House approves resolution calling to remove Trump despite Pence rejecting 25th Amendment push

There are just a few days left in President Donald Trump's term, and following a mob of his supporters storming the US Capitol building, speculative talk of removing Trump from office using the 25th Amendment is everywhere. In this latest episode of The Point, CNN's Chris Cillizza explains the reason for the amendment — and what it would take for Trump's Cabinet to actually use it.

Posted: Jan 13, 2021 8:18 AM
Updated: Jan 13, 2021 8:20 AM

The House of Representatives voted Tuesday night to approve a resolution calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office through the 25th Amendment in the wake of the violent siege of the US Capitol last week.

The vote amounts to a symbolic rebuke after Vice President Mike Pence made clear earlier in the evening that he has no plans to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the President in a letter released just hours ahead of the House vote.

It comes as House Democrats are now moving rapidly toward impeaching the President for a second time as a result of the insurrection, which Trump incited after repeatedly making false claims that the election had been stolen from him and calling for his supporters to fight back.

House Democrats plan to vote Wednesday to impeach Trump, setting up an impeachment vote one week after rioters overran Capitol police and breached some of the most secure areas of the Capitol.

The 25th Amendment resolution, brought forward by Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, calls on Pence "to immediately use his powers under section 4 of the 25th Amendment to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments in the Cabinet to declare what is obvious to a horrified nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties of his office."

It further calls on Pence to assume "the powers and duties of the office as Acting President."

Ahead of the vote, however, Pence's office released a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shutting down the idea.

"With just eight days left in the President's term, you and the Democratic caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment. I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution," Pence wrote.

In a sign that Democrats are moving quickly to impeach, Pelosi on Tuesday announced the names of the Democratic lawmakers who will serve as impeachment managers tasked with presenting a case to the Senate during an impeachment trial. The managers will be: Reps. Raskin, who will be the lead manager, Diana DeGette of Colorado, David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Eric Swalwell of California, Joaquin Castro of Texas, Ted Lieu of California, Stacey Plaskett of the US Virgin Islands, Joe Neguse of Colorado and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania.

Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, told colleagues on a conference call Monday evening that Wednesday's impeachment vote is a "vote of conscience," a source tells CNN. Cheney, who announced on Tuesday that she will vote to impeach, is one of the handful of outspoken critics of President Donald Trump's disinformation surrounding the November election results and Trump's attempts to overturn the election.

A senior House Democratic aide told CNN that the rule for the Raskin resolution Tuesday night would include language implementing a fine system -- similar to what Republicans implemented in 2017 for filming on the floor -- for noncompliance with the speaker's mask requirement on the House floor. Fines will be $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for the second offense and will be deducted from members' pay, not campaign funds or members' representational allowance.

Separately, the House Office Building Commission will immediately consider implementing a similar fine system for non-compliance in the House office buildings and House side of the US Capitol.

Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called Pence a day after the Capitol attack to discuss the 25th Amendment -- but Pence never took the call after they were on hold for 25 minutes.

"At least. Of course, I was -- I was at home, so I was running the dishwasher, putting my clothes in the laundry. We're still waiting for him to return the call," she told CBS Sunday night.

In her statement on Monday, Pelosi said that as a "next step," House Democrats "will move forward with bringing impeachment legislation to the Floor."

Earlier on Monday, Democrats attempted to take up the 25th Amendment resolution by unanimous consent, but it was blocked by Republicans.

Pelosi accused House Republicans of "enabling the President's unhinged, unstable and deranged acts of sedition to continue," adding, "Their complicity endangers America, erodes our Democracy, and it must end."

This story and headline have been updated with additional developments Tuesday.

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