SWITZERLAND, JANUARY 13 – The House of Representatives voted Tuesday night to approve a resolution calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office through the 25th Amendment in the wake of the violent siege of the US Capitol last week.
The vote amounts to a symbolic rebuke after Vice President Mike Pence made clear earlier in the evening that he has no plans to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the President in a letter released just hours ahead of the House vote.
It comes as House Democrats are now moving rapidly toward impeaching the President for a second time as a result of the insurrection, which they accuse Trump of inciting. House Democrats plan to vote Wednesday to impeach Trump, setting up an impeachment vote one week after rioters overran Capitol police and breached some of the most secure areas of the Capitol.
The 25th Amendment resolution, brought forward by Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, calls on Pence “to immediately use his powers under section 4 of the 25th Amendment to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments in the Cabinet to declare what is obvious to a horrified nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties of his office.” It further calls on Pence to assume “the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”
Ahead of the vote, however, Pence’s office released a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shutting down the idea.
“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 that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote.
In a sign that Democrats are moving quickly to impeach, Pelosi on Tuesday announced the names of the Democratic lawmakers who will serve as impeachment managers tasked with presenting a case to the Senate during an impeachment trial. The managers will be: Reps. Raskin, who will be the lead manager, Diana DeGette of Colorado, David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Eric Swalwell of California, Joaquin Castro of Texas, Ted Lieu of California, Stacey Plaskett of the US Virgin Islands, Joe Neguse of Colorado and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania.
Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, told colleagues on a conference call Monday evening that Wednesday’s impeachment vote is a “vote of conscience,” according to CNN. Cheney, who announced on Tuesday that she will vote to impeach, is one of the handful of outspoken critics of President Donald Trump.
Earlier on Monday, Democrats attempted to take up the 25th Amendment resolution by unanimous consent, but it was blocked by Republicans. Pelosi accused House Republicans of “enabling the President’s unhinged, unstable and deranged acts of sedition to continue,” adding, “Their complicity endangers America, erodes our Democracy, and it must end.”