Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill) called for the 25th Amendment to be invoked Thursday. A day after violent riots unfolded on the grounds the U.S. Capitol that left four people dead and interrupted a joint session of Congress as they certified the Electoral Votes for the 2020 presidential election.
The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution says that if the President becomes unable to do his job, the Vice President becomes the President. This can happen temporarily, if the President is just sick or disabled, but in this case would be for the remainder of President Trump’s term that’ll end on Jan. 20.
The amendment was proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. It puts in places a solid procedure for replacing the president or vice president in the “event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.”
Kinzinger is the first Republican to publicly call for vice president Mike Pence to take over the office of the presidency. Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also said Trump needs to leave office.
“This president should not hold office one day longer,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement Thursday.
“The quickest and most effective way — it can be done today — to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”
According to ABC News, “There have been discussions among some members of Trump’s Cabinet and his allies over invoking the 25th Amendment, a potential vehicle for removing the president from office, multiple sources with direct knowledge of the discussions.”
“It’s unclear how extensive these conversations have been or whether Vice President Mike Pence is supportive of such action. Many were horrified by Wednesday’s violence at the Capitol as well as Trump’s apparent lack of urgency in marshaling resources to stop the mob, the sources said.”
The 25th Amendment has been invoked six times in U.S. history. None to forcibly remove a sitting president. The one time that could’ve happened, but didn’t was in the case of President Richard Nixon with the Watergate scandal. He resigned on Aug. 9, 1974 before being removed from office. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush underwent minor medical procedures and passed the duties of the presidency to their respective vice presidents on three separate occasions.