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Ohio Political Scientist: Use of 25th Amendment Could be Swift to Remove Trump from Office

a photo of the U.S. Capitol
Wally Gobetz
Creative Commons/Flickr
Protesters vandalized the U.S. Capitol as Congress attempted to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Both Democrats and Republicans have decried President Donald Trump’s role in inciting the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.

With less than two weeks left in his presidency, some have called for Trump’s removal from office.

Impeachment is an option, but one Ohio political scientist says the Constitution’s 25th Amendment could be used.

Dave Cohen, with the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron, said Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, an involuntary presidential transition of power, has never been used in American history.

“We’re living in unprecedented and very dangerous times,” Cohen said.

It would require Vice President Mike Pence and the majority of the president’s cabinet to vote for Trump’s removal. Pence would then become acting president.

It’s a process that could be done swiftly, within hours, according to Cohen.

“If Pence and the cabinet when ahead and did this, there really wouldn’t be any remedies for Trump to regain his power at this point,” he said.

Cohen said there are still questions about what constitutes the majority of the president’s cabinet.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced her resignation Thursday.

Three members of Trump’s cabinet are acting officials who were not confirmed by Congress.

Cohen said Trump’s removal under the 25th Amendment may not be likely, but it is possible. He said it may depend on what the president says and does in the coming days.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.