Congress calls for 25th Amendment to remove President Trump

Donald Trump
Posted at 11:04 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 00:06:28-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Just one day after the violent protest at the Nation's Capitol, lawmakers are calling for the removal of President Donald Trump. Along with impeachment, they also want to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi Thursday called on Vice President Mike Pence and members of the president's cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment, which would remove President Trump from office. She said if they do not act to remove the president, Congress is prepared to impeach the president.

"I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the Vice President to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment," said Pelosi.

It's the latest move by some lawmakers to oust President Trump after some say he incited Wednesday's violent protest inside the Capitol.

"It’s really not designed to remove a president for the reasons that people are thinking of now. Those reasons are designed more for impeachment," said Thomas Schwartz, professor of history and political science at Vanderbilt University.

The 25th Amendment, proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, provides the procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.

"The authors of the 25th amendment also added in a clause to deal with the idea that if a president could become physically or mentally unable to perform their duties, and in that circumstance then the Vice President would assume those powers," said Schwartz.

Schwartz says a vote from the Vice President and the Cabinet members could decide if President Trump is no longer mentally capable to be president. And the President could challenge this.

"He can dispute the findings of being unable and that goes to congress to decide and unless congress by a two-thirds vote decides against him he would receive his powers back."

The actions of Congress are reminding some people of a time in Tennessee in 1979.

"There's comparisons only because it was a Governor who was on his way out just as a President on his way out doing things that were seen as very dangerously and illegal," said Schwartz.

Governor Ray Blanton was removed from office three days early in a scandal involving pardons and clemencies for many inmates. State lawmakers moved up the date of his successor, Lamar Alexander's inauguration by three days.

"There was belief that he needed to be stopped in doing that and that's why this implication of law to stop him from doing it."

Some believe President Trump could do the same in his final days.