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US VP Pence rejects invoking 25th Amendment to oust Trump

Meanwhile, top House Republicans told rank-and-file lawmakers they won’t be pressuring them to vote a particular way when the chamber considers impeaching Trump for a second time

The president faces a single impeachment charge, incitement to insurrection, for his actions surrounding the mob attack on the Capitol. President Donald Trump hands copies of his speech to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and VP Mike Pence during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 4, 2020. (AP) US Vice President Mike Pence told House leaders he does not support invoking the 25th Amendment process to remove Donald Trump, all but guaranteeing an imminent impeachment vote against the president.

“With just eight days left in the President's term, you and the Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment,” Pence wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, referring to the process that would declare Trump unable to fulfill his duties and install Pence as acting president for the remainder of the term.

“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” he said, hours before the House was to vote on a measure calling on him to initiate the 25th Amendment process or risk an impeachment vote against Trump.

The president faces a single impeachment charge, incitement to insurrection, for his actions surrounding the mob attack on the Capitol, the worst domestic assault on the building in the nation’s history.

But the House pressed swiftly forward toward impeachment or other steps to forcibly remove Trump from office, even as Trump blamed Democratic foes and not himself for last week’s deadly attack on the Capitol.

Group of House Republicans wants Trump censured

A group of moderate House Republicans has introduced a resolution to censure Trump for his role in last week’s attack at the Capitol and for “attempting to unlawfully overturn the 2020 presidential election.”

The group, led by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, said in a statement Tuesday that they believe Democrats’ push to impeach the president for a second time is unrealistic and would likely result in acquittal by the Senate.

Instead, they said they believe the House and Senate should censure Trump to ensure that Congress “can unite to hold the president accountable.”

Majority Democrats will begin consideration of the impeachment resolution on Wednesday, one week after hundreds of angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building. The mob was echoing Trump’s baseless claims that there was widespread fraud in the election and invaded the building as Congress was counting the electoral votes that confirmed Democrat Joe Biden’s win.

Republicans signing on to the resolution include Fitzpatrick, New York Rep. Tom Reed, California Rep. Young Kim, Utah Rep. John Curtis and Michigan Reps. Fred Upton and Peter Meijer.

Meanwhile, top House Republicans told rank-and-file lawmakers they won’t be pressuring them to vote a particular way when the chamber considers impeaching Trump for a second time.

That word came as GOP divisions emerge over Democrats’ plan for a House vote Wednesday

It underscores that GOP leaders would likely have little clout anyway to force lawmakers’ hands on what may be a career-defining vote as the party decides where it stands in the post-Trump era.

Rep. John Katko was the first Republican to say he’ll vote to impeach President Donald Trump following the deadly siege of the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

pic.twitter.com/DwKqkxhZw4

Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) January 12, 2021 Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump climb a wall during a protest against the certification of the 2020 presidential election results by the Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, US on January 6, 2021. (Reuters) Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger said in a statement Tuesday that Trump is responsible for whipping up “an angry mob” that stormed the Capitol last week, leaving five dead. He says “there is no doubt in my mind” that Trump “broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection.”

Most Republicans seem ready to vote against impeachment, but some, perhaps around 10, are expected to approve the move. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy opposes impeachment.

Democrats have a 222-211 House majority, and the chamber seems certain to vote to impeach.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney says she will also vote to impeach Trump.

The Wyoming congresswoman, the No. 3 Republican in the House, said in a statement Tuesday that Trump “summoned” the mob that attacked the Capitol last week, “assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.” She says, “Everything that followed was his doing.”

She also notes that Trump could have immediately intervened to stop his supporters, but he did not.

Cheney says, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

Cheney is a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies