US Vice President Mike Pence said in a letter sent to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office.
“I don’t think such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or in accordance with our Constitution,” said the Republican, who would assume the interim presidency if he had triggered the measure. “I’m asking you [Pelosi] and to all members of Congress to avoid actions which can further divide and ignite the passions of the moment.
The letter was released as the House voted on a resolution asking the MP to activate the device – the 25th Amendment is a constitutional rule that the president can be removed for incapacity.
The resolution passed the House by 223 votes to 205. Democratic MPs voted in favor of the measure, while Republicans voted against on the grounds that it would not be up to the House to trigger the 25th Amendment, but rather to Trump’s vice president and secretaries (equivalent to ministers).
Approval of the resolution has no practical effect, as Pence has previously announced that he will ignore Democrats’ demands to remove Trump from power. Never in American history has a vice president used the amendment to remove the incumbent from office – the mechanism has sometimes been used with the president’s own consent, usually when he had scheduled surgery, for example example.
With Pence’s refusal, the next step is to vote in the House on the impeachment process tabled by Democrats on Monday (11). It builds on the president’s speech and position, which prompted protesters to invade Congress last week.
There were agreements to complete in a few days a process that could take months. One of the factors that helped speed up the process is that it will not be necessary to conduct investigations and file depositions, as Trump is accused of misconduct in public speaking and acting.
The four-page petition accuses the president of “inciting violence against the US government” by encouraging a mob to invade Congress amid the certification of election results.
“At the president’s request, a crowd invaded the Capitol, attacked the security teams, threatened members of Congress and the deputy (…) and carried out violent, murderous, destructive and seditious acts”, indicates the request, signed by the Democratic deputies.
The text quotes Trump’s lines, such as “if you don’t really fight you will have no more country”, and mentions his efforts to reverse the election he lost, such as the phone call to the secretary of Georgian State, who asked that “find votes” to change the result.
“He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power and endangered the division of powers of the government. So, as president, he betrayed trust, which caused damage. obvious to the people of the United States, “petition.
On Tuesday, Trump said he viewed his impeachment as ridiculous and “a continuation of the greatest witch-hunt in political history.” He also did not show regret for the rally he organized on 6.
“If you read my speech … What I said was quite appropriate,” he replied, before embarking for Texas, to the press’s question on his responsibility in the congressional attack
Approval of impeachment in the House is taken for granted, as Democrats have a majority in the House: 222 representatives, out of a total of 435. Then the process will go to the Senate, and there are doubts.
The first question is when the action will be sent. Pelosi could wait a few weeks to move the process forward, buying time for the two new Democratic senators elected in Georgia to take office. When they arrive, there will be 50 senators who will vote with the Democrats and 50 Republicans. The deciding vote will then go to the vice-president-elect, Democrat Kamala Harris.
The dismissal of a president by impeachment requires a two-thirds majority (67 senators out of 100). Then it is possible to proceed to another vote to judge the loss of political rights, which can be withdrawn by approval by a simple majority (51 senators).
For Trump’s impeachment to take place, at least 17 Republican senators must vote against him. This Tuesday, some members of the Republican Party came to support the process of obstructing the president. Party leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, told those close to him that he believed the president had committed impeachment offenses.
The senator would also be happy with the process initiated by the Democrats – which would facilitate the removal of Trump from the Republican Party.
At the same time, California Representative Kevin McCarthy, one of the president’s main allies in Congress, asked other Republicans whether to ask Trump to resign. He is publicly opposed to the impeachment, but has decided not to pressure party colleagues to vote against the measure.
Finally, at least three of them have publicly declared that they support the impeachment of the president: John Katko (New York), Liz Cheney (Wyoming) and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois).
Understand the mechanisms to oust the American president
DISABILITY FOR DISABILITY, VIA 25th CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
Office of the Vice-President and Secretaries to the President.
If the president is found to be unable to perform the duties and functions of the post.
The vice president and most of his secretary cabinet (equivalent to ministers) must agree that the president is unable to perform his duties.
They must send a written statement to Congress that they consider the president unfit. Thus, the vice-president takes office. However, the representative can resume his duties by sending a letter to Congress indicating that he considers himself fit to work.
The vice president and the cabinet can then insist that the president is incapable of running the country.
In this case, the president follows suit and Congress will have to decide the matter. To permanently remove the president, approval is required by a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate.
The vote must be taken within 21 days of sending the first letter. Meanwhile, vice is in power.
When deletion takes place
Immediately after sending the deputy’s letter to Congress.
The president receives no additional sanction beyond the loss of his functions.
Has it been used before?
Only on health occasions, and with the consent of the President, in situations such as when the officer has undergone surgery and has had to be absent for a few days. The measure has never been used for a final departure.
Reports of treason, corruption, misconduct and other serious crimes.
When deletion takes place
After a trial in the Senate.
The opening is made by the president of the chamber. Then the MPs conduct an investigation to determine if the charges are justified. Then, the Justice Commission and the plenary vote to decide whether the president is guilty. Approval of impeachment requires a simple majority in the House.
If approved, the process goes to the Senate, which can expand investigations. The dismissal of the president must be approved by a two-thirds majority (67 senators out of 100).
Democrats currently have a majority in the House, but Republicans hold a majority in the Senate until the two new senators elected in Georgia take office. This is expected to happen in the coming weeks, but the date is not yet set.
The Senate advantage meant that by early 2020, an impeachment of Trump passed in the House was stopped by the Senate. And, since the process has many bureaucratic steps, it would be difficult to complete in two weeks, Trump’s remaining term.
In addition to the loss of office, indictment may prevent the convict from returning to federal positions in the future. However, the process cannot impose penalties such as imprisonment or a fine. It has to be tried by the ordinary courts.
Has it been used before?
No US president has been removed from office in this way.
The president himself.
It is not necessary to formalize the reasons.
The president sends a letter of resignation to the State Department. Then the vice-president takes over. If the deputy cannot take office, the post remains with the mayor, a post now occupied by Democrat Nancy Pelosi.
When does the deletion take place?
The president defines.
Has this ever happened?
Yes, in the latter case, Richard Nixon resigned in the middle of an impeachment process in 1974.