Pence says he will not invoke 25th Amendment

National

Vice President Mike Pence finishes a swearing-in ceremony for senators in the Old Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)

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.

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:

6:30 p.m.

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger has become the third Republican member of Congress to call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Kinzinger said in a statement Tuesday that Trump is responsible for whipping up “an angry mob” that stormed the Capitol last week, leaving five dead. He says “there is no doubt in my mind” that Trump “broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection.”

The House is set to start impeachment proceedings against Trump on Wednesday.

The president faces a single impeachment charge, incitement to insurrection, for his actions surrounding the mob attack on the Capitol, the worst domestic assault on the building in the nation’s history.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking House Republican, and Republican Rep. John Katko of New York said earlier Tuesday that they would vote to impeach Trump.

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