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In a bombastic letter, Mike Pence has officially rejected a plan to oust Donald Trump and instead savagely attacked the Democrats. Sam Clench and Ben Grahamnews.com.au January 12, 2021 5:45PM LIVE Last updated January 13, 2021 1:18PM AEDT In a bombastic letter, Mike Pence has officially rejected a plan to oust Donald Trump and instead…

In a bombastic letter, Mike Pence has officially rejected a plan to oust Donald Trump and instead savagely attacked the Democrats.

Sam Clench and Ben Graham

news.com.au

January 12, 2021 5:45PM

LIVE

Last updated January 13, 2021 1:18PM AEDT

In a bombastic letter, Mike Pence has officially rejected a plan to oust Donald Trump and instead savagely attacked the Democrats.
 
 

Democrats were calling on him to use the 25th Amendment to remove Mr Trump from power, but Mr Pence said he would not do it and told the Democrats to back down. He accused them of playing “political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation”.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mr Pence said the 25th Amendment should not be used “as a means of punishment or usurpation” – rather it should be reserved for cases of medical or mental incapacitation.

“Now with just eight days left in the President’s term, you and Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment. I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote.

He said he will not “yield to political pressure to exert pressure beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation.”

He also wrote that invoking the 25th Amendment “in such a manner would set a terrible precedent.”

He urged Ms Pelosi and all members of Congress to “lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden.”

Meanwhile it’s expected roughly 20 Republicans in the House of Representatives expected to vote to impeach Donald Trump.

Three Senior Republicans in the House have already broken ranks this morning saying they will vote against the president tomorrow. 

However, White House officials who spoke to both CNN and Fox News now expect as many as 20 or more Republicans to vote for impeachment.

One of CNN’s sources says 10 and 25 House GOP members will defect from President Trump. Fox reports there could be up to 20 defections.

Republican Conference chair Liz Cheney – the third-ranking GOP leader in the House –  said she will vote to impeach Mr Trump saying there’s “never been a greater betrayal” by a president.

Last time Mr Trump was impeached, the vote had no support from Republicans.

Meanwhile, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the group of the most senior uniformed leaders at the Pentagon, have condemned the riot at the Capitol as a “direct assault” on Congress and the constitutional process.

The statement – issued to the entire U.S. military – is extraordinary because the chiefs usually stay out of politics, and they are essentially asking to them to go against the president’s rhetoric and uphold democracy in the United States.

“As Service Members, we must embody the embody the values and ideals of the Nation. We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values, and oath; it is against the law,” the statement said.

Mr Trump has made his first public appearance since last week’s riot in Washington D.C., insisting the speech he gave to supporters just before they stormed the Capitol was “totally appropriate”.

“So if you read my speech – and many people have done it, and I’ve seen it both in the papers and in the media, on television. It’s been analysed, and people thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Mr Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One this morning.

Read on for the latest news.

Live Updates


Andrew Backhouse

A QAnon activist and Trump supporter, who was pictured in the US Capitol shirtless in a horned bearskin headdress, is refusing to eat in prison unless he is given organic food, his mother said on Monday, echoing the complaints of the man’s public defender.

Gerald Williams, the lawyer for Jacob Anthony Chansley, who goes by Jake Angeli, told the court during a virtual hearing that his client had not eaten since he turned himself over to the FBI on Saturday because he has restrictive dietary needs, Fox News reports.

Read more


Benjamin Graham

Vice President Mike Pence is ruling out invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from power.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mr Pence said it should not be used “as a means of punishment or usurpation” – rather it should be reserved for cases of medical or mental incapacitation.

“Now with just eight days left in the President’s term, you and Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment. I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote.

He said he will not “yield to political pressure to exert pressure beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation.”

He also wrote that invoking the 25th Amendment “in such a manner would set a terrible precedent.”

He urged Ms Pelosi and all members of Congress to “lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden.”

Ms Pelosi has said if Mr Pence rejects use of the 25th Amendment, the House will move to impeach him.


Benjamin Graham

By AFP

Donald Trump’s disastrous final weeks in office prompted a tanking of support from the US Senate’s establishment Republicans, but loyalists in the House are mounting a defiant last stand – and signalling that Trumpism may be here to stay.
A Praetorian guard of sorts is standing firm in the lower chamber, backing Trump’s baseless allegations of widespread election fraud and his futile, ten-week quest to overturn Joe Biden’s White House victory.
Their mission: to protect Mr Trump’s legacy, delegitimize the Biden presidency, and ensure that Mr Trump’s populist appeal can carry over beyond his term, even as other Republicans went on record that they will vote to impeach the president.
“I think President Trump has been the leader of the party and will continue to be a leader of the party,” ultra-loyalist congressman Jim Jordan told AFP as he left a committee hearing Tuesday ahead of critical votes on efforts to remove the president from office.
“Of course he’s going to have a huge influence.”

The far-right rebels include gun-toting lawmaker Lauren Boebert from Rifle, Colorado and Q Anon conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia, both young first-term congresswomen who rode to election victory pledging fealty to the president.


Benedict Brook

One of the US President’s fiercest defenders now “hates” Donald Trump and has said he won’t speak to him again.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reported to have told colleagues he is “pleased” the impeachment process is happening as it will allow the Republicans to be “purged” of Mr Trump’s influence.

According to the New York Times, he is said to have been enraged by the President’s lacklustre comments following the mob attack.

Read more


Benjamin Graham

In a devastating blow to Donald Trump, White House officials reportedly expect as many as 20 or more Republicans to vote for impeachment in the House of Representatives.

Three are on record as saying they will vote against the president, but both CNN and Fox News have spoken to officials who say there will be a lot more.

One of CNN’s sources says 10 and 25 House GOP members will defect from President Trump.

Fox reports there could be up to 20 more defections.

.@RepKinzinger joins @RepLizCheney , both of whom say they will vote in favor of impeachment. The White House says it expects 10-20, possible more defections.

— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) January 12, 2021

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Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff told CNN an “earthquake” is underfoot in Republican party as members turn their backs on the President.


Benjamin Graham

The final version of the single impeachment article being filed against President Trump has been released.

It’s called “Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanours.”

“Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law,” it reads

“Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honour, trust, or profit under the United States.”

The House of Representatives will vote on it tomorrow.


Benjamin Graham

Donald Trump could see a “considerable” number of Republicans turn on him in tomorrow’s impeachment vote – after three senior party members jumped ship this morning.

Democratic Rep Adam Schiff told CNN said the decision by Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, to turn on Mr Trump could spell bad news for the president.

He said he expected many Republicans to follow her.

“These things have a way of gathering momentum,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised now to see a considerable number of Republicans join in supporting the impeachment resolution.”


Benjamin Graham

Adam Kinzinger has become the third House Republican to break with the outgoing president – saying he will vote to impeach President Trump.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection,” he said in a statement.

“He used his position in the Executive to attack the Legislative. So in assessing the articles of impeachment brought before the House, I must consider: if these actions –the Article II branch inciting a deadly insurrection against the Article I branch — are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?”

“I will vote in favour of impeachment,” he said.


Benjamin Graham

Republican Conference chair Liz Cheney said she will vote to impeach Donald Trump, saying there’s “never been a greater betrayal” by a president.

In a statement, she said: “On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes.

“This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic.

“Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.

“None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence.

“He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.
I will vote to impeach the President.”

BREAKING: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) becomes the second Republican to announce support for Trump’s impeachment, following Rep. John Katko (R-NY).

— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) January 12, 2021

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Benjamin Graham

Republican John Katko has become the first Republican member of the House of Representatives to come out in favour of impeaching President Trump.

“It cannot be ignored that President Trump encouraged this insurrection – both on social media ahead of January 6th, and in his speech that day… he refused to promptly and forcefully call it off, putting countless lives in danger,” he said in a statement.

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— Rep. John Katko (@RepJohnKatko) January 12, 2021

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