Did Mike Pence ignore Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer? VP puts call on hold when they asked to remove Donald Trump
The House speaker threatened to impeach the outgoing president , who has less than two weeks in office now, if Pence and the cabinet didn't invoke the 25th Amendment
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrat in the Senate Chuck Schumer on Thursday, January 7, directly approached Vice President Mike Pence trying to make him act immediately to remove President Donald Trump from office but the latter rebuffed them. Hours after the veep oversaw the joint Congress session that counted the Electoral College votes to affirm the victory of Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, the two top Democratic leaders called Pence but sources close to the latter said he is against the move, reports said.
Schumer, the chamber's minority leader, told reporters in New York on January 7 that he and Pelosi tried to call the vice president asking him to take the step against Trump who has been widely accused of inciting mob violence at the Capitol Hill on Wednesday, January 6, when the Congress met to certify Biden’s win. The unprecedented chaos shocked not only Americans but the entire world as the much-revered democracy on the planet came under attack. Five people, including one policeman, died in the clashes and Trump’s condemnation of the incident was found to be too little, too late.
Schumer, however, said that they were kept on hold for nearly half-an-hour and informed that Pence wouldn’t take the call. The Democrat then said that they decided to make the call public as they felt Pence should act on removing Trump right away. He said it while explaining why both he and Pelosi are seeking Pence and the Trump cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare the incumbent president unfit and install the vice president as the acting president. The Trump administration’s tenure concludes on January 20 when the Biden administration will be inaugurated.
Dems threaten to impeach Trump if 25th Amendment not invoked
The Democratic leadership has threatened to impeach the outgoing president at a lightning pace if Pence and the cabinet refused to invoke the 25th Amendment which provides for the replacement of a commander-in-chief deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office”. The serious provision of the Amendment which is in force since 1967 that provides for presidential removal has never been invoked.
However, the removal of a sitting president would need considerable bipartisan support to succeed in the Senate and the Democrats do not have it at least at this moment. But Pelosi, 80, has warned the White House that the Democrat-dominated House would impeach the incumbent for “seditious acts” in provoking riots at the Capitol. She said Trump “incited an armed insurrection against America”.
'Any day can be a horror show for America'
At a press conference on January 7, Pelosi said: “While there’s only 13 days left, any day can be a horror show for America. My members are very much interested. My phone is exploding with 'impeach, impeach, impeach.”
If the House initiates an impeachment procedure against Trump, it will be the second time in less than two years. In September 2019, it did the same over Trump’s alleged misuse of power and obstructing the Congress. The House impeached the president in December the same year but he got acquitted in the GOP-controlled Senate in February 2020.
Pence, who also condemned the violence, was reportedly upset with Trump after the latter slammed him for not doing him a favor by challenging the Congress’s move to certify Biden’s win. Pence wrote to the lawmakers that the Constitution did not give him a “unilateral authority” to decide which electoral votes should be counted but Trump refused to concede that the veep just has a ceremonial role to play and considered it to be a betrayal. In a tweet, he even said in a tweet that his deputy lacked the “courage” to protect the country or the Constitution after Pence refused to hijack the election in his favor. Pence, on the other hand, felt betrayed by Trump’s behavior saying he has always stood by the president in the last four years, including his role to lead the president's coronavirus task force.