NJ Top News 1/7 – How Trump Could be Removed From Office Early
President Trump now says he is committed to a peaceful transition of power.
The statement came after armed Trump supporters breached the nation's capitol on Wednesday. The insurrection left four people dead.
Calm has been restored and Congress reconvened overnight to certify Joe Biden's election victory. Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. Could Trump be removed from office before then? The short answer is yes, but it would not be easy.
Following Wednesday's riots, there were renewed calls for Trump's removal using the 25th Amendment. Some Democratic lawmakers have called for the extreme action, but they have been joined by a powerful lobbying group. The National Association of Manufacturers called for the president's ouster before his term ends to "preserve democracy." In a statement following the violent riots in our nations capitol, group president Jay Timmons declared, "This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and should be treated as such.”
The 25th Amendment was passed in Congress in 1965 following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and it provides a mechanism for the removal of a president. Vice President Mike Pence would have to declare Trump is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office," and then get at least half of Trump's cabinet members to agree. He would then notify congressional leaders. At that point, Pence would become president.
There have been reports that members of Trump's cabinet are "considering" the action and several top Trump aides are pondering a resignation.
However, this also assumes Trump would go along with the scenario, which seems unlikely. The 25th Amendment allows the president to reclaim power by simply declaring, in writing, his ability to do the job. If Pence and cabinet members still object, Congress would then have to vote to remove Trump and two-thirds of House and Senate members would have to vote yes. Congress has 21 days to act. Trump has just 13 days remaining in office.
Trump's relationship with his vice president is certainly strained. In a series of private meetings, he demanded Pence use his power as president of the Senate to deny Biden the presidency. On Twitter, he called on Pence to show "extreme courage." Pence repeatedly told Trump he did not have the authority to do that, and in the end, it was Pence who declared Biden the winner of the election. Despite that, it is unlikely Pence would take the extreme step of invoking the 25th given the limited time remaining.
More NJ Top News:
- Congress formally certifies Joe Biden as the 46th president following hours of rioting at the capitol by Trump supporters.
- Trump now says he is committed to an orderly transition of power.
- Gov. Murphy sends 50 NJ State Troopers to D.C. to help keep the peace.
- Twitter has frozen President Trump's official account, and could ban him entirely.
- The FBI is now asking anyone who knows anything to fill out an anonymous on-line tip sheet.
- We could be seeing a post-holiday spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in New Jersey. New cases and hospitalizations are rising.
- Police officers and firefighters are now eligible to get the COVID vaccine.
- Almost half a million N.J. residents have already pre-registered to get their vaccine doses.
- How long will it take to declare the pandemic over in N.J.?
- If you are collecting unemployment, new supplemental benefits will begin arriving in your account next week.
- Belmar's annual St. Patrick's day parade has been cancelled. Should it have been?