U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi he will not invoke the 25th Amendment to oust President Donald Trump, shortly before the House was set to vote on a resolution urging him to do so.
"Now with just eight days left in the President's term, you and Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment," Pence wrote in a letter to Pelosi released Tuesday night.
"I do not believe such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with the Constitution," the vice president said, calling on Pelosi and "every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame passions of the moment."
"I pledge to you that I will continue to do my part to work in good faith with the incoming administration to ensure an orderly transition of power," he added.
Pence's rejection came as the House was set to vote on a Democratic-proposed resolution urging him to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office in the wake of last week's Capitol Hill violence.
Should the vice president refuse to do so, the House will push ahead with the impeachment proceedings against Trump, warned the Democrats, who control the House.
House Democrats introduced the impeachment resolution on Monday, charging Trump with "incitement of insurrection."
Accusing the president of sparking an attack on a coequal branch of government and disturbing the peaceful transfer of power, the Democrats pointed to Trump's speech to supporters on Jan. 6 calling on them to fight the election results, as well as his repeated baseless claims that there was widespread voter fraud in the election.
"If he won't resign and Vice President Pence and the Cabinet won't invoke the 25th Amendment, he will be impeached by the House, and as law requires, tried by the Senate," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said of Trump when addressing reporters in New York earlier in the day.
Now that Pence has refused to oust Trump through his constitutional power, the House is all but certain to vote on the article of impeachment Wednesday.
Also on Tuesday, Trump called the impeachment "ridiculous," saying later while inspecting the border wall in Alamo, Texas, that the 25th Amendment "is of zero risk to me."