(Headline USA) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she has spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing an “unhinged” President Donald Trump from ordering military actions, including a possible nuclear strike in his final days and hours at the White House.
Pelosi said — despite no intentions from Trump that he has such an action in mind — in a statement to colleagues that she spoke with Gen. Mark Milley “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes” for nuclear war.
She said Milley assured her longstanding safeguards are in place.
The president has sole authority in the U.S. government to order the launch of a nuclear weapon. But a military commander could refuse the order if it were determined to be illegal. Trump has been making no such threats.
Pelosi said the situation of “this unhinged president could not be more dangerous.”
Democrats do, however, have reason to fear Trump could release declassified intelligence that addresses Obama administration and Hillary Clinton-era State Department actions in which Deep State actors attempted to subvert the Trump administration’s actions and policies.
Pelosi was meeting with the House Democratic caucus Friday to consider impeachment proceedings against the president as soon as next week after the U.S. Capitol was overwhelmed by pro-Trump demonstrators and Antifa agitators that shocked the nation and the world.
Top lawmakers are sounding alarms that even though Trump is to leave office Jan. 20 when Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in, he could do great damage on his way out.
And if Trump were to be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate, he could be prevented from running again for the presidency in 2024 or ever holding public office again. Trump would be only the president twice impeached.
Conviction in the Republican Senate at this late date would seem unlikely. But it’s a measure of his uncomfortable position that fewer Republicans are speaking out against his removal.
One Trump ally, Republican minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, said “impeaching the President with just 12 days left in his term will only divide our country more.”
McCarthy said he reached out to Biden and plans to speak with the Democratic president-elect about working together to “lower the temperature.”
Trump tweeted again after his Twitter account was reinstated, stating that his supporters must not be “disrespected” after he sent out a calmer Thursday video decrying the violence.
Strong criticism of Trump, who urged the protesters to march to the Capitol, continued unabated.
“Every day that he remains in office, he is a danger to the Republic,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, a top orchestrator of the subterfuge against the President.
Schiff, who led Trump’s impeachment in 2019, said in a statement that Trump “lit the fuse which exploded on Wednesday at the Capitol.”
Articles of impeachment are expected to be introduced on Monday, with a House vote as soon as Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the planning and granted anonymity to discuss it.
Pelosi and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer have called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to to force Trump from office. It’s a process for removing the president and installing the vice president to take over.
Biden’s transition spokesman Andrew Bates has said the president-elect is preparing to take office and “will leave it to Vice President Pence, the Cabinet and the Congress to act as they see fit.”
But action by Pence or the Cabinet now appears unlikely, especially after two top officials, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao suddenly resigned in the aftermath of the violence at the Capitol and would no longer be in the Cabinet to make such a case.
Trump had encouraged loyalists at a rally Wednesday at the White House to march to the Capitol peacefully, where Congress was certifying the Electoral College tally of Biden’s election.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.