Richmond, Va. (WRIC) — Calls are getting louder for the 25th Amendment to be invoked in order to remove President Donald Trump from office. This comes after his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.
The amendment was ratified in 1967 after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
In simple terms, the 25th Amendment outlines what will happen if the sitting president is unable to do their job due to reasons such as resignation, assassination or illness.
“It basically sets up the rules for when a president is replaced by a vice president,” said 8News Political Analyst Rich Meagher.
However, there is a section of the amendment which addresses what happens when a president is declared unfit for office. This section is what many democratic lawmakers, including Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, are calling for.
Could President Trump be ousted from office this way? Meagher said it is possible, but unlikely.
For a president to be declared unfit, the process starts with the vice president. Vice President Mike Pence, along with a majority of Cabinet secretaries, must write a letter to Congress saying President Trump is not fit for office.
Meagher believes that first step is unlikely in itself. He said Pence is a loyal vice president, even though he has faced criticism from Trump in recent days for not challenging the 2020 Election results.
“It still seems really out of character for Mike Pence to suddenly decide he would, what might be viewed by some, as a power grab for the last couple weeks of the Trump presidency,” said Meager.
However, in the event that Pence and Cabinet secretaries did move forward with the 25th Amendment, President Trump could then dispute it.
If the president disputes that decision, it is left in Congress’ hands.
“Assuming that Trump would combat any effort to remove him from office, it does seem like this would be a lengthy process. Congress is not all on the same page about this.” Meagher told 8News.
Meagher said because of that lengthy process, it is unlikely a decision would be made before President-Elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.
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