- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday blasted Democrats’ demand that he trigger the 25th Amendment to oust President Trump with little more than a week to go in office, saying it was a distraction from critical issues the country must face.

“I urge you and every other member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment,” he said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

He also said Mrs. Pelosi was violating her own standard of several months ago, when she said the 25th Amendment shouldn’t be used as a punishment for bad behavior, but for actual disability.

Mr. Pence said invoking it now “would set a terrible precedent.”

His letter came just as the House began debating a resolution that urges him to use the Amendment to sideline Mr. Trump, citing last week’s attack on the Capitol.

Under the 25th Amendment, the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can deem a president too incapacitated to serve.

But the president can challenge that, and it would force the issue to Congress, where it would take a two-thirds vote of both chambers to oust the president. That’s a higher bar than impeachment, which takes only a majority vote in the House, although a two-thirds vote in the Senate to convict and remove a president.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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