What is the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution and can it be invoked to remove Donald Trump from office?



Members of Donald Trump’s cabinet have reportedly discussed the possibility of removing the US president from office after his supporters stormed the Capitol.

The discussions focused on the 25th amendment to the US Constitution, which allows for a president’s removal by the vice president and cabinet if he is judged “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”.

CNN quoted unnamed Republican leaders saying the 25th amendment had been discussed, saying they had described Trump as “out of control”.

On Jan 7, Republican US Representative Adam Kinzinger joined calls for the 25th Amendment to be invoked to remove Mr Trump from office.

“All indications are that the president has become unmoored, not just from his duty or even his oath, but from reality itself,” Mr Kinzinger said in a video he posted on Twitter.

Mr Kingzinger said he was acting alone but would not be surprised if other Republicans followed him.

Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, issued a statement on Sunday Jan 10 announcing she would give Mike Pence, Vice President, 24 hours to begin the process to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr Trump from office. If he chooses not to, the House will begin impeachment proceedings.

While it is unlikely Mr Pence would invoke the 25th Amendment, according to CNN sources, the vice president has not ruled it out and wants to preserve the option in case Mr Trump becomes “more unstable”.

It is not the first time during his presidency that the amendment has been mentioned in relation to Mr Trump. 

Two years ago, an explosive account from a senior official of Mr Trump’s administration claimed the cabinet were so worried by the president’s erratic, impulsive behaviour they discussed using the 25th amendment to remove him from power. 

Published in the New York Times, the anonymous op-ed revealed that senior figures considered deploying the extreme measure to oust the president.





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