OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Vice President Mike Pence Pence released a letter on Tuesday evening announcing that he will not invoke the 25th Amendment against President Donald Trump.
In the letter, Pence responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by saying impeaching the president with just a week left in his presidency would further divide the nation.
“I do not believe such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with the Constitution,” Pence wrote in a letter to Pelosi released Tuesday night.
“Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our nation,” he added.
Pence wrote that using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump would “set a terrible precedent.” Instead, he argued that it should only be used in instances where the president is incapacitated or has a disability that prevents them from carrying out the duties of the office.
“I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame passions of the moment,” Pence wrote. “Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. I pledge to you that I will continue to do my part to work in good faith with the incoming administration to ensure an orderly transition of power. So help me God.”
The full letter can be read below:
House Republicans on Monday blocked a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump from office.
Pelosi said in a scathing letter to colleagues on Sunday that the House “will proceed” with bringing legislation to the floor to impeach President Donald Trump.
She said the House will act with solemnity but also urgency with just days remaining before Trump is to leave office on January 20.
“In protecting our Constitution and our Democracy, we will act with urgency, because this President represents an imminent threat to both,” she said. “The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”
She called on Pence to convene and mobilize the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment and declare Trump incapable of executing the duties of his office.
“After which the Vice President would immediately exercise powers as Acting President,” she said.
She told her caucus, now scattered across the country on a two-week recess, to “be prepared to return to Washington this week” but did not say outright that there would be a vote on impeachment.
“If we do not receive Unanimous Consent, this legislation is planned to be brought up on the Floor the following day. We are calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours,” she wrote.
Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said in an interview: “I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage.”
Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott said: “President Trump should resign or be removed from office by his Cabinet, or by the Congress.”
Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan also called for Trump’s removal or resignation.