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The vice president said it should not be used 'as a means of punishment or usurpation' and reserved for cases of medical or mental incapacitation

Associated Press
January 12, 2021
Vice President Mike Pence presides over a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Erin Schaff – Pool/Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence is ruling out invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from power, less than a week after the president fomented the violent insurrection at the Capitol.

In a letter late Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Pence said the mechanism should not be used “as a means of punishment or usurpation” and reserved for cases of medical or mental incapacitation. Pelosi has called on Pence to secure the majority of the Cabinet and vote to declare Trump unfit to serve.

Read More: GOP Rep. Cheney says she will vote to impeach Trump

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence arrive to officiate as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to count the Electoral College votes cast in November’s election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

As the House appears on the cusp of a bipartisan impeachment of Trump, Pence encouraged Congress to avoid actions to “further divide and inflame the passions of the moment” and to focus on smoothing the transition to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

Pelosi has said if Pence rejects use of the 25th Amendment, the House will move to impeach him. Already, at least three Republicans have said they would vote for that.

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