Although many Democrats, and even some Republicans, are calling on President Donald Trump to be forcibly removed from office, several officials are pushing back.
He reportedly left Schumer and Pelosi on hold for more than 20 minutes when they called his office before a staffer notified the Democrat congressional leaders that he would not pick up, Schumer said.
“Not happening,” said an adviser close to Pence when asked about the increased calls for him to replace Trump using the unprecedented method intended for relieving a president incapacitated due to a medical emergency.
The New York Times later confirmed the news, reporting that a person close to the Vice President said Pence would not invoke the 25th Amendment with less than two weeks until Biden’s inauguration, especially not now that Trump has conceded.
Several other members of Trump’s Cabinet support Pence’s decision, according to Business Insider, because they believe the move could cause further instability.
Pence’s team is also worried that removing Trump from office could hurt the vice president’s future political aspirations.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who has been vocally critical of Trump’s role in Wednesday’s Capitol rioting, agreed that removing Trump from office is a bad idea.
Trump’s legacy might have been “tarnished” by the events that occurred on Jan. 6, he said, but “at this point” there is no point in stopping Trump from finishing his term.
“The president needs to understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution. The rally yesterday was unseemly—it got out of hand,” Graham said.
“But I do not believe that’s appropriate at this point,” he continued. “I’m looking for a peaceful transfer of power. If something else happens all options would be on the table.”
Even former national security adviser John Bolton, who has been at odds with Trump ever since he was ousted from the White House, argued against removing him from office.
“For anybody to advocate removing him from office or trying to remove him from office, they have to be able to prove that the effort would make things better,” Bolton told The Hill. “And I’m not denying the problem that exists, but I don’t think there’s any real logic to either alternative measured against the question would it make things better.”
Bolton said Section Four of the 25th Amendment, which would allow Trump’s Cabinet members to oust him, is “probably the worst written provision of the Constitution,” and cautioned it could create additional problems.
“It has never been used before, and the idea that you’re going to try to trigger it now for the first time and risk having two presidents simultaneously I just think is a fool’s errand,” he said.
For example, if Pence did act against Trump and gain the Cabinet’s approval, Trump could just turn around and fire those Cabinet members and replace them with loyalists, Bolton explained.
“And that even assumes that Pence could do this and not have it leak,” Bolton said. “Which would make it the first effort in the entire Trump administration that didn’t leak.”
Furthermore, removing Trump from office would put the U.S.’s national security at risk, Bolton added.
“It gives aid and comfort to our adversaries internationally, too. And the same would be true with the impeachment effort,” Bolton continued. “So, you’re going to make Pence president for six days, seven days. Really? What does that achieve exactly?”