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Pelosi says she's taken steps to prevent Trump from 'using the nuclear codes' and 'ordering' strike

Congress will act if Trump 'does not leave office imminently and willingly,' said the House Speaker.

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House Speaker Pelosi
House Speaker Pelosi
(Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Updated: January 8, 2021 - 1:10pm

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to her House colleagues on Friday detailing efforts to prevent President Trump from "using the nuclear codes" during his final days in office. 

Pelosi also said Congress will "proceed" with removing Trump if he "does not leave office imminently and willingly."

Pelosi explained that she spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to "discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike."

She did not elaborate about Milley's response. 

"The situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy," she also wrote in the letter to colleagues.

Pelosi called on GOP leaders to follow the lead of Republicans during the Watergate era.

"Nearly fifty years ago, after years of enabling their rogue president, Republicans in Congress finally told President Nixon that it was time to go," she wrote. "Today, following the president's dangerous and seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office — immediately. If the president does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action."

Former President Richard Nixon resigned from office in 1974.

Pelosi on Wednesday said the House may move forward with impeachment if Vice President Mike Pence doesn't invoke the 25th Amendment. She said in Friday's letter that Pence hasn't responded to her call.

"There is growing momentum around the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which would allow the vice president and a majority of the cabinet to remove the president for his incitement of insurrection and the danger he still poses," she said. "Yesterday, Leader Schumer and I placed a call with Vice President Pence, and we still hope to hear from him as soon as possible with a positive answer as to whether he and the cabinet will honor their oath to the Constitution and the American people."

Pelosi said protestors swarming the Capitol building on Wednesday "had a great traumatic effect" on members of Congress and congressional employees.  

"I have asked the Attending Physician to provide to members with information about access to counseling," she wrote.

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