Rep. Joe Neguse On The 25th Amendment: Trump ‘Has No Interest In Ensuring A Peaceful Transfer Of Power’

January 8, 2021
Pro-Trump supporters at the Peace Monument outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Pro-Trump supporters at the Peace Monument outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Joe Wertz/CPR News
Pro-Trump supporters at the Peace Monument outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Despite President Donald Trump having less than two weeks left in office, Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse wants to force him out early to ensure a peaceful transition of power for the incoming Joe Biden administration. 

Neguse and a handful of his Democratic colleagues in the House signed a letter to Vice President Mike Pence asking him to invoke the 25th Amendment after a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the Capitol Building. The provision in the amendment allows for the vice president and a majority of cabinet members to declare the president unfit for office.

Pence has given no indication that he is willing to do so, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is moving forward to impeach Trump a second time.

“The reality is, I never would have imagined sitting on the floor of the House of Representatives as I participated in the Joint Session that an armed insurrection would take place at the seat of government and that type of activity could be possible,” Neguse told Colorado Matters. “It is clear that this president has no interest in ensuring a peaceful transfer of power, and so it’s incumbent upon the Congress to do everything in its power to ensure that, in fact, the peaceful transfer of power takes place, and one way to effectuate that would be to remove the president from office so that Vice President Pence can preside over the course of the next 12 days.”

If Pence won't consider invoking the 25th Amendment, he supports Pelosi’s move for impeachment. He said he joined an impeachment resolution introduced by his fellow House Judiciary members to charge the president with inciting a riot.

Interview Highlights:

On whether impeachment would worsen political rifts:

“Reading through some of the comments that have been made in the past 48 hours from many Republican members of Congress — Republican senators like Sen. Ben Sasse, who spoke very forcefully yesterday with respect to describing the president’s betrayal to his oath of office — I think that there are many in both parties, Americans of good faith, who recognized that what happened on our nation’s Capitol on Wednesday can never happen again. And that clearly what we need now is a calm hand to guide this country over the course of the next week and a half and ensure that the peaceful transition of power takes place.”

On whether the riots have forced a new level of bipartisanship:

“I certainly had a number of conversations with Republican colleagues of mine who were evacuated with me during the day. Those conversations I will say were promising in terms of talking about the need for us to work harder at trying to unite the country and to heal the deep divides that have metastasized over several years and that have been, in my view, fueled by this president and his particular brand of politics. So I’m hopeful that the fever will break and that we could get back to the business of governing in the coming weeks.”

On whether he would support stimulus checks:

“I have been an early proponent of that almost … less than a year ago back in April of 2020, and many of us in Congress who had been pushing for the same for quite some time. The pandemic has not gone away. The economic disruption remains, and we have to remain laser-focused on addressing the needs of the people of our state. And that certainly includes making sure that they have the resources to thrive and survive this terrible pandemic. So I’m hopeful that we can move fairly quickly with a comprehensive relief package that would include direct monetary relief in the form that you mentioned, as well as other important proficience, such as state and local government aid and much more.”