Mike Pompeo & Steven Mnuchin Floated Use Of 25th Amendment After Jan. 6 Capitol Attack
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin considered invoking the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution to remove ex-President Donald Trump from office following the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, according to excerpts from ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl‘s new book, Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, that was published on Tuesday.
Section 4 of the 25th Amendment lays out the framework for the expulsion of a president by his or her Cabinet. It states:
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Trump’s first White House chief of staff, General John Kelly, also told Karl that the Cabinet had a duty to get rid of Trump.
“If I was still there, I would call the Cabinet and start talking about the Twenty-Fifth Amendment,” Kelly said.
Karl “learned that Mnuchin had several conversations about the 25th Amendment and, further, that Mike Pompeo actually asked for a legal analysis of the 25th Amendment and how it would work,” he explained on an appearance on MSNBC on Monday.
“The analysis determined that it would take too much time,” Karl writes in Betrayal, “considering that Trump only had 14 days left in office and any attempt to forcefully remove him would be subject to legal challenge.”
Both Pompeo and Mnuchin refused to speak with Karl, and “Pompeo through a spokesman denied there have ever been conversations around invoking the 25th amendment,” Karl writes. “The spokesman declined to put his name to the statement.”
Karl stressed that “while the discussions did happen, the idea that Trump’s Cabinet would vote to remove him was, in fact, ludicrous.”
Still, other efforts to oust Trump after he attempted to overthrow the federal government were discussed by a select few individuals with the constitutional authority to do so, at least in theory.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) asked then-Vice President Mike Pence to consider forcing Trump out via the 25th Amendment. Pence said he would not consider it.
They also demanded that Trump resign. When he refused, the House of Representatives impeached him for a second time, however, a majority of Senate Republicans voted to acquit him.