National News

Pence says invoking the 25th Amendment not 'in the best interest of our nation'

Posted January 12, 2021 8:30 p.m. EST
Updated January 13, 2021 11:43 a.m. EST

Vice President Mike Pence officiates as a joint session of the House and Senate reconvenes to confirm the Electoral College votes at the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan 6, 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

— Hours ahead of a House vote on a resolution calling on him to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office, Vice President Mike Pence said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that he does not believe doing so "is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution."

"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."

Pence said the 25th Amendment was designed to be used only in the event of presidential incapacity or disability.

"Under our Constitution, the 25th Amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation," he said. "Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent."

Pence said the Trump administration is focusing its energy on "ensuring an orderly transition," saying, "now is the time to heal."

"I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment," he said as the House considers impeachment. "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. I pledge to you that 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."

The House is expected to vote on the 25th Amendment resolution around 10:30 pm. ET. Pelosi said that, if passed, Pence has 24 hours to respond. But with Pence saying he will not invoke the measure, the House plans to vote Wednesday on an article of impeachment charging Trump with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in Wednesday's riot.

If passed, a Senate trial would then have to take place to decide whether to convict Trump and possibly bar him from seeking elected office again.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.