Vice President Mike Pence announced that he will not seek to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office with just days remaining in his term. Pence sent a notice to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi late Tuesday evening.
In the letter, Pence explicitly condemned the Capitol Hill riots of last week, calling them "tragic" and "horrific." He praised Pelosi and other Congressional leaders for reconvening Congress the same day of the siege to "complete the people's business."
Still, he disagreed with Pelosi and her fellow Democrats on the matter of removing President Trump from office, saying that such a move is not "in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution."
Pence pointed Pelosi back to her own statements acknowledging the true intent of the 25th Amendment to be addressing "Presidential incapacity or disability."
"Just a few months ago, when you introduced legislation to create a 25th Amendment Commission, you said, ‘[a] President's fitness for office must be determined by science and facts.'" Pence wrote. "You said then that we must be ‘[v]ery respectful of not making a judgment on the basis of a comment or behavior that we don't like, but based on a medical decision.' Madam Speaker, you were right. Under our Constitution, the 25th Amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation. Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent."
Pence went on to quote the scriptural teaching that there is "a time for every purpose under heaven," including, "a time to heal." The vice president pointed to the global pandemic, economic turmoil, and upheaval of January 6th in declaring, "That time is now."
He discouraged Pelosi and her allies from engaging in actions that "would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment," and instead work to "lower the temperature and unite the country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden."
Pence promised to continue doing his part to "ensure an orderly transition of power."