President Donald Trump told a rally in Alamo, Texas, on Tuesday that he faces “zero risk” from the 25th Amendment in his final days in office and instead warned incoming President-elect Joe Biden that the process would come back to “haunt” him.
In his first public rally since a number of his supporters staged a riot and attack on the United States Capitol last week, Trump lashed out at lawmakers looking to pursue a second impeachment and warned that any effort to end his presidency early would be “dangerous” for the United States.
“I’d like to briefly address the events of last week,” Trump began. “Millions of our citizens watched on Wednesday as a mob stormed the Capitol and trashed the halls of government. As I have consistently said throughout my administration, we believe in respecting America’s history and traditions, not tearing them down.”
He then pivoted to recent efforts to remove him from office and ban him from social media platforms.
“Free speech is under assault like never before,” he said. “The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for.”
House Democrats submitted a measure on Monday, demanding Vice President Mike Pence invoke the 25th Amendment with the assistance of the president’s Cabinet, effectively stripping Trump of the powers of the office of the president. If Pence refuses, the House will vote on a single impeachment count, also submitted Monday, charging the president with “inciting an insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol last week.
It is unlikely Pence will trigger the 25th Amendment; the president has just ten days left in his term, and many of his Cabinet officials have resigned in protest after last week’s shocking events. Trump, though, seemed to indicate he believes Democrats will use the process again on Biden in order to remove him from office — a charge some of Trump’s supporters leveled over the summer when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) convened a study group on the subject.
Trump also addressed a possible second impeachment, harkening back to Democrats’ first effort at removing him from office, calling the new charge an “impeachment hoax,” as he did the last ones.
“The impeachment hoax is the continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger and division and pain, far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time,” Trump said.
The rally in Alamo, Texas, along the United States’ southern border, was meant to focus on the Trump administration’s illegal immigration interdiction efforts. Trump spoke, mostly, about his administration’s crackdown on border jumpers and asylum-seekers and his efforts to build a wall across the southern U.S. border — efforts Biden has pledged to bring to a halt his first day in office.