Jan. 6 investigative interviews with Trump officials privy to discussions on 25th constitutional amendment after Capitol attack – Daily Kos | Region & Cash

Exactly six days after the attack on the US Capitol, the House of Representatives passed a Resolution 223-205 urging then-Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

At the time, Pence said he did not believe this course of action was “in our nation’s best interest or consistent with the Constitution,” and he called the resolution a “political game.” He also announced his refusal to invoke the 25th Amendment before the House had even completed its vote.

However, this “game” Pence was concerned about was reportedly one that some members of Trump’s inner circle had already considered.

In the book by ABC reporter Jonathan Karl Treason, he described a conversation between then-Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and then-Secretary of State Pompeo. Pompeo, Karl reported, was looking for a “legal analysis” of how the 25th Amendment might apply and how quickly it might work.

Washington, DC, reeled heavily under the attack on the Capitol. But during an appearance on MSNBC last November, Karl said talks about the 25th Amendment were quickly nipped in the bud when officials learned the process could be lengthy and potentially complicated by the fact that members of Trump’s cabinet who resigned after Jan. 6, including Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

It was reported on Thursday that both DeVos and Chao are also of interest to the January 6 investigators and that they may also be asked to cooperate.

DeVos resigned 24 hours after the attack, saying United States today this June that she participated in talks discussing the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment with other members of Trump’s cabinet.

In part of his Jan. 6 testimony before the committee, former White House attorney Pat Cipollone told investigators that former Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia wanted cabinet members to meet 24 hours after the riot. Scalia said he asked for the meeting because he felt “working within the administration to stabilize the ship” was better than watching more resignations pour in.

Pompeo has previously denied attending a call after Jan. 6 to invoke the 25th Amendment.

The recent interview with DeVos undermines that claim.

“I SPOkay with the VP and just let him know I was there to do whatever he wanted and needed to do or help and he made it very clear he wasn’t going in that direction or that way.” , DeVos of Pence said on June 9. “I spoke to colleagues. I wanted to better understand the law myself and see if it applies in this case. There were more than a few people having these conversations internally.”

DeVos said that when she realized that invoking the 25th Amendment against Trump was not a viable way forward, she tendered her resignation. She hasn’t outwardly blamed Trump for Jan. 6, but she told USA Today she “didn’t see how the President would have stepped in and done what he could have done to roll it back or slow it down or the situation really.” to tackle.”

Cassidy Hutchinson, the former assistant to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified before the Jan. 6 committee that discussions about removing Trump with the 25th Amendment came after the mob besieged the Capitol. Trump had spent three hours watching the mob attack without strongly condemning the violence or taking concerted action to stop it. Finally, when he gave a speech in the rose garden that afternoon, after several deaths and much bloodshed, he proclaimed “We love you” to his followers before telling them to go home.

The next day, White House officials were pushing for Trump to deliver a speech. Former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson told the committee under oath that the plan for the Jan. 7 speech came into effect primarily because people in the White House were afraid of two things: growing criticism that Trump was not did enough and that the 25 amendment would be invoked.

“The second reason for it [speech] was that, ‘Think about what might happen in the last 15 days of your presidency if we don’t do that, there’s already talk of invoking the 25th Amendment, you need that as a cover,'” Hutchinson said.

According to CNN, the committee is also seeking testimony from John Ratcliffe, a former Republican congressman from Texas who vehemently defended Trump during Trump’s first impeachment inquiry into obstruction of Congress and abuse of power, as well as during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Ratcliffe was confirmed as Director of National Intelligence by the GOP-majority Senate, despite a woeful lack of experience. His appointment was a rollercoaster ride. Trump first nominated him for the role in August 2019, but Ratcliffe had no Senate support. Nor did he have widespread support in the intelligence community. A review of his records by investigative reporters at ABC found that Ratcliffe exaggerated claims of his involvement in counter-terrorism efforts as well as fighting illegal immigration.

Chad Wolf, once acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and his former deputy Ken Cuccinelli are also reportedly in talks with investigators.

Both Wolf and Cuccinneli were asked last October to volunteer with the investigation.

Wolf was once greatly revered by Trump. After then Secretary of State Kirstjen Nielsen resigned in April 2019, he took over as head of the Department of Homeland Security. Despite Nielsen’s apparent willingness to implement a number of Trump’s cruel immigration policies during her tenure, she was in favor of the 45th and he slammed her in the press as ineffective before she resigned. When she finally resigned, Kevin McAleenan, then Customs and Border Protection Officer, filled her position. McAleenan resigned in November 2019.

However, these transitions were riddled with problems.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), following its own independent review of DHS, later revealed that both Nielsen and McAleenan had amended or amended internal departmental succession policies. DHS pushed back the report when it was released, but Wolf ultimately stayed put with Trump’s full support. Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and Jan. 6 committee, said the succession rules were hastily changed to allow Trump’s “ideologues” to bypass the typical Senate confirmation process.

Thompson had good reason to think so. In an interview with CBS in February 2019 Face the nationTrump acknowledged that he enjoyed ruling over incumbent officials, as opposed to those who had to go through more stringent congressional approval.

Mulvaney, who meets with the committee Thursday, should cooperate without much difficulty if history is any indicator. Although he was a fierce defender of Trump during his tenure in administration, Mulvaney became a vocal critic after Jan. 6.

“You can’t get back to where you were yesterday with something normal. That’s not normal for any citizen, let alone a President of the United States,” Mulvaney said Jan. 7 as he faced the question of whether Trump should be removed by the 25th Amendment.

Since then, Mulvaney has thrown his support behind Trump officials who have come forward to testify, including Hutchinson.

The January 6 committee is expected to continue its inquiry in the coming weeks, and Chairman Thompson said additional hearings will be held in September.

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