United States Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday rejected a resolution calling on him to remove President Donald Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment, over his role in inciting the violence at the Capitol last week, The New York Times reported.
His public rejection of the resolution guarantees an imminent impeachment vote against the president. The House will vote on Wednesday, according to AFP.
“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, referring to the clause that would declare Trump unable to fulfill his duties and install Pence as acting president for the remainder of the term. “I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment.”
The Democrats had on Monday formally introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with “incitement to insurrection” for his speech that set the violence at the Capitol in motion. Trump had urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, as the house convened to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
The president had called the efforts to impeach him for the second time the “continuation of the greatest witch hunt” in the history of politics. He also refused to take responsibility for the violence that took place at the US Capitol, claiming that his speech to his supporters before the incident was “totally appropriate”.
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On January 7, hundreds of supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol complex in Washington DC, and clashed with the police as members of the Congress met to certify the results of the 2020 presidential elections, which Biden won. Five people died in the violence. At least 68 were arrested.
The incident triggered shock and outrage across the world. Several White House officials tendered resignations following the incident, while the demands for Trump’s removal from the top office grew.
After the violence, however, Trump conceded defeat to Biden. For months, he peddled election conspiracy theories and claimed that the presidential poll had been rigged.
The Democrats had moved to impeach Trump in 2019 also for pressuring the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to dig up political dirt on Biden. He was, however, acquitted by the Senate, where the Republican Party had the majority.