Following the stunning turn of events on Wednesday at the Capitol, when Trump supporters stormed the building and ran amok, ransacking offices including that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrats decided to seek that Vice President invoke the 25th Amendment.
Among the 17 lawmakers seeking that the President be removed on grounds of incapacitation is Rep Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.).
Rep David Cicilline (D-RI) shared on Twitter the letter he and his House colleagues wrote with the demand. In the letter, the Representatives claim that President Donald Trump has “repeatedly shown time and again that he is unwilling to protect our democracy and carry out the duties of the office.” The letter said Trump “remained silent” as “insurrectionists broke windows, threatened US Capitol police, and seized the walls of the Capitol.”
In addition to Cicilline, the letter was signed by Reps. Cori Bush (Mo.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Madeleine Dean (Pa.), Ted Deutch (Fla.), Veronica Escobar (Texas), Mary Gay Scanlon (Pa.), Sylvia Garcia (Texas), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), Mondaire Jones (N.Y.), Ted Lieu (Calif.), Lucy McBath (Ga.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Joe Neguse (Colo.) and Jamie Raskin (Md.).
The 25th Amendment to the Constitution deals with the President’s health and ability to function. Section 4 of the Amendment, in particular, contemplates the case of an incapacitated president who is unable or unwilling to execute the voluntary declaration contemplated in Section 3; it is the amendment’s only section that has never been invoked. It allows the vice president, together with a “majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide”, to declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties” of their office in a written declaration. The transfer of authority to the vice president is immediate, and (as with Section 3) the vice president becomes acting president – not president – while the president remains in office, albeit divested of all authority.