According to multiple reports, President Donald Trump and his closest advisers discussed on Friday the possibility of invoking martial law to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn allegedly proposed the idea, but other officials rejected it.
Still, rumors of Trump being open to deploying the military to the streets in order to deny Democrat Joe Biden of the presidency seemingly caused quite a stir among lawmakers, activists and journalists, many of whom suggested that Vice President Mike Pence should invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office.
"Dear @VP@Mike_Pence: If the below is true, you should start taking a look at the 25th Amendment," tweeted Democratic California Rep. Ted Lieu, pointing to an article from Axios, which was one of the first publications to report on the story.
"If Pence has not had a chance to refresh himself on the 25th amendment, maybe now is a good time to do so," tweeted S.V. Dáte, White House correspondent at HuffPost.
The Daily Beast editor-at-large Goldie Taylor wrote in a Twitter thread that Pence would activate the 25th Amendment "if he was a patriot" and then "lead a peaceful transition of the presidency to Biden." She added that she does not expect Pence to do so because he "betrayed" the Constitution together with Trump.
MSNBC host Joy Reid tweeted that Trump administration officials should think about imitating the 25th Amendment instead of just leaking information to the press. She noted that the remedy exists to remove a "dangerous or mentally incompetent president" from the White House.
"The 25th Amendment exists to remove criminal sociopaths like Trump from office," Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the Democratic Coalition, wrote in a tweet.
In a tweet, author Kurt Eichenwald slammed the GOP for staying silent and pointed out that Trump has reportedly also discussed seizing voting machines and appointing lawyer Sidney Powell as special counsel for voter fraud.
Some suggested that the U.S. Congress should activate the 25th Amendment, but, as liberal blog site Palmer Report pointed out via Twitter, only Pence and executive branch officials could do so.
"These pundits are just making everyone angry at both parties, for no valid reason," the message said.
Some mental health experts have argued that Trump is unfit for office. In a column earlier this month, neuropsychiatrist James R. Merikangas and Yale University psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee wrote that Biden should prosecute him once he assumes the presidency.