US House passes resolution asking Pence to invoke 25th Amendment
Washington, Jan 13: The Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives, which is rushing ahead towards impeaching Donald Trump over the unprecedented Capitol Hill attack, has passed a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.
The resolution was voted by 223 to 205 votes on Tuesday night. The voting was mostly on party lines, with one Republican voting in favour of the resolution and another five abstaining. The resolution calls upon Pence to mobilise the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office. The 25th Amendment, adopted more than 50 years ago in the wake of President John F Kennedy’s assassination, provides a mechanism for the succession of the president for his or her replacement in the event he or she proves unfit to serve.
The vote came after Pence, a Republican, wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he would not invoke the 25h Amendment. “Under our Constitution, the 25th Amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation. Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent,” Pence said in a letter to Pelosi, a Democrat.
Speaking on the House floor, Pelosi said on January 6, President Trump incited a deadly insurrection against America that targeted the very heart of its democracy, the US Capitol.
“Defiling the genius of the Constitution, separate but equal, attacking the first branch of government, trying to prevent the US from ascertaining – the constitutional duty to ascertain that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be President and Vice President of the United States. “The gleeful desecration they have – gleeful desecration of the Capitol and violence against the Congress, our staff and our workers are horrors that will forever stain our nation’s history. Five Americans have died following the violent attack. More than 50 police officers were seriously injured, including fifteen officers who were hospitalised,” Pelosi said.
She said the “facts are very clear” that the President called for the seditious attack. “For days, he urged supporters to come to Washington for the insurrection. Wednesday (Jan 6) morning he participated in a rally to encourage the rioters to march on the Capitol and fight. And, not only did he urge people to march on the Capitol and fight, he further fanned the flames and he and his family cheered and celebrated the desecration of the Capitol,” Pelosi said.
As the dangers escalated, he ignored and flat out rejected the pleas of Congress, including those of his own party, to call off his supporters – the rioters, the terrorists – as they engaged in vandalism and violence. Later that day – and, now, the President is saying that he is not responsible and that his incitement to violence was totally appropriate, she said. (PTI)