President Donald Trump continues to face growing calls for his removal following Wednesday’s violent insurrection at the United States Capitol, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle calling for both impeachment or the invocation of the 25th Amendment.
On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a “Dear Colleague” letter to her fellow Congressmembers, saying she is assessing “available precautions” related to President Trump’s access to the nuclear codes.
“This morning, I 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,” the letter read in part. “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.”
Prominent figures on social media, including 2022 Florida Senate candidate Allen Ellison, had previously raised concerns that the president still had access to the weapons of mass destruction when social media companies like Twitter and Facebook deemed the president’s rhetoric too dangerous to include on their platforms.
Pelosi, who on Thursday said Congress may move forward with impeachment proceedings if Mike Pence does not invoke the 25th Amendment, said in her letter she has not yet received a response from the vice president on the request.
“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 wrote in part, before calling on more of her Republican colleagues to join the cause.
“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.”
Pelosi is meeting with the House Democratic caucus Friday to consider impeachment proceedings against the president.
She and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer have called on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to force Trump from office. It’s a process for removing the president and installing the vice president to take over.
Trump is set to leave Jan. 20 when Democrat Joe Biden is to be inaugurated. The president said Friday that he will not attend Biden's inauguration.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.