Yesterday, the U.S. House called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment in order to remove President Donald Trump from office. Supported by Texas Democrats, the vote was passed 223-205.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) introduced the resolution and its passage was split along party lines. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) was the only Republican lawmaker to vote in favor. The resolution cited Trump’s role in inciting “a massive violent invasion of the United States Capitol” after the president summoned his supporters to Washington to protest the certification of the Electoral College vote formalizing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Pence’s invocation of the 25th Amendment would allow the vice president to convene the president’s cabinet and for a majority to declare that “the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
The resolution asked Pence “to immediately use his powers under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments in the Cabinet to declare what is obvious to a horrified Nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office.”
Texas lawmakers aligned with their parties; 21 Republicans voted no on both articles while all 13 Democrats voted yes. Republican Reps. Dan Crenshaw and Kay Granger did not vote.
Before the largely symbolic vote, Pence rejected the call to wrest Trump from power. His letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) effectively confirmed the House’s impeachment proceedings.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our constitution,” he wrote. “I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment. Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.” He added that invoking the amendment “would set a terrible precedent.”
Moments later, Pelosi announced the team of House impeachment managers who would prosecute the case against Trump in the Senate. The team includes Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-R).