January 13, 2021 7:24 AM | With information from EFE
15 minutes. The United States (US) House of Representatives passed a resolution formally requesting Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove outgoing President Donald Trump, who must now prepare to face a new impeachment trial.
In a session held 6 days after followers of the president attacked the Capitol in Washington, where 5 people died, Congressmen approved the initiative with 223 votes in favor and 205 against.
In the non-binding resolution, the congressmen asked Pence to declare Trump “unable to perform the duties of his office and to immediately exercise the powers as acting president“.
However, the vote to activate Amendment 25 became a mere formality given the refusal of the second in command of the Trump Administration to move in that direction.
Pence anticipated the vote by releasing a letter hours earlier addressed to the Speaker of the Lower House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi. There, he called “avoiding actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment“.
“I will not give in”
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or is consistent with our Constitution.“This was pointed out by the vice president about the mechanism promoted by progressives, with 7 days remaining until the end of Trump’s term.
“Last week,” Pence emphasized, “I did not give in to pressure to exercise beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the elections. Now I will not give in to the House of Representatives efforts to play political games at such a serious time in the life of our nation. “
The vice president made an unspoken allusion to Trump’s pressure to assume powers that did not correspond to him under the Constitution. In this way, the session of both houses of Congress called to certify the victory of Joe Biden in the elections of last November would interfere.
The newspaper The New York Times revealed on Tuesday part of a telephone conversation that Trump had with Pence last Wednesday. It was a last-ditch attempt to convince him to reverse the election result.
“You can go down in history as a patriot, “Trump told him. to Pence, according to the version of the New York newspaper. The newspaper cited the testimonies of 2 people allegedly briefed on the conversation.
In his letter, Pence warned that using that amendment “would set a terrible precedent.” In addition, he promised to ensure “an orderly transition of power“.
Trump sees “zero risk”
During the day, Trump broke his silence. In the first statements to the press after what happened in the Legislature, he defended his harangue as “totally appropriate” for his followers to march to the Capitol.
“If you read the speech (…), people thought that what I said was totally appropriate“, affirmed the president.
Already in Texas, where he traveled to inspect the progress in the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico, Trump assured that there is “zero risk” that his cabinet will remove him using the 25th Amendment.
“Amendment 25 is zero risk to me, but it will take its toll on Biden and his Administration. As the expression says, be careful what you wish for, “said Trump, without clarifying what he was referring to. The president-elect has not come to explicitly request that this mechanism be activated.
In addition, he described the opening of the second impeachment against him as something “absolutely ridiculous” and “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.”
Democrats will seek this Wednesday to accuse the president of “incitement to insurrection”, an effort that has achieved the endorsement of at least 4 Republican legislators. Namely: Adam Kizinger, Congressman from Illinois; Liz Cheney, congresswoman from Wyoming; John Katko, Congressman from New York; and Fred Upton, Congressman from Michigan.
The New York Times also revealed that the Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, was satisfied with a possible impeachment against Trump, and that he believes that a possible impeachment may help purge his party of supporters of the current president.
The process started this Monday in the Lower House promises to force the Senate to subject Trump to an impeachment trial that will take place when Biden is already in power. Therefore, its main objective will not be the removal of the president, but his possible disqualification from holding future political positions.