Democrats have repeatedly called on Vice President Mike Pence and members of the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would immediately remove President Donald Trump from office. House Democrats decided to pursue this course of action while also working on impeachment in case Pence refused to invoke the 25th.
As the House convened to vote on invoking the 25th Amendment, Pence sent a letter to Pelosi saying he disagrees with the move. While he applauded Congressional leaders for reconvening after the riots on Capitol Hill last week, he believes invoking the 25th Amendment is a bad move for the nation.
"But now, 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 the Constitution," the vice president wrote in his letter. "Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to the efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation."
Pence pointed out the 25th Amendment was designed to address a president's incapacity or disability. He reminded the speaker she previously said the 25th Amendment shouldn't be used to punish a president for a comment or action but rather it should be based on a medical determination. The vice president agreed.
"Madam Speaker, you were right," he said. "Under our Constitution, the 25th Amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation. Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent."
He stated the call to invoke the 25th Amendment would "further divide and inflame the passions of the moment." Instead, Pence called on Pelosi to "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."
Below is the full letter: