Vice President Mike Pence intends to oppose calls from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump from office after the U.S. Capitol breach, Fox News confirmed Thursday.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said they placed a call to Pence urging him to take steps to remove Trump, even though he has less than two weeks left in the White House before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.
“We have not yet heard back from the vice president,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement Thursday. “The President’s dangerous and seditious acts necessitate his immediate removal from office.”
Lawmakers on the right and left have called for Trump to be removed from office, either through 25th Amendment powers or a second impeachment – though it is unlikely Congress would be able to get a second impeachment and trial done before Jan. 20.
The 1967 amendment allows for a sitting president to be removed if the vice president and a majority of cabinet members agree he is no longer fit to serve as president. The vice president would immediately become the acting president.
Schumer called on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment in a fiery statement Thursday morning, citing the president’s incitement of an “insurrection” against the United States.
“This president should not hold office one day longer,” Schumer said.
“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 White House and other administration staff began resigning Wednesday morning after Trump’s handling of the violent riot that forced lawmakers to hide in offices, shelter in secure locations, and bunker in the upper balcony of the House chamber after they became trapped inside.
Trump waited for roughly an hour after crowds mobbed the Capitol building, finally asking his supporters to “remain peaceful” in a tweet, though he later praised the violent group.
He went after Pence for refusing to object to the Electoral College results – a position the vice president is not constitutionally able to take.
“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify,” Trump wrote in a tweet as the vice president was rushed to a secure location following the building’s breach.
“USA demands the truth!” Trump added.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said that he has never seen Pence as “angry” as he was when the president pressured him to object to the results.
“I’ve known Mike Pence forever,” Inhofe told Tulsa World earlier this week. “I’ve never seen Pence as angry as he was today.”
“I had a long conversation with him,” said Inhofe. “He said, ‘After all the things I’ve done for (Trump).'”
Four people were killed as a result of the riot, which some charge was instigated by Trump’s rhetoric claiming he was cheated out of the election.
John Roberts and Evie Fordham contributed to this piece.