The House of Representatives is on the cusp of passing a resolution that would ask Vice President Mike Pence to officially deem President Donald Trump unfit for office.
WASHINGTON (CN) — Less than a week after sustaining a barbaric attack by an insurrectionist mob, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote Tuesday night on a resolution to invoke the rarely used 25th Amendment on President Donald Trump.
The resolution is exceedingly likely to pass, but what Vice President Mike Pence will do with it is less certain. Less than a week ago, Pence saw a lawless mob scream for his execution as they ransacked the very seat of the U.S. government.
Introduced Monday by Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the 6-page resolution says it is Pence’s constitutional duty to “declare what is obvious to a horrified nation.”
“The time of emergency has arrived, it has arrived at our doorstep, it has arrived in our chamber,” Raskin told members of the House Rules Committee as they convened Tuesday afternoon to debate and finalize the resolution that will come to a vote after nightfall.
Should the resolution pass, it asks Pence to trigger the process underlying the 25th Amendment and at least consider removal because it was Trump who “widely advertised and broadly encouraged” millions of his followers on Twitter and other social media platforms to visit Washington on Jan. 6 and wreak havoc by disputing election results already determined by the public and the Electoral College.
The House and Senate underwent a “massive violent invasion,” the resolution notes, as they gathered last week to count electoral votes already certified for President-elect Joe Biden.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of dangerous individuals descended on the building, the resolution states, expressly motivated to harm or kill the first three people in succession to the presidency — the vice president, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the President pro tempore of the Senate Chuck Grassley.
Representative Norma Torres, a California Democrat seated on the House Rules Committee, recounted some of those horrors as lawmakers weighed remains of the day. She was one of about a dozen people trapped in the House gallery last week. Torres heard shots fired, watched tear gas billow around her and witnessed a single police officer face down a raging mob without protective equipment.
Her voice began shaking as she called for passage of the resolution.
“If gunfire in the Capitol, in the Speaker’s Lobby, isn’t what you want, do you have the courage to stand up for basic American principles?” she asked, directing her question not just to Pence generally but to Republicans on the committee, like Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, who was adamant Tuesday that he would not support the measure.
Chanting “Hang Mike Pence” and “Where’s Nancy,” the mob terrorized lawmakers, reporters, staff and many law enforcement on site, leaving broken glass and blood as they went. President Trump told his followers via Twitter, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country," while they erected a makeshift gallows outside of the Capitol.
“Trump incited this attack and there should be no question as to what Vice President Pence needs to do right now,” Torres said.
The resolution implores Pence to use the powers his position affords him and, with immediacy, convene the Cabinet to formally declare Trump unfit for office. With the consent of that body — a 15-member advisory council to the president made up of various department heads — Pence would assume the acting presidency after a bit of procedure.