Pence rules out invoking 25th Amendment on Trump

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President Donald Trump walking out to speak in the Brady Briefing Room in the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, in Washington. Walking behind Trump is Vice President Mike Pence. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump walking out to speak in the Brady Briefing Room in the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, in Washington. Walking behind Trump is Vice President Mike Pence. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Vice President Mike Pence is ruling out invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from power, less than a week after the president fomented the violent insurrection at the Capitol.

In a letter late Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Pence said the mechanism should not be used “as a means of punishment or usurpation” and reserved for cases of medical or mental incapacitation. Pelosi has called on Pence to secure the majority of the Cabinet and vote to declare Trump unfit to serve.

As the House appears on the cusp of a bipartisan impeachment of Trump, Pence encouraged Congress to avoid actions to “further divide and inflame the passions of the moment” and to focus on smoothing the transition to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

Pelosi has said if Pence rejects use of the 25th Amendment, the House will move to impeach him. Already, at least three Republicans have said they would vote for that.

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