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Lawmakers propose removing Trump from office, enacting 25th Amendment

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Posted at 3:25 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 18:35:03-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KERO) — In light of Wednesday’s riots on Capitol Hill, some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have floated the idea of removing President Donald Trump from office. Just 13 days from the inauguration officials are discussing two possible ways of removing President Trump. One of which is invoking the 25th Amendment.

"The only people who can invoke the 25th Amendment are the Vice President and the Cabinet,” said Allen Bolar, political science professor at Bakersfield College.

The 25th Amendment was ratified in the 60s to allow the vice president to take control in case the president was sick or disabled for a short period of time. It was almost used in 1981 after President Ronald Reagan's assassination attempt. Now lawmakers including Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger, and top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer are encouraging the use of it to remove President Trump in light of Wednesday's Capitol Hill riots.

“He invoked and inflamed passions that only gave fuel to the insurrection that we saw here,” said Kinzinger.

“I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the Vice President to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In order for the 25th Amendment to be invoked, Vice President Mike Pence would have to be on board, and Pence would need a majority of Trump's cabinet to agree the president is unfit for office to temporarily seize power from him. Bolar believes it’s unlikely that the 25th Amendment would successfully be invoked because it would be unlikely for President Trump’s hand-picked cabinet to turn on him.

“It was not made to simply replace an impeachment process. The impeachment process that is used if a president is violating the law,” added Bolar.

“If the vice president and cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment,” said Pelosi.

At least seven Trump administration officials have resigned since the events in Washington, including U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. President Trump was also banned from Facebook for at least the remainder of his term, and Twitter temporarily suspended him overnight Wednesday. But some question whether it’s worth it to remove the president even though he has less than two weeks remaining in office.

“Two weeks is still a lot of time. And if people are worried about danger from the president, then they should act. But I do think there is going to be a lot of people who will say, let's just wait, let's just let this go, and then we’ll let it ride out,” said Bolar.

Bolar says no president has ever been removed from office because of the 25th Amendment. And no president has ever technically been removed by impeachment either, President Nixon resigned before he could be removed. President Trump would be the first president to be impeached twice.