Congress calls for Trump impeachment despite Pence rejection
Update 1: Reworks lede, changes headline, adds info on impeachment attempt
Washington, Jan 12 (EFE).- The United States House of Representatives approved a resolution formally requesting Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet to invoke the constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove outgoing President Donald Trump, against which he is now preparing to promote a new political trial.
In a session held six days after Trump supporters attacked the Capitol in Washington, where five people were killed, congressmen approved the initiative by 223 votes in favor and 205 against.
In the resolution, congressmen asked Pence to declare Trump “incapable of executing the duties of his office and of immediately exercising the powers as acting president.”
However, the vote became a mere formality due to the refusal of the second in command of the Trump Administration to move in that direction.
Pence said Tuesday that he would not invoke the amendment to remove Trump.
“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 addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, as the House prepared to vote on a resolution calling on the vice president to utilize the amendment.
Under Section 4 of that amendment, the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
“Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcomes 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 wrote.
He appeared to be alluding to Trump pressuring him to intervene in the presidential election certification process as the leader tried to overturn the November polls in which Democrat Joe Biden triumphed.
Pence warned that using that amendment, created after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and in the midst of the Cold War to protect the government in case of removal, death, resignation or inability of the president to do his job, “would set a terrible precedent.”
“I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment,” added Pence, and asked all to work together “to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden.”
“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,” he concluded.
Some Republicans such as No. 3 in the House, Liz Cheney, chair of the House Republican Conference, had earlier said they would vote to impeach Trump.
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing,” she said. “There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection.”
Hours earlier, in a speech during his visit to the Mexico border wall, Trump said that there is “zero risk” that he will be removed by the Democrats.
“The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for,” Trump said, without clarifying.
“The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger and division and pain, far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time,” he added.
After the assault on the Capitol, which resulted in five deaths, Washington will be reinforced with around 15,000 members of the National Guard for Biden’s open-air inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20.
Democrats will seek Wednesday to accuse the president of the charge of “inciting insurrection,” an effort that has won the support of at least four Republican legislators: Adam Kizinger, a congressman from Illinois; Liz Cheney, congresswoman from Wyoming; John Katko, Congressman from New York; and Fred Upton, Congressman from Michigan.