Amid a standoff over actions to potentially remove
Pelosi released the letter just minutes before House Democrats were to meet to discuss whether to go ahead with a second impeachment of Trump, after he egged on his supporters in their march to the Capitol that led to a riot and multiple deaths – including of a Capitol Police officer.
She headed her comment: ‘Preventing an Unhinged President From Using the Nuclear Codes’ in a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter.
‘This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike,’ she informed them.
Notably, she did not reveal what response Milley provided, or whether any security guardrails have been established.
‘The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy,’ she wrote.
She also revealed that Vice President Mike Pence has not returned her call seeking to discuss the 25th Amendment, whereby he and a majority of the Trump cabinet might move to strip Trump of power and make Pence the ‘acting president.’
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi spoke to the chair of the joint chiefs to discuss precautions about ‘accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike,’ she told colleagues
A White House military aide and member of the US Navy carries a briefcase known as the “football,” containing emergency nuclear weapon codes. Pelosi says she spoke with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army US Army General Mark Milley, on their use but provided no information on his response
‘As you know, there is growing momentum around the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which would allow the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet to remove the President for his incitement of insurrection and the danger he still poses,’ she wrote.
‘Yesterday, Leader [Charles] Schumer and I placed a call with Vice President Pence, and we still hope to hear from him as soon as possible with a positive answer as to whether he and the Cabinet will honor their oath to the Constitution and the American people,’ she said.
Pelosi referenced impeachment in a letter to colleagues
She said she spoke about preventing an ‘unhinged’ president from using the nuclear codes
‘Nearly fifty years ago, after years of enabling their rogue President, Republicans in Congress finally told President Nixon that it was time to go. Today, following the President’s dangerous and seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office – immediately. If the President does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action.’
Under current procedures, a military aide travels with the president wherever he goes with the nuclear ‘football’ containing the nuclear codes.
The executive as commander in chief maintains control over the entire U.S. military – and has the ability to order strikes, subject to War Powers Act consultation requirements with Congress.
All military members have all sworn oaths to the constitution, and the Code of Military Justice states that members of the military must fall ‘lawful orders of his/her superior.’