Mike Pence hasn't ruled out the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office following Wednesday's uprising at the U.S. Capitol that killed five people, CNN reports.
Senator Chuck Schumer and spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi called on Pence Thursday to declare Trump inoperative after shaking up the crowd who told them to "fight" before a mob stormed the Capitol.
The vice president refused to take their calls and has not spoken publicly since the events on Wednesday, prompting the Democrats to initiate impeachment proceedings as an alternative option to impeaching Trump.
Despite Pence's silence, the vice president is keeping the step of invoking the 25th amendment very much on whether or when Trump will become more unstable in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, a source told CNN.
The final twist in events this week comes when it was found that Pence was housed in a bunker with his family with his family during the Capitol uprising and Trump had not checked his security.
Mike Pence has not ruled out the possibility of Donald Trump being removed from office with the 25th Amendment to the Constitution after Wednesday's uprising in the U.S. Capitol that killed five people
Pence, daughter Audrey Pence and wife Karen Pence take a walk during the opening parade on January 20, 2017. Pence and his family had to hide in a bunker where they could hear the angry mob looking for him
The source said Pence's team was concerned that the president might take action that would endanger national security if either the vice president pursues the 25th amendment or the Democrats press ahead with their impeachment plans.
Now Pence is working to ensure a smooth transition to the Biden administration and to prepare the incoming team in the best possible way to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, reported CNN.
Tensions between the president and his deputy have peaked after Wednesday's uprising, when Trump's supporters broke into the Capitol and sang "Hang Mike Pence".
Although Trump fueled the anger in the crowd by falsely telling them that Pence had the power to stop confirming Biden's victory, Trump did not check in with the Vice President during the siege.
"Was he even concerned that an angry mob he ordered to march on the Capitol might hurt the Vice President or his family?" a source told CNN.
Pence, his wife Karen Pence, daughter Charlotte and brother Rep. Greg Pence had to hide in a secret location.
The Vice President and his family, who joined him for the ceremony, are reported to hear the angry mob shouting where Mike Pence is as they stormed through the building.
The two men have not spoken since the violent attack on Capitol Hill, CNN reported.
Trump has also failed to condemn his supporters' threats against his deputy and has made efforts to freeze him, including revoking Vice President of the Chief of Staff Marc Short's access to the White House on Wednesday.
Pence was asked by Democrats to declare Trump inoperative after amassing the crowd telling them to fight (above) before a mob stormed the Capitol
Pence finally got "a look at POTUS 'vengeance" and is disappointed and saddened by it, a source told CNN.
After his numerous attempts to overthrow the presidential election through unsubstantiated claims of mass voter fraud failed, Trump blamed Pence for his defeat.
The president repeatedly and incorrectly claimed that the vice president could stop the confirmation of Joe Biden's victory in the electoral college.
"States want to correct their votes, which they now know to be based on irregularities and fraud, and corrupt trials have never received legislative approval," wrote Trump on Wednesday morning, just hours before his followers tried to hunt down Pence.
“All Mike Pence has to do is send her back to the States and we win. Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage! & # 39;
"If Vice President @Mike_Pence gets through for us, we will win the presidency," he added.
“Many states want to de-certify the mistake they made in certifying false and even fraudulent numbers in a process that was NOT approved by their state lawmakers (which it has to be). Mike can send it back! & # 39;
He went on to falsely claim that Pence simply lacked the "courage" when he roused the crowd and urged them to "fight" at his "Stop the Steal" rally on Wednesday.
"Mike Pence, I hope you can work for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country, and if you are not I will be very disappointed in you," Trump said at the rally.
Pence actually didn't have the power to do this – which he made clear in a statement on Wednesday and in a conversation with Trump Tuesday.
"Some believe that as a Vice President I should be able to unilaterally accept or reject votes," Pence said in the statement.
A Donald Trump supporter carries a Confederate flag on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol
Pro-Trump insurgents stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday in an attack that stunned the nation
"Others believe that votes should never be challenged in a joint congressional session," he continued.
"After carefully studying our constitution, our laws, and our history, I believe that neither view is correct."
This marked the first time Pence publicly broke Trump's rank and allegedly outraged Trump.
The 25th amendment, which also governs a president who voluntarily temporarily relinquishes power, requires that the vice-president and "a majority of the chief officers of the executive departments or any other body that Congress may provide by law" allow Congress that the president "not is able to perform the powers and duties of his office ".
It is a provision that has never before been used to recall a president against his will.
Pence and a majority in the cabinet must vote to remove Trump from office as he is unable to "perform the powers and duties of office".
Even if pence and half of the cabinet approve, the 25th amendment requires a two-thirds majority from both houses if the president objects.
Several cabinet members are on an acting basis, lowering the number who could approve the move.
Pelosi and Schumer, the top two Democrats, had asked Pence to invoke the amendment this week.
Tensions between the president and his deputy have peaked after Wednesday's uprising
Schumer revealed their efforts had failed when they were put on hold for 25 minutes before being told Pence would not be able to answer the phone.
The House Democrats will present their impeachment ruling on Monday, accusing Trump of "inciting insurrection".
House Representative Ted Lieu of California announced on his Twitter feed on Saturday that 180 members of Congress have signed as co-sponsors of the impeachment article he co-authored with House Representatives Jamie Raskin and David Cicilline.
Lieu said all 180 co-sponsors are Democrats but he is confident that Republican members of the House will support the indictment.
A draft article by Cicilline, Lieu and Raskin reads, "Instigated by Trump, a mob illegally violated the Capitol," violated law enforcement, threatened lawmakers and the vice president, and disrupted the electoral college.
Some Republicans have already suggested being open to impeachment.
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, who voted in favor of Trump's acquittal last year, said he would "definitely consider" impeachment.
And Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who also voted for the acquittal, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that she wants Trump to step down.
Senator Pat Toomey told Fox News on Saturday that he believed Trump had committed "criminal acts".
Two members of the Republican Congress told CNN they would support the impeachment by saying, "I think you will get GOP members to vote for impeachment."
However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the earliest start of a second trial would be on inauguration day as the Senate was on hiatus until Jan. 19.
The attempt to indict a seated president a second time is an unprecedented event in American history.
The new talk of finding a way to remove Trump came after he attacked his supporters who stormed the Capitol
A police ammunition explosion is seen as Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol on Wednesday
Capitol Police officers aim their guns at a door that was destroyed during a joint congressional session in the chamber of the house
Trump's first impeachment trial came after it was found he had pressured the Ukrainian president to obtain information about Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
He was charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December 2019, but was acquitted by the Senate in February after only one Republican – Mitt Romney – dropped out of the party lines to support the impeachment article.
The move to separate Trump from power comes after Wednesday's uprising in the U.S. Capitol.
Trump is accused of instigating violence among his supporters who tell them to "fight" in a rally before the uprising broke out.
His reaction after the violence began, is said to have shocked White House aides.
He remained silent for hours as rioters wreaked havoc in the Capitol and five died. They reportedly watched the scenes on television and refused to tell his fans to leave the building.
He finally addressed the nation a few hours later on Wednesday – after Biden publicly condemned the violence – telling his supporters, "I love you," but "go home."
It also turns out that Trump resisted efforts to deploy the National Guard and that White House officials had to step in to make it happen. Pence gave the officers permission to go from where he was hiding.
Trump supporters broke the barricades around the Capitol and entered the seat of government on Wednesday, causing lawmakers to flee for their lives.
During a rally near the White House, protesters were upset by the President, where he told them to go to Capitol Hill, where lawmaker should confirm Joe Biden's presidential victory.
Trump told the crowd to "fight": "Unbelievable what we have to go through. What we have to go through – and you have to get your people to fight."
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer called for the president's impeachment Thursday
A violent mob then stormed the Capitol, broke through police barricades, and smashed windows to enter the building.
Legislators went into hiding for several hours as the Capitol Police struggled to regain control while the Senate and house mob puked, raided Nancy Pelosi's office, and looted items that might contain state secrets.
Five people were killed in the violent riot, including a police officer who was reportedly hit over the head by a rioter with a fire extinguisher.
Three senior Capitol security officials have resigned as questions are raised about whether the breach cannot be stopped at all.
Dozens have been rounded up and arrested since the attack, including a QAnon supporter, a 70-year-old who rioted two handguns, a rifle, and 11 Molotov cocktails, and a newly sworn delegate from West Virginia.
The FBI is seeking help from the public to bring those responsible to justice.
Meanwhile, House Democrats will cite Trump Monday on charges of "inciting insurrection" after attacking his supporters and not condemning or telling them to leave the Capitol for hours after the violence broke out Leave hours.
Twitter banned the president from its platform on Friday, saying in a statement that his recent tweets were a glorification of violence.
WHAT DOES THE 25TH AMENDMENT SAY? CAN TRUMPS CABINET REALLY POT HIM?
The The 25th amendment to the US Constitution deals with the authority of the president in the event of death or impeachment and was ratified in 1967 after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
What does the 25th amendment say?
It consists of four sections, all of which deal with the President leaving office during his elected term.
The first section says that if the president dies, or resigns or is removed, the vice president will take over the oval office, which was not clearly stated in the original constitution.
Presidents can of course be removed from office, a feature of the constitution from the start. They can also be removed by the 25th amendment – of which below.
Section II states that both the House and Senate must approve a new Vice President if the Vice President dies, or resigns, or is dismissed. Until 1967, the presidents could change vice-presidents themselves in the medium term if they asked the vice-president to resign – not something that actually happened, but was possible in principle.
Section III clarifies that a president can temporarily delegate his or her powers to the vice-president and later reclaim them when he or she is able to serve. This is most commonly invoked when a president is under the influence of a surgical anesthetic for a short period of time.
Section IV is the most controversial part of the amendment: it describes how the President can be removed from office if he is incapacitated and does not leave alone.
The vice president and "a majority of officers in the executive departments or any other body that Congress may provide" must write to both presidents per tempo of the Senate and the President of the House, saying, "The President is unable to perform the powers and duties of his office."
The term chief officers of the executive departments would normally mean the cabinet secretaries.
At least eight of the President's 15 highest cabinet members must therefore agree with the Vice-President that a President should be removed before a plan can be implemented.
Notification of the President of Parliament and the President of the Senate per tempo is the act that immediately elevates the Vice President to the role of "Acting President".
The deposed president can contest the claim and give the leaders of the bloodless coup four days to re-assert their claims against the House and Senate.
Congress then has two days to convene – if it is not already in session – and another 21 days to vote on whether the president is unable to serve. A two-thirds majority in both houses is required for this decision.
As soon as a two-thirds majority vote takes place, the President loses his powers and is removed. The vice president ceases to act and is sworn in as president.
However, if 21 days of debate and voting end without a two-thirds majority, the president regains his powers.
What could happen to trigger the 25th Amendment?
Vice President Mike Pence and eight of the 15 "key" cabinet members would have to agree to tell Congress that President Donald Trump is unable to run the country.
This group consists of the Foreign Secretary, Treasury Secretary, Defense Minister, Attorney General, Home Secretary, Agriculture Minister, Trade Minister, Labor Minister, Secretary for Health and Human Services, Transport Minister, Energy Minister, Education Minister, and Veterans Affairs Secretary and Homeland Security Minister .
Your formal notification would go to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and in the Senate to the "President pro Tempore", the highest member of the Senate. Once the letter is mailed, Pence becomes the "acting president".
Alternatively, Congress could set up its own mechanism to decide whether it is fit for office – possibly a commission or a joint committee. Pence would still have to agree with his conclusion and then formally write pro tempore to the spokesman and president.
Or another possibility is that the pool of "chief officers" is seen as larger than 15 and a majority of that group is calling Trump incompetent.
What if Trump disagrees?
If Trump claims he can hold office, he would write to the House Speaker and President of the Senate within four days and launch an intense three-week debate in both Houses of Congress.
Trump would be removed from office if both two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate were to agree with Pence and his cabal.
If either chamber failed to hit that mark, Trump would retain his powers and likely embark on a full house cleaning, firing pence and replacing disloyal cabinet members.
Are there any gaps?
The 25th amendment allows Congress to designate its own body to evaluate the president, rather than relying on the cabinet – the men and women who work most closely with Trump – to decide how to proceed.
It states that "another body as Congress requires" could play that role, but Pence would still have to agree to any finding that the president is incapable of performing his duties.
This commission could, hypothetically, include anyone from presidential historians to psychiatrists charged with assessing the president's aptitude for office.
Another loophole is that it does not state that the cabinet has to agree, but that the "chief officials" of the departments are needed. This term is not defined in the constitution. In some departments, the legislation appears to designate not only the secretary but also the MPs and even the under-secretaries of state as "chief officers" so that many more people could be used to assess Trump's fitness.
But Trump's cabinet has a lot of "acting" cabinet officials – and it is unclear if that is why they could participate in removing him.
Could Trump Fire Pence If He Rebels?
Yes, in principle. If Trump smelled a hint of anger – if pence and a cabal of cabinet members, or pence and a jury assembled by Congress seemed ready to judge him incapacitated – he could fire his vice president with the stroke of a pen to stop the process.
However, installing a more loyal vice president could be problematic as the 25th Amendment includes its own poison pill: both Houses of Congress must vote to approve a new vice president.
That means Trump would run against the same Congress that would vote on his eligibility for office, unless the process unfolded in the weeks leading up to a new Congress.
In theory, a democratically controlled Congress could make life dramatically more difficult for the president if he came to power in the middle of the constitutional crisis.
One scenario seems to surprise the President's historians, however: Firing pence before the trial begins, and then vacating the vice presidency would not provide Congress with a practical way forward. That would represent a constitutional crisis of its own.
Is there a precedent for this?
No. Only Section III, the voluntary surrender of powers of the President, was ever used, and very briefly.
In December 1978, President Jimmy Carter considered using Section III when considering surgery to remove hemorrhoids.
Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both voluntarily gave up their powers while under anesthesia.
Section IV was also never invoked, although it was alleged that Ronald Reagan's Chief of Staff Donald Regan had advised his successor, Howard Baker, in 1987 that he should be willing to invoke it because Reagan was inattentive and inept.
The PBS documentary & # 39; American Experience & # 39; tells how Baker and his team watched Reagan closely for signs of incompetence when they first met and found that he was in perfect control of himself.
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