After a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, with President Donald Trump himself urging them at a White House rally shortly before the melee to “never concede” and “we will not take it anymore,” a number of prominent business and political leaders have called for invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.
The National Association of Manufacturers, which represents more than 14,000 U.S. companies, asked Vice President Mike Pence to “seriously consider” invoking the amendment.
“Throughout this whole disgusting episode, Trump has been cheered on by members of his own party, adding fuel to the distrust that has enflamed violent anger,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement. “This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous.”
Others who weighed in included the NAACP, several U.S. House members and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican.
By early evening, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, tweeted that she was drawing up Articles of Impeachment to remove Trump from office.
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“I am drawing up Articles of Impeachment,” she wrote in a tweet. “Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate. We can’t allow him to remain in office, it’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath.”
Charlie Crist, the Democratic St. Petersburg House member who is a former Florida governor, also called for invoking the amendment.
“The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of a president,” Crist said. “It’s time to remove the president.”
In addition, Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu of California and David Cicilline of Rhode Island were drafting a letter to Pence on Wednesday to demand that he invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump, NBC News reported.
What is the 25th Amendment?
Congress ratified the amendment in 1967 and President Lyndon Johnson signed it into law on Feb. 23, 1967.
After John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 and the succession of Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson as president, there was growing concern that Johnson was not physically fit for the post as he had a heart attack.
With Kennedy’s death, there also was concern that the country lacked a Constitutional plan if a president and vice president were killed or incapacitated.
25th Amendment has 4 sections
The 25th Amendment created a legal pathway for naming a new president if one became incapacitated in office or died. The Amendment also called for the vice president to take over and to give Congress a shared role in replacing a vice president.
The Amendment calls for the removal of a sitting president from office in three of four specific sections, each one setting forth a different set of circumstances.
Section 1 says that if the president dies or resigns, the vice president will become president.
Section 2 says that if the vice presidency becomes vacant, then the president would nominate a vice president and that person must be confirmed by congressional majority.
Section 3 says if a president decides he or she is temporarily unable to fulfill their duties, the president would have to tell the president pro tempore of the Senate (who is currently Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley) and the Speaker of the House (Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi). The vice president would assume the duties of the president until the president is able to return to office.
Section 4 says that if the vice president and either a majority of the Cabinet or Congress, through votes, deem the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” they would write a letter to the president pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.
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Once this would be invoked, the vice president would immediately become president.
The president can fight this by submitting a written declaration objecting to the charges. He can resume his duties assuming Congress and the vice president agree that he is fit to fulfill his duties.
If the president disputes this, then two-thirds of the House and the Senate must vote to name the vice president as acting president.
This clause has never been invoked.
It is Section 4 that groups have called on Pence, Congress and the Cabinet to consider with Trump.
Has the 25th Amendment ever been used?
Section 4 has never been used, although there have been close calls in the past.
President Ronald Reagan’s administration prepared the papers to invoke the 25th Amendment when Reagan was shot and underwent surgery in 1981.
Reagan invoked Section 3 in 1985 when he underwent colon surgery and President George W. Bush transferred powers to Vice President Dick Cheney twice in 2002 and 2007 when he underwent a medical procedure with anesthesia.
When Trump contracted COVID-19 last year, the amendment came up in case Trump’s condition worsened and the disease affected his thinking.
Devoun Cetoute and Carli Teproff, Miami Herald