Vice President Mike Pence rejected pressure from Democrats to remove President Donald Trump from office using the 25th Amendment on Tuesday night, saying that is unconstitutional.
“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 letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
“Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation,” he continued.
🚨 Pence responds to Pelosi on 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.”
Accuses the House of playing “political games”. pic.twitter.com/y21QDlvBit
— Julie Tsirkin (@JulieNBCNews) January 13, 2021
Pence announced the decision on Tuesday evening, just a day before the House of Representatives, led by Pelosi, is expected to vote to impeach the president. The vice president said that while the riot at the Capitol was “shocking and saddening,” it should not be exploited for political gain.
“As you know full well, the 25th Amendment was designed to address Presidential incapacity or disability,” Pence wrote. “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 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. Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent,” Pence continued.
In addition to pledging a peaceful and “orderly” transition of power, the vice president also urged Congress to “avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment.”
“Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States,” he wrote. “I pledge to you that I will continue to do my part to work in good faith with the incoming administration to ensure an orderly transition of power. So help me God.”