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Mike Pence tells Nancy Pelosi he will not invoke 25th Amendment against Trump, urges Congress not to 'further divide' nation

House is set to move forward with impeachment proceedings on Wednesday

Megan Varner/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence informed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Tuesday that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove President Donald Trump from office, and urged Congress not to "further divide the nation" in reaction to last week's attack on the Capitol building by a pro-Trump mob.

What are the details?

In a letter to the speaker, Pence wrote that "every American was shocked and saddened" by the attack, before telling Pelosi, "but now, with just eight days left in the President's term, you and the Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment. I do not believe such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution."

The vice president explained:

As you know full well, the 25th Amendment was designed to address Presidential incapacity or disability. Just a few months ago, when you introduced legislation to create a 25th Amendment Commission, you said, '[a] President's fitness for office must be determined by science and facts.' You said then that we must be '[v]ery respectful of not making a judgment on the basis of a comment or behavior that we don't like, but based on a medical decision.' Madam Speaker, you were right. Under our Constitution, the 25th Amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation.

Pence went on to add, "I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment," and reiterated that he would work to "ensure an orderly transition of power."

The Washington Post reported that the vice president's "letter came hours before the House was scheduled to vote on whether to officially call on him to declare Trump unfit for office and wrest control."

Over the weekend, Pelosi had sent Pence what Politico referred to as "an ultimatum," demanding that Pence invoke the 25th Amendment or the "Democrats will immediately move to force Trump from office for his role in inciting violent riots at the Capitol on [Jan. 6] linked to at least five deaths."

The Democrat-controlled House is expected to vote Wednesday to impeach President Trump for a second time.

While the lower chamber's first attempt to impeach the president in 2019 was shut down by the GOP-led Senate, some Republicans in the upper chamber — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) — are now reportedly receptive to Democrats' efforts to oust Trump due to the president's actions before and after the attack on the Capitol.

One last thing…
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