Mike Pence 'opposed' impeaching Trump with 25th amendment as Pompeo and Pelosi planned to oust President over riots

MIKE Pence has reportedly opposed plans to impeach Donald Trump after Mike Pompeo and Nancy Pelosi plotted to oust the President with the 25th Amendment.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin discussed the possibility of removing Trump after Wednesday's riots in Washington DC, sources told CNBC.



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer also called for invoking the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution to force Trump from office before January 20.

The unprecedented step allows the Vice President and the Cabinet to declare the President unfit for office.

But Vice President Mike Pence will not support the calls to expel the President from office, according to Business Insider.

Two aides to the Vice President said there is "no way" he would participate in the ousting of Trump.

The aides worried taking the step "could spiral the country even further into chaos and partisan divide".

Pence's refusal comes after Trump repeatedly lashed out at him for refusing to try to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden's election win.

"Mike Pence, I hope you're going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and the good of our country and if you're not, I'm going to be very disappointed in you," Trump said in a speech.

Schumer said he and Pelosi had tried to call Pence on Thursday to discuss the removal of Trump, but they could not connect with him.

The top Democratic leaders have called for immediate impeachment proceedings if Pence refuses to take steps to remove Trump from power.

"If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president," Schumer said on Thursday.

"The President's dangerous and seditious acts necessitate his immediate removal from office," the pair added in a statement last night.



At least two Republicans, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and US Representative Adam Kinzinger, have also said Trump must go.

Republicans are said to be "furious" at Trump for stirring up his supporters with false claims of election fraud, Axios reports.

Senior figures believe the brash firebrand has "disgraced" the party and encouraged the MAGA mob to "attack" American democracy, the report says.

If impeached in the House, Trump would theoretically face trial in the Republican-controlled Senate – which is scheduled to be in recess until January 19. 

Trump discussed pardoning himself before he leaves the White House, two people with knowledge of the subject told the New York Times.

If Trump were to pardon himself, he would be the first President in history to do so.

WHAT IS IMPEACHMENT?

Impeachment is a process by which Congress can remove a president or other federal official from office.

It is typically related to alleged crimes committed while in office.

The constitution states that a president, vice president, or other civil officer can be removed from office for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours".

Which offences qualify as "high crimes and misdemeanours" has long been a hot topic of debate among constitutional scholars.

Impeachment requires that the House of Representatives pass articles of impeachment – analogous to charges in a criminal trial – by a simple majority vote.

Once the official has been impeached, a trial is held in the Senate.

Conviction then requires a two-thirds majority vote by the 100 members of the Senate.

The result of conviction is removal from office, and the Senate may then hold a further vote on whether the official should be disqualified from holding office in future.

In December 2019, Donald Trump was impeached over allegations he had solicited foreign interference to improve his chances of reelection in 2020, but the Senate ultimately voted to acquit him.

Only two other presidents – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton – have ever been impeached, although it is widely accepted that Richard Nixon would have been over the Watergate Scandal had he not chosen to resign.

Pompeo and Mnuchin spoke to their aides and staff about invoking the 25th Amendment, but ultimately decided it was not the right course of action for three reasons, according to CNBC.

The process to remove Trump would take more than a week, which the officials agreed did not make sense considering the President would step down in 13 days.

It was also unclear whether the three acting Cabinet members, not yet confirmed by the Senate, would be able to vote on the matter.

And the move would likely enrage Trump supporters and stoke tensions further, sources said.

"The general plan now is to let the clock run out," a former senior official said.

"There will be a reckoning for this President, but it doesn’t need to happen in the next 13 days."

The Treasury declined to comment and the State Department denied the conversations took place.




Sources told CNN that Trump was "ranting" and "raving" on Thursday night as he watched the 25th Amendment being discussed on TV.

As calls for his removal mounted on Thursday, he released a video in which he denounced the violence at the Capitol.

The President promised to ensure a smooth transition to a "new administration".

Congress certified Joe Biden's election victory early on Thursday, after authorities cleared the Capitol.

In a day of bloodshed on Wednesday, protesters were urged by Trump during a rally near the White House to head to Capitol Hill, where lawmakers were scheduled to confirm Biden's presidential victory.

The mob smashed broke through police barriers, broke windows and paraded through the halls, sending lawmakers into hiding.

At least five people died after the siege – one protester was shot dead by police, and there were dozens of arrests.

Three other people died after medical emergencies related to the assault.

And a Capitol police officer died from injuries sustained in the siege, the force said on Thursday.

Lawmakers have pledged to investigate and question whether a lack of preparedness allowed the MAGA mob to occupy and vandalize the building.

The Pentagon and Justice Department had been rebuffed when they offered assistance.

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