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Pence Rejects Calls to Invoke 25th Amendment, Setting Stage for Trump Impeachment

Vice President Mike Pence reads the final certification of Electoral College votes cast in November’s presidential election during a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 7, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/Reuters)

Vice President Mike Pence rejected a resolution passed by House Democrats on Tuesday evening calling on him to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.

House Democrats will now move forward with the second attempted impeachment of the president, this time for “incitement of insurrection.” Trump incited a mob of his supporters to head to the Capitol on January 6 while Congress was in the process of certifying the Electoral College results. The mob overwhelmed police and breached the building, forcing lawmakers to evacuate, injuring dozens of police officers and killing one.

Pence wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) that he did not believe invoking the 25th Amendment “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,” Pence wrote, referring to Trump’s and his supporters’ assertions that the vice president could reject the election 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.”

Pence added that the 25th Amendment must not be viewed as a “means of punishment or usurpation.” The letter does not mention the president by name or the impeachment process.

The House Republican leadership has declined to actively lobby caucus members to oppose impeachment, and several caucus members, including Liz Cheney of Wyoming, are poised to vote to convict. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) warned members not to verbally accost colleagues who vote for impeachment, saying it could put their lives in danger.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has indicated that he may vote to convict as well.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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