‘FAKE NEWS’: Pence team denies anonymous op-ed author claim about 25th Amendment
A spokeswoman for Vice President Mike Pence denied a claim in the upcoming anonymous tell-all book that he considered supporting the use of the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.
“FAKE NEWS,” Pence’s press secretary Katie Waldman tweeted Wednesday evening.
FAKE NEWS. https://t.co/cOB5SXzIG5
— Katie Waldman (@VPPressSec) November 7, 2019
Excerpts from The Warning, written by the anonymous Trump administration official who authored a “resistance” op-ed last year, were reported by the Huffington Post.
High-level White House aides did a tally of Cabinet members they thought would be willing to sign a letter to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment declaring the president unfit to perform his duties. They believed Pence would be in favor of using the 25th Amendment if a majority of the Cabinet agreed to it.
A majority of the Cabinet and the vice president himself would have to sign off on the letter before it got sent to Congress. This would grant Pence the role of acting president.
But the 25th Amendment idea never reached a tangible stage.
In September 2018, the New York Times published an anonymous opinion piece by a senior member of Trump administration who described him or herself as belonging to an internal movement quietly resisting the president. “Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president,” the mystery author wrote. “But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.”
At the time, Pence denied being part of any conversation about invoking the 25th Amendment. “No. Never,” the vice president said during an interview with CBS News.
Other members of Trump’s inner circle reportedly were receptive to the idea of using the 25th Amendment against him in the days after he fired FBI Director James Comey. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein believed then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then-Homeland Security John Kelly could be recruited for such an effort, according to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
The Justice Department sent a warning to the anonymous author’s publisher warning the book may breach “one or more nondisclosure agreements” signed prior to working in the White House, but the release date of the book remains fixed on Nov. 19.
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