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The constitutional fine print gives the cabinet the power to remove a president from office if it sees fit.

But the amendment has never been used in this way before.

Nancy Pelosi has asked Mike Pence to move in to replace Donald Trump.
Nancy Pelosi has asked Mike Pence to move in to replace Donald Trump. (AP)

How does the 25th amendment work?

To remove a president from office, the majority of the cabinet must agree that he “cannot fulfill the powers and duties of his office.”

But he needs the final approval of the vice president, who would take over if the president is removed.

That last detail may sound familiar to fans of the movie. Air Force One, where the 25th the amendment is an important point of the plot.

Mike Pence must agree to remove Donald Trump for the 25th Amendment to go into effect.
Mike Pence must agree to remove Donald Trump for the 25th Amendment to go into effect. (AP)

Then both houses of Congress must vote within 21 days if the president is to be permanently removed.

Given that Joe Biden will be sworn in as president on January 20, that vote will almost certainly not take place.

“I think it is known to jurists as probably the worst drafted provision of the constitution,” Bolton told Today.

“He was never intended to cover a circumstance like this.”

Donald Trump asked his supporters to march on Capitol Hill yesterday.
Donald Trump asked his supporters to march on Capitol Hill yesterday. (AP)

If the intention of the 25th The amendment was to remove presidents if they are physically incapable of governing, it will be difficult to enact if Trump is walking and talking.

“Anyone who argues that the risk of having two competing presidents in the next 13 days is better than where we are now, I think they have a very tough case,” Bolton said.

“I’m a fan of Mike Pence, I’m not sure it’s worth making Mike Pence president for five or six days.”

The most important question is whether the cabinet would accept it.

Impeachment requires two-thirds of the Senate to remove a president, a difficult task.

Trump supporters listen to a speech by the president asking them to march on Congress.
Trump supporters listen to a speech by the president asking them to march on Congress. (AP)

But the 25th The amendment requires half of a select group of people chosen by the president himself.

And at least one of those cabinet members has already resigned in protest.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigned this morning following the Capitol mafia riots.

There is also the question of whether the interim secretaries can vote to remove the president.

Currently, three members of the cabinet, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of National Security and the Attorney General, are all in office.

Nancy Pelosi has called for the 25th Amendment to go into effect, or will initiate impeachment proceedings.
Nancy Pelosi has called for the 25th Amendment to go into effect, or will initiate impeachment proceedings. (AP)

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pressuring the cabinet to enact the 25th.

“I join with the Democratic leader of the Senate in asking the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th amendment,” Pelosi said.

“If the vice president and the cabinet do not act, Congress may be prepared to go ahead with impeachment.”

If last January’s impeachment proceedings are any indication, impeachment of Trump may take a few months.

Ultimately, this would not make sense given that Trump will be ousted from the White House on January 20, whatever happens.

Capitol fenced off after a day of chaos


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