Vice President Mike Pence, despite hopes he’d invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump for instigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol, won’t draw on the never-before used power and instead will do “very little” until Trump is out of office, a senior Republican insider close to Pence told the Washington Blade.
The insider, speaking to the Blade on Monday evening, said instead Pence will seek to “run down the clock” until Trump’s term expires on Jan. 20 amid House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) threats to move forward with impeachment if Trump doesn’t resign and Pence doesn’t invoke the 25th Amendment.
The reasoning behind Pence refraining from using the 25th Amendment, the source told the Blade, was on process grounds and belief it would take longer to complete than the eight days remaining in Trump’s term before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.
Trump and Pence, the insider said, hadn’t spoken since the assault on the U.S. Capitol as of Monday morning. (The Associated Press reported Monday evening the two finally broke their silence and had a talk described as a “good conversation” in the Oval Office.)
Trump has faulted Pence, who had been loyal to him during his presidency, for not seeking to overturn the 2020 election results when they were counted at the U.S. Capitol, despite an utter lack of authority for Pence to single-handedly overturn the will of the voters.
The 25th Amendment allows the vice president and executive officials to declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” but the president can contest that claim and say “no inability exists,” requiring Congress to intercede. It would take a two-thirds vote in both chambers to reject the president’s claim and remove him from office.
Trump, after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, is “angry,” “sullen” and still “believes he won” the election, despite no factual basis for that position, the insider told the Blade.
The insider said the remainder of Trump’s days in office will consist of “pardons” and “medals,” but didn’t mention who would be among Trump’s pardons or whether he would seek to pardon himself.
Amid concerns over a possible national security crisis with Trump still in office, the insider said existing “guardrails,” including Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, are in place. Trump would “not want” to destroy or harm his own country, the source said.
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