which could come next week.

At the end of Wednesday, House Judiciary Committee Democrats – led by Representatives David Cicilline and Ted Lieu – wrote a letter to Vice President Mike Pence urging him to overturn the amendment. “In the interest of our democracy, we strongly urge you to invoke the 25th Amendment and begin the process to remove President Trump from office,” the letter read.

On Thursday, however, Pence reportedly said he will not support the call to use the 25th Amendment. House speaker Nancy Pelosi said Pence did not call back.

“There is growing momentum around the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which could allow the vice president and a majority of the cabinet to impeach the president for his incitement to insurrection and the danger he still poses,” Pelosi said Friday.

What does the 25th amendment do and how does it differ from impeachment? What could happen if the 25th amendment is not invoked? How has Trump been involved in the 25th Amendment before? We explain everything below, including where the situation is now.

What is the 25th Amendment?

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A gang besieged the Capitol on Wednesday.

Samuel Corum / Stringer / Getty Images

The 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution concerns the president’s ability to perform office duties and what happens when the commander-in-chief is no longer able to do his or her job. It allows the vice president – in this case Pence – to temporarily become president, allowing for a smooth transfer of power in an emergency.

The amendment also says that the president can appoint a vice president if there is a vacancy.

read more: FBI posts on Twitter, Facebook for help in identifying people involved in Capitol Hill violence

The portion of the 25th Amendment now under discussion generally relates to paragraph 4, which would allow the Vice President and a majority of either the President’s Office or members of Congress the ability to write to the Senate President pro tempore and speaker of the house declare that the meeting president is incapable of performing the duties of the office. This immediately makes the vice president the acting president.

The president can resist this attempt by the vice president and Congress, but officially declares himself fit for office. From there, the vice president and those backing the impeachment have four days to disagree, or the incumbent president resumes the presidency. If they disagree, Congress can settle the matter with a vote.

President Donald Trump speaks during a 60-minute interview recorded and published by the White House.

In the closing days of Trump’s presidency, there has been talk of attempts to hold him accountable for Wednesday’s riot.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland / CNET

What can happen if the 25th amendment is never invoked?

The 25th amendment requires the vice president and cabinet members to support and initiate the call. With cabinet members stepping down and Pence rejecting demands to begin the 25th amendment process, House Democrats are preparing to start the often lengthy process of impeaching Trump for the second time in his four-year term. Here are all the details we knowincluding the likelihood of impeachment voting and what the outcome could mean for Trump even after Biden is sworn in.

Why lawmakers want to remove Trump from power ahead of Biden’s inauguration

When chaos erupted on Capitol Hill, lawmakers, business leaders, and others immediately began demanding that the president be removed from office. Earlier in the day, Trump had told his supporters at a nearby rally that “we will never give up, we will never give in.” Trump’s tweets, some of which removed or blocked, the crowd continued to spur.

“We’re going down Pennsylvania Avenue … and we’re going to the Capitol,” Trump said at the meeting. Then supporters marched to the Capitol, where they later broke through barricades and entered the building. Hours passed as voters and lawmakers urged Trump to call on the crowd to resign.

Ahead of the impeachment talks, Trump administration officials said Pence, and not Trump, had approved an order to deploy the Washington, DC National Guard. Traditionally, this power has been reserved for the president.

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A gang besieged the Capitol on Wednesday.

Samuel Corum / Stringer / Getty Images

Trump eventually released a brief recorded statement telling the rioters to go home, calling them “special people,” and adding “We love you,” while continuing to spread false claims of voter fraud, as he has been doing for months. .

When night fell, social media has cracked down on Trump, flagging and deleting multiple messages, as well as placing temporary locks on the President’s accounts.

On Thursday morning Trump is committed to an “orderly” transition in effect, and on Thursday evenings, condemned the riots he has a hand in turning it on, through a video posted on Twitter.

What it would take to implement the 25th amendment

Invoking the 25th Amendment is considered extraordinary (see below for when it was used) and the use of Section 4 of the amendment is unprecedented: a variety of conditions must come together for the Vice President to perform the duties of the President on this way.

For Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to take effect, the vice president would have to get the backing of a majority of department heads and then alert the congressional leaders. Alternatively, Congress can designate another body in place of the cabinet. After the vice president notifies congressional leaders, the president can request the return of his presidential powers.

In the event that the 25th Amendment is invoked, it would mean that Pence would take on Trump’s presidential responsibilities. Trump could then declare to the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate that he has “no inability” to rule. At that point, it would be up to Congress to make a decision on the matter within 21 days, which would pass the January 20 date that Biden takes office, meaning Pence would retain presidential powers until Biden takes over.

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President Trump delivered a speech on Wednesday that many believe set up the crowd that stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

Congress is not in session and should be recalled should it come to that.

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment says:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive divisions or of any other body that Congress may determine by law shall send 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 office, the Vice President immediately assumes the powers and duties of office as Acting President.

The “chief officers of the executive departments” refer to the 16 secretaries within the President’s Office.

This isn’t the first time Congress has considered invoking the 25th Amendment against Trump

The 25th Amendment has previously been discussed during the Trump presidency. On October 1, Trump announced on Twitter that he and first lady Melania had Trump tested positive for COVID-19.

After his diagnosis of the coronavirus and hospitalization, Pelosi has enacted legislation that would allow Congress to pass the 25th Amendment if the president became incapacitated for work, although she maintained at the time that the legislation was not specifically targeting Trump.

When he was discharged from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Trump, while still under a physician’s supervision and treatment with the steroid dexamethasone, Abruptly negotiations on stimulus checks stopped, to restore them hours later and to offer a stimulus package that ultimately fell apart. At the time, Congressional Democrats were discussing an appeal to the 25th Amendment but did not put the issue to the vote.

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When the 25th Amendment goes into effect, Vice President Mike Pence will take over as Commander in Chief.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Has the 25th Amendment ever been used before?

Section 4, the portion referred to throughout the week, was never enacted and only came close once during an attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Congress passed the 25th Amendment in 1965. It was ratified and certified as an amendment the following year by President Lyndon Johnson.

The first use of the other sections of the 25th Amendment was in 1973 when President Richard Nixon nominated Gerald Ford to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew, who had stepped down. The amendment was used again when Nixon stepped down and Ford took the presidency and Nelson Rockefeller elected to serve for the vice presidency.

Most recently, President George W. Bush twice invoked the 25th Amendment to temporarily transfer the powers of the presidency to Vice President Dick Cheney while Bush underwent a colonoscopy under anesthesia, first in 2002 and then again in 2007. In 1985, his father, then-Vice President George HW Bush, received the 25th amendment authority from President Ronald Reagan.




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