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Trump cabinet member on 25th Amendment: 'We're not doing it,' says Trump wants smooth transition

"It's off the table because it's used for a specific purpose," said a Trump cabinet member. "It's not used because you don't like somebody."

Published: January 7, 2021 7:21pm

Updated: January 8, 2021 9:43am

Members of President Trump's Cabinet have no plans to invoke the 25th Amendment and strip him of presidential powers early, a member of Trump's cabinet confirmed to Just the News on Thursday.

"We're not doing it," said the cabinet secretary, who commented anonymously due to the sensitive nature of the topic

Many congressional Democrats and GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois have called for Trump to be removed prior to Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration day ceremonies.

Under the 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967 following President John F. Kennedy's assassination, the vice president, together with a majority of Cabinet members, may declare a president "unable to discharge the powers and duties" of the presidency, resulting in the vice president immediately becoming acting president.

John Kelly, Trump's former chief of staff, told CNN Thursday that if he were still in Trump's Cabinet, he'd vote to invoke the 25th Amendment. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday joined Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in calling on Vice President Mike Pence to act, saying Trump "invited an armed insurrection against the United States of America" following deadly riots in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

"If the vice president and Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment," Pelosi said. "If he wants to be unique and be doubly impeached, that's kind of up to him and his Cabinet as to whether he should stay in office."

However, Pelosi "can't call for the 25th amendment," noted the Trump Cabinet member. "The 25th amendment is called for by the vice president and the Cabinet. It has nothing to do with the Speaker of the House."

Invoking the 25th Amendment is "off the table because it's used for a specific purpose," the Cabinet member told Just the News. "It's not used because you don't like somebody. It's used because they're incompetent ... or if they are mentally incapacitated for some reason, but not just because you don't like them."

"If they impeach him, or if they invoke the 25th Amendment, it potentially has a negative impact on his ability to run again in the future, which I think may be the actual motive," the Cabinet member concluded. "With less than two weeks, you wouldn't really have any other good motives."

Early Thursday morning, President Trump released a statement through his social media editor Dan Scavino. "Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th," the president said. "I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!"

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Trump reiterated his support for an orderly transition of power in a video released by the White House on Thursday evening. 

"I continue to strongly believe that we must reform our election laws to verify the identity and eligibility of all voters, and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections," Trump said in the video. "Now, Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation."

The Cabinet member said Trump's statement Thursday morning acknowledging Biden's victory provided assurance that Trump would be committed to a smooth transition of power.

"He plans on being cooperative for the transition," the Cabinet member continued. "And all the agencies are being cooperative for the transition."

"He's made it very clear that he doesn't agree" with the election result, he continued. "But, it is what it is."

Two Cabinet members and several White House officials have resigned following the violent intrusion into the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon when Pence declined to challenge the Electoral College certification of Biden's victory in the presidential election.

First Lady Melania Trump's chief of staff Stephanie Grisham, Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews and White House Social Secretary Anna Cristina "Rickie" Niceta all resigned on Wednesday following the riots.

On Thursday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigned. Chao, wife of outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, was the first to leave President Trump's Cabinet since the tumultuous events at the Capitol. 

She was followed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who announced her resignation Thursday night. 

"We should be highlighting and celebrating your Administration's many accomplishments on behalf of the American people," DeVos wrote in a resignation letter to the president. "Instead we are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protesters overrunning the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people's business. That behavior was unconscionable for our country. There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me."

Trump's former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Ryan Tully, the top European and Russian policy official on the National Security Council, also resigned on Thursday.

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