All Democrats’ members of the House Justice Committee have sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence urging him to activate the 25th Amendment.
CNN confirms reports that there have been talks between ministers in Trump’s government to activate the 25th Amendment.
The 25th amendment, which was enacted in 1967 following the assassination of president John F. Kennedy in 1963, provides a protocol for how the vice president can assume power in case the president is in some way incapacitated. It covers cases in which the president agrees that he is temporarily unfit for office—two presidents, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, have invoked it while they underwent surgeries—as well as cases in which the president does not consent.
The majority of Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday evening asking him to use the 25th amendment to remove President Trump from office, saying he instigated the violence in the Capitol.
“The world watched aghast as insurrectionists, who had been egged on by the President, threatened the safety of elected officials and staff and destroyed public property as they stormed and occupied both the House and Senate chambers bringing our democracy to a halt,” 18 committee members wrote. “At one point, the insurrectionists even removed an American flag flying at the Capitol and replaced it with a Trump flag.”
CNN spoke to sources inside the White House that said, “the president has lost it” and describe him as “unstable”. The sources question the president’s mental health.
If Mike Pence should now want to use that opportunity, and move up, he will have a pretty big opportunity for it now, says historian Hans Olav Lahlum.
At the same time, he emphasizes that it will not be entirely uncontroversial to decide to activate the 25th constitutional amendment. Then he will remain as someone who was acting president for something like two weeks, and who took a maneuver that many will react to out there, he says.
The 25th constitutional amendment has in fact previously been seen as relevant for situations where the president does not have the opportunity to carry out his presidential act due to injuries or illness. I think it would be very controversial, but it is clear that should Pence want to go that way, then he starts to get good opportunities to do so, says Lahlum.
The possibility of activating the 25th constitutional amendment has been highlighted after violent riots broke out at the Congress in Washington DC on Wednesday.
As Congress rallied to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the US presidential election, enraged Trump supporters marched past the barricades outside.
Shortly afterwards, rebels entered the building, and Congress had to be evacuated.
About six hours after the evacuation, Congress was able to gather again to resume work.