US Vice-President Mike Pence said in a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday that he is opposed to invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office, less than a week after violent incidents in Capitol Hill.
Mike Pence said the mechanism should not be used “as a means of punishment or usurpation” and reserved for cases of medical or mental incapacitation. As the House appears to be on the verge of impeachment of Trump, Pence encouraged Congress to avoid actions to “further divide and inflame the passions of the moment” and to focus on smoothing the transition to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.
Pelosi has said if Pence rejects the use of the 25th Amendment, the House will move to impeach him. Already, at least three Republicans have said they would vote for that.
Trump, meanwhile, warned the lawmakers off impeachment and suggested it was the drive to oust him that was dividing the country.
“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said.
In his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence, the outgoing president offered no condolences for those dead or injured, only saying, “I want no violence.”
The US President also said he is not concerned about the 25th amendment allowing his cabinet to remove him from office.
“The 25th amendment is of zero risk to me,” said Trump, as he spoke in front of a section of the Mexico border wall in Texas, a symbol of the stringent immigration policy he has pursued during his tumultuous four years in office.
Trump said using the 25th amendment in this new way “will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for.”