TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - After the chaos in the Capitol on Wednesday, leaders on both sides of the aisle are talking about ways to remove President Trump from power.
The first, and probably quicker option, is invoking the 25th Amendment.
“It’s never really been used in sort of the way we’re considering collectively it to be used now,” said Chris Weber, Associate Professor of Political Science in the University of Arizona School of Government and Public Policy. “The amendment states that if a President is unable to discharge the duties of office, that president can be removed by the Vice President, along with the majority of cabinet members.”
In the past the 25th Amendment has been used for a temporary transfer of power, when presidents underwent medical procedures. The president can also object to it, which would then involve Congress and give them 48 hours to meet and decide.
“We’re in kind of uncharted territory with it not only being used for this purpose, but also the proximity to a new administration,” said Weber.
If Vice-President Mike Pence doesn’t invoke the 25th Amendment, leaders like Nancy Pelosi have stated that they will move to impeach President Trump. While Weber thinks adopting the articles of impeachment would move quickly in the House, he’s not sure about the trial in the Senate.
″It’s unclear how quickly Mitch McConnell would push this and certainly if members wanted to drag their feet they possibly could, given that we’re talking about a less than 2 week window,” said Weber.
While it’s yet to be seen what action, if any, is taken against the president, Weber said yesterday’s event was inexcusable and an act of terrorism, and should be treated as such.
“In my mind, it does rise to that level of a very, very serious threat to American democracy,” said Weber.
The 25th Amendment wouldn’t stop President Trump from running for office in the future. If impeached and convicted, it would be up to Congress to decide if he would be disqualified from holding office.