US Vice President Mike Pence has refused to invoke the 25th Amendment, describing the call as misplaced and saying it was designed to “address presidential incapacity or disability,” not as a “means of punishment or usurpation.”
“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,” Pence wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, referring to the process that would declare Trump unable to fulfil his duties and install Pence as acting president for the remainder of the term.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” he said.
The vice president’s letter came just hours before the House of Representatives was to vote on a resolution that calls on Pence to initiate the 25th Amendment process and “declare what is obvious to a horrified nation: that the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office.”
Pelosi has said Pence’s failure to trigger that process would lead to a Trump impeachment vote on Wednesday. She has described Trump as being “unhinged.”
He also pointed out that despite intense pressure from within his party to invalidate the electoral votes from swing states won by Biden, he fulfilled his constitutional duty to certify the results.
“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 wrote.
Earlier in the day Trump said the 25th Amendment was of “zero risk” to him.