(Bloomberg) — Outgoing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo briefly discussed removing President Donald Trump through the 25th Amendment after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack but rejected the idea, according to a transcript of Mnuchin’s testimony.
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“It came up very briefly in our conversation,” Mnuchin told the committee in a transcript released Tuesday. “We both believed that the best outcome was a normal transition of power, which was working, and neither one of us contemplated in any serious format the 25th Amendment.”
Mnuchin said he looked up the amendment on Google “out of curiosity,” but when his general counsel asked if he wanted him to research it, Mnuchin said, “No, not at this point.”
Mike Pence would have had to invoke the amendment, which allows for the vice president to assume the powers of the presidency if the president were unable to perform his duties. It was ratified in 1967 and invoked, for example, when Richard Nixon resigned. Pence never approved the use of it in Trump’s case.
Mnuchin also said he only had one conversation with Trump about his defeat in the first week after Election Day, when Trump told him he would continue to contest the results. Mnuchin said he relied on the expertise of Attorney General William Barr, and pointed out that he did not have a role in the 2020 campaign.
Mnuchin also said he didn’t recall discussing the 25th Amendment with Pence or his staff.
Mnuchin said he never thought of resigning, because “there was a lot of work going on independent of the election,” such as implementing the coronavirus relief programs.
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