The last month has been an eventful one in regards to the capitol of our nation. The riots in D.C. have caused a domino effect on President Trump, ranging from social media issues to more political such as "invoking the 25th amendment". However, taking action of the 25th amendment is not as easy as it seems.
Fun fact: the 25th amendment has been used six times since its creation in 1965.The 25th Amendment states that “in case of the President being removed from office, the Vice President will become President or Acting President.” There are four sections in the 25th amendment that specify what is to occur when a President is removed from office. So how can the President be removed
from office? There are actually a number of ways that can occur: impeachment, conviction, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. The last time that the 25th amendment was used was in 2007 under George W. Bush when he invoked section 3 to undergo a colonoscopy making Cheney
President for two hours.
Photo courtesy of AP News, President Trump finished his Ellipse speech. The speech is said to be one of the inspirations behind the riots a week later.
But how does it apply to the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump? President Trump was convicted under Section 4, stating he was no longer able to be president and must be removed from office. This action taken by Pelosi was shortly after the riots on Capitol Hill, removing Trump for his "inciting of the insurrection of the event". Only one other time in the amendment's history has section 4 been used, under the the presidency of Ronald Reagan- six years after his assassination attempt.
Since the beginning of Trump's presidency in 2016, he first experienced the threat of impeachment on December 18, 2019. The 116th United States Congress moved to impeach him at this time under the pretenses of "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress". Although this impeachment did not technically remove him from office, it would not be the last trial for President Trump; he would soon see another impeachment trial that would remove him from office. The second impeachment of Donald Trump began on January 13, 2021- only one week before his term was to expire- due to his connections with the riots that occurred at the capitol. The riots at the capitol started on January 6, 2021 with many of the participants being supporters of the Trump 2020 campaign. Many believe that his comments during his speech "The Ellipse" brought the attack on the Capitol Building, which included "you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong" words spoken by President Trump at this time. After the riots, other evidence that inevitably caused the shut down of Trump's infamous Twitter account were brought to light and furthered the movement to impeach the president. A few of the President's social media accounts were also unverified and silenced, including his Facebook and Instagram. Becoming the first President
in U.S. history to go to trial for impeachment twice, Congress moved forward on trial for Trump under the "abuse of power" clause along with other misdemeanors. So what does all of that have to do with the 25th Amendment?
Photo courtesy of CBS News, Vice President Pence announces his refusal to invoke the 25th amendment. After Congress asked Pence to invoke this right the Vice President refused stating that he does not believe it was "consistent with the Constitution".
Well after the vote of Congress on the night of the thirteenth, Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin called on Pence to invoke his right to the 25th amendment- "to mobilize the executive departments" and "assume the position of Acting President" (according to CNN)- as Trump was now impeached. However, Pence later that week wrote a letter to the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying "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 this course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution."
In the end Trump finished his last eight days in office without the 25th Amendment being used. Completing his Presidency by Biden's inauguration on January 20, 2021.