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DeWine worries invoking 25th Amendment would “add to the division in this country”

In a one-on-one interview with FOX19 NOW, DeWine advised against use of the amendment to remove President Trump
Updated: Jan. 8, 2021 at 8:05 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - As lawmakers continue calls for President Donald Trump’s removal from office, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is cautioning use of the 25th Amendment.

The amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare the president unfit for office. The vice president then becomes acting president.

“I would just say, without saying whether that should be made or not, we are 12 days away from President Trump leaving office,” DeWine said in a one-on-one interview with FOX19 NOW’s Trevor Peters. “I’m afraid that if that 25th Amendment is invoked, it is going to add to the division in this country.”

>> EXPLAINER: Transfer of power under 25th Amendment

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment allows the vice president and a majority of the president’s cabinet to remove a sitting president if they deem he or she is unable to discharge his or her duties. Procedurally, they send a letter to Congress saying so. The vice president then becomes acting president.

The president can disagree, sending his or her own letter to Congress. The vice president and a cabinet majority have four days to send another letter of their own. Congress then has 21 days to vote on the issue, with a two-thirds majority in each chamber required lest the president resumes power.

During that 25-day period, the vice president would continue to serve as the acting president, giving the Amendment teeth in this instance if the goal is simply to unseat a potentially dangerous president for the final duration of his presidency.

Vice President Mike Pence has so far given no indication he will seek to invoke the Amendment.

>> Biden calls Trump ‘unfit’ but doesn’t endorse impeachment

Democrats laid out plans Friday to impeachment following Wednesday’s deadly Capitol Hill violence. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she had spoken to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing an “unhinged” Trump from ordering a nuclear strike in his final days.

Pelosi says impeachment proceedings could begin in the House as soon as Monday.

Dozens of lawmakers, including Ohio’s Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, have called for Trump’s removal.

“What we really need to see is the transition just take place,” said DeWine.

DeWine said Thursday at his coronavirus briefing that Trump’s comments to supporters ahead of the violence “started a fire that has threatened to burn down our democracy.”

The governor co-chaired President Trump’s Ohio campaign in 2020. DeWine dissembled when we asked if he would support the president in the future, should he decide to run for office.

“Future elections are a long way off,” said DeWine. “I have an election of my own to deal with in a couple years. I’m going to focus on that.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic. My focus every day is on getting us out of this. I think 2021 is going to be a great year in Ohio, a year of recovery. We have a couple of tough months ahead of us. I look to the future getting our economy back, getting people back working.”

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