Can Trump Trust Pence?

The Plan to Remove Donald Trump from Presidency

by the 25th Amendment

25th Amendment Demands Vice President Must Agree with Majority of the Cabinet to Remove the President from Office


Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.

 The 25th Amendment, submitted to the states on July 6, 1965, in the wake of the JFK assassination, was adopted on February 10, 1967, after going through the lengthy and complicated process of state ratification.

Section IV of the 25th Amendment allows the vice president, along with a majority of the 15 Cabinet members enumerated in the United States Code at 5 USC 101, to remove a president for incapacity. This is a key point of my recent eBook, The Plan to Remove Donald Trump from the Presidency.

The precise grounds for removal are not specified in the language of the amendment. A majority vote of the 15 specified Cabinet members allows the vice president to assume the duties of the presidency. The vote of the vice president does not count in determining the majority required. Only the eligible Cabinet heads vote.

According to the terms of Section IV of the 25th Amendment, removal of the president for incapacity requires the agreement of the vice president.

The key question then is this: Can President Trump trust Vice President Pence?

The thought that a person might become the president of the United States is a powerful temptation for even the most loyal vice president in history.  How Pence might react if and when the 25th Amendment is invoked is so critical to Trump’s presidency that he must not leave Pence’s reaction to chance.

Vice President Pence

President Trump should a trusted associate like Richard Grenell to speak with Vice President Pence.  Grenell can explain President Trump is in the process of selecting his vice-presidential running mate for 2020.  Grenell can make it clear that Trump is inclined to have Pence remain his vice-presidential candidate in 2020, over other strong candidates including General Michael Flynn.

If Pence is loyal to Trump, the use of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from the presidency will be blocked.  The 25 Amendment requires the vice president and a majority of the cabinet (a majority of the 15 Cabinet members enumerated in the United States Code at 5 USC 1010 to remove a president for incapacity.  If Vice President Pence refuses to go along, there is no way the 25th Amendment can be used to remove Trump from the presidency.

Grenell must request from a statement in writing by Pence expressing his confidence Trump is qualified to continue as president under the terms of the 25th Amendment, plus his vision for his job as vice president in the Trump administration’s second term.  Upon receipt of Pence’s letter, Trump can make a public announcement that he has decided Pence will remain as his 2020 vice-presidential running mate.

Cabinet Members

Once Trump has this letter, he can task Richard Grenell, or another trusted associate, to meet with the cabinet, including the 15 members of the cabinet who are qualified to vote under the terms of the 25th Amendment.

From each cabinet member, Grenell should require a statement in writing expressing from each cabinet member their confidence Trump is qualified to continue as president under the terms of the 25th Amendment, plus the vision each cabinet officer has for his job in the future should President Trump decide to retain them as a cabinet member in their second term.


If Vice President Pence or any cabinet member refuses to comply, President Trump should fire them immediately.  We have procedures (last used by then Vice President Ford) to appoint a new vice president should that office be vacant.

Trump can pick from loyalists in Congress or elsewhere to be acting agency heads until his second term.  Acting cabinet heads are not specified to vote under terms of the 25th Amendment (although that question has never been tested).

Given that President Trump has been under constant media scrutiny, the hit taken by firing Vice President Pence and/or various cabinet members now will be mitigated by events yet unseen throughout the summer months.  The 2020 presidential campaign will not begin in earnest until after the RNC and DNC conventions in August.

President Trump must know today that he has the allegiance of his 2020 vice-presidential candidate and his cabinet before entering into the final months of campaigning.  This technique will obviate the possibility a crisis occurring as a October surprise could trigger a 25th Amendment crisis that would dominate the news to Trump’s disadvantage as the public prepares to vote.

President Lincoln “Blind Memo” Strategy

In 1864, George B. McClellan, a U.S. general Abraham Lincoln had fired twice from command of the Union Army of the Potomac, was poised to win the presidential election, defeating Lincoln, to become the seventeenth president of the United States.

Lincoln knew his reelection hinged on a Union military victory, but General Grant was bogged down in a siege of General Lee around the city of Petersburg, Virginia, while General Sherman was similarly being making slow progress advancing toward Atlanta, Georgia.

Lincoln knew that if McClellan won the presidency, he would settle the Civil War by striking a peace deal with the Confederacy that would allow slavery to continue in the United States.  Lincoln feared that fighting the Civil War would have come to naught, with McClellan conceding both that the southern states had a right to secede from the union and that the defect of the Constitution in allowing slavery to continue might never have a chance to be righted again.

Still, conscious of his duties under the Constitution to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, Lincoln wrote a memorandum on August 23, 1864, that said the following:

“This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so co-operate with the President elect, as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterwards. “ — A. Lincoln

Lincoln folded the memorandum so the text could not be read, then he pasted it so it could not easily be opened.  He brought the document to a cabinet meeting and asked his cabinet members to sign the outside of the memorandum without reading it.  When the cabinet complied, Lincoln effectively assured his cabinet would be bound to support a peaceful transition to a President-elect McClellan, should Lincoln lose the election.

With the prospect the radical Democrats and their mainstream media lackeys continuing to angle toward arguments President Trump should be removed from office under the 25th Amendment for mental incompetence, Trump is well advised to consider Lincoln’s deft maneuver.