Vice President Mike Pence has rejected calls to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare US President Donald Trump unfit for office. In a letter to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Pence said that such a course of action would "set a terrible precedent". With just a week left of Trump's presidency, Pence said he would not engage in "political games".
Pence went on to say that the government is now fixing its attention on an "orderly transition" to the next administration under president Biden, before quoting the Bible to drive his point home.
"The Bible says that ‘for everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven … a time to heal, … and a time to build up.’ That time is now," he wrote. "In the midst of a global pandemic, economic hardship for millions of Americans, and the tragic events of January 6, now is the time for us to come together, now is the time to heal."
With the House set to hold a vote on Wednesday to decide whether or not to advance impeachment proceedings against President Trump, Pence urged Pelosi to "avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment".
"Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States," he concluded. "I pledge to you that I will continue to do my part to work in good faith with the incoming administration to ensure an orderly transition of power. So help me God."
Due to the Democrats' House majority, the vote to impeach Trump on charges relating to incitement of insurrection is likely to pass. The case would then be passed to the Senate, where a trial would be held to determine the president's guilt. Given that many Republican lawmakers have turned on the President following the storming of the US Capitol, there is a real possibility that the impeachment process could be successful. Senior Republican House Rep. Liz Cheney said she would back the impeachment, insisting that Trump "summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack".
With Joe Biden's inauguration just a week away, it is unlikely that Trump would be tried and convicted prior to leaving office. However, the Senate could use an impeachment trial to hold a vote which would prohibit Trump from ever running for office again.