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What’s the 25th Amendment and will it get used? Northland expert weighs in

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HIBBING, MN-- After Wednesday's violence at the Capitol, people have been discussing the possibility of removing President Donald Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment.

Added to the U.S. Constitution in 1967, the 25th Amendment has four sections.

The first three sections have been used for replacing Vice Presidents and voluntarily transferring power.

Though Section 4 has never been invoked before, Political Science Instructor at Hibbing Community College Steve Potts said it's not entirely out of the question.

"What if Vice President Pence and the remaining members of the Cabinet after what happened yesterday were to say, 'President Trump is not suited for office.' Could he be removed? The answer is yes," Potts said.

Under Section 4, the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet can submit a letter to Congress if the President is unable or unwilling to fulfill his duties.

In that situation, the Vice President would immediately assume power as acting President.

If the president disagrees with the decision, Congress gets to choose if the Vice President should continue in that position or if the President can resume duties of office. A two-thirds majority vote is required.

Despite its possibility, Potts does not think invoking the 25th Amendment would solve many problems.

"If we saw riots yesterday, if they voted to remove President Trump, I can only imagine what could happen in this country," Potts said.

With less than two weeks until President-elect Joe Biden's Inauguration, timing is another issue.

"I don't think anything is going to happen, but it is the threat that's out there that he could be removed from office," Potts said.

It's a threat that would make history if used.

Pence has not indicated he will invoke the 25th Amendment.

House Democrats circulated a new impeachment resolution draft against President Donald Trump Friday.

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Kendall Jarboe

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