The House is voting on a resolution calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. But this afternoon, before the vote happened, Pence sent Speaker Pelosi a letter saying he won’t be doing that.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote. He continued, “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 yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games in a times so serious in the life of our Nation.”
In a subsequent paragraph, Pence added, “Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent.” He also called on Pelosi to “avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment.”
Here’s an image of the full letter:
JUST IN: In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Pence said he will not invoke the 25th Amendment, saying it would “set a terrible precedent.”
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) January 13, 2021
Pence is staking out a reasonable middle ground here but from what I see no one on the left cares. They are calling him a coward and worse. Speaking of name-calling, this afternoon the NY Times published a piece about just how hard Trump was pushing him to “be a patriot” and reject the certified results of the vote.
In a series of meetings, the president had pressed relentlessly, alternately cajoling and browbeating him. Finally, just before Mr. Pence headed to the Capitol to oversee the electoral vote count last Wednesday, Mr. Trump called the vice president’s residence to push one last time.
“You can either go down in history as a patriot,” Mr. Trump told him, according to two people briefed on the conversation, “or you can go down in history as a pussy.”
The article mentions several legal experts Pence consulted before concluding he had no power to block the vote as Trump wished. Pence was in the Senate Chamber Wednesday when the mob broke into the Capitol. He and his family were evacuated to the basement and his security staff wanted him to leave. Pence refused:
His agents urged him to leave the building, but he refused to abandon the Capitol. From there, he spoke with congressional leaders, the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — but not the president.
A Republican senator later said he had never seen Mr. Pence so angry, feeling betrayed by a president for whom he had done so much.
I don’t blame Pence for being furious. He spent four years praising Trump at every possible opportunity and in the end the President threw him under the bus to the point that some were calling for him to be arrested, tried for treason and shot by a firing squad. Trump should denounce this kind of talk instead of stoking it with tweets that made Pence the reason for his loss.