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SNC professor explains process of 25th Amendment

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 10:48 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - In the wake of riots on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, lawmakers are calling for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office.

“The Vice President and the majority of the cabinet secretaries have to sign up a letter and send it to the President pro tempore of the Senate as well as the Speaker of the House saying that the President is unable to carry out the powers and duties of the Presidency,” said Political Science Professor Wendy Scattergood of Saint Norbert College.

Sending the letter would put Pence at helm of the Country, but reports from CNN indicate the VP does not support this action.

“The Aids and certainly the cabinet members are going to be watching very closely to see what they think they have this option; but I mean, that’s very much a last resort,” said Scattergood.

If Pence does decide to invoke the 25th Amendment, President Trump would be able to counter the action, sending a letter indicating he is in-fact fit to be President.

Then it would be up to Congress to decide. That could take as long as 21 days to get to a vote, and both houses would have to vote by a two-thirds margin to remove the President.

Scattergood says no matter what plays out, understanding the processes can help curb misinformation.

“It matters that we understand what the job of the President is; that we know that we understand, particularly with regard to those folks that stormed the Capitol building yesterday [Wednesday], that we have due process of law,” said Scattergood.

Several Wisconsin Democratic Lawmakers took to Twitter Thursday, calling on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Action 2 News also reached out to Representative Mike Gallagher’s office. His staff provided us with this statement:

“More than anything, our country needs reconciliation. The best, most immediate way we can do so is by repeatedly and thoroughly endorsing the peaceful transition of power, and I am glad that President Trump did that in his video statement tonight. The transition – not the removal of the President – should be our priority.”

Some House members are also looking at articles of impeachment.

With only 13 days until President Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, time is running short, but it’s setting the stage for what can happen in the future.

“I think the other big effect of course, is on our trust in government overall. The less that we trust them, the more likely we are to have hits more hits to democracy,” said Scattergood.

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