Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., said Vice President Mike Pence’s decision not to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump is a show of “pure cowardice.”
“We must impeach and remove Trump from office immediately,” she said in a post on Twitter, reflecting widespread outrage over last week’s attack on the Capitol by a mob of the president’s supporters.
‘SQUAD’ MEMBER PRESSLEY SAYS SHE LEFT CAPITOL RIOT SAFE ROOM BECAUSE OF ‘WHITE SUPREMACIST’ CONGRESSMEN
Pence said Tuesday night that he and the Cabinet wouldn’t remove Trump by invoking the amendment, which allows such an action when the president is deemed unfit. The procedure would typically apply to situations in which a president is medically incapacitated.
The vice president justified his decision by pointing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to her own previous statements that utilizing the amendment’s provisions should rely on “science and facts,” and be “based on a medical decision.”
Pelosi made the comments in October when she introduced legislation to create the 25th Amendment Commission, which could have taken action when Trump was hospitalized with coronavirus.
“Madam Speaker, you were right,” Pence wrote in a letter to Pelosi Tuesday night.
PENCE USES PELOSI’S OWN WORDS TO JUSTIFY NOT INVOKING THE 25TH 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 the letter — received by Pelosi just as House members took to the floor to vote on a resolution calling for him to exercise his powers under the rule.
While the resolution passed, Pence said going along with it wouldn’t be “in the best interest of our nation or consistent with the Constitution.”
The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on an article of impeachment against Trump with only a week left to his term. Sources have told Fox News that House Republican leaders have said they will not lobby members to oppose the action.
At least five House GOP members have already said they will vote to remove Trump. The list includes Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.– the House GOP conference chair and the third-highest ranking House Republican — as well as Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich.; Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.; Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.; and John Katko, R-N.Y.
GOP SPLINTERS ON TRUMP IMPEACHMENT AS HOUSE SET TO REBUKE PRESIDENT YET AGAIN
The impeachment push, which is expected to pass the House on Wednesday night, has garnered less vocal support from GOP senators, although Fox News is told that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has defended the president in the past, is “done with Trump.”
The Senate would need about a third of Republican senators to vote against Trump in order to convict him.
It’s not clear when the Senate may begin its trial on the House article of impeachment. It’s most likely that wouldn’t start until after President-elect Joe Biden takes office, although it could begin as early as this week if McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., call their members back to Washington.
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Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.