In a letter Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Mike Pence said he will not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office.
"I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution," Pence said in the one-page letter.
Calls for the vice president and the Cabinet to exercise the 25th Amendment came following last week’s deadly pro-Trump uprising at the U.S. Capitol. Both Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with several lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, have expressed support for the action.
"I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid action that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment," he wrote. "Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States."
Pelosi said last Friday she would move forward with an unprecedented second impeachment of Trump if Pence and the Cabinet did not remove the president themselves. It’s expected the House will vote for impeachment as early as Wednesday, with some Republicans confirming they'd vote in favor.
That includes Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the third-highest ranking House Republican, who said Tuesday there's "never been a greater betrayal" by a president. Just Monday, Republicans blocked a House resolution calling on Pence to invoke the amendment.
Addressing his role in the siege for the first time Tuesday, the president said his remarks at a rally before the incident were "totally appropriate," and showed no remorse for the attack. He took no questions from the media.
Five people were killed as a result of the riot, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.