Washington — The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to convene the Cabinet and remove President Trump from office under the 25th Amendment. But before the House concluded its vote, Pence said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he will not be invoking the 25th Amendment.
Pence said it's his belief the 25th Amendment is intended to be invoked when the president is incapacitated, not in a situation such as this, and said invoking the 25th Amendment now would create a "terrible precedent."
"I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with the Constitution," Pence wrote. "Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to undermine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our nation."
The House voted 223-205 to approve the resolution. Only one Republican, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voted in favor.
House Democrats unveiled the measure from Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland in the wake of the violent assault last week on the U.S. Capitol. Democrats have since moved swiftly with efforts to remove Mr. Trump from office, arguing his repeated unfounded claims the election was stolen and heated rhetoric during a rally just before the attack incited the violence on January 6. Appearing at the event on the Ellipse near the White House, Mr. Trump urged supporters in attendance to "fight like hell."
The resolution from Raskin calls on Pence to use his powers under the 25th Amendment to convene and mobilize the Cabinet to declare that Mr. Trump is "unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office" and assume the duties of the office as acting president.
In addition to the resolution, Democrats have also introduced an article of impeachment charging Mr. Trump with "incitement of insurrection." Spearheaded by Democratic Congressmen Ted Lieu of California, David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Raskin, the article has the backing of at least 210 House Democrats.
"President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government," the article of impeachment states. "He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a co-equal branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as president, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."
House Democrats said that if Pence does not invoke the 25th Amendment, they will proceed with the impeachment process starting Wednesday. At least four House Republicans, including House GOP leadership member Liz Cheney, have also said they will support Mr. Trump's impeachment.