Former Sec. Mnuchin testified to J6 Committee that he discussed 25th Amendment with former Sec. Pompeo

Throughout former President Donald Trump’s tenure in office, there was sporadic talk of his Cabinet invoking the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove him from office, and that topic reached a crescendo in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021.

Now, in sworn testimony released by the House Jan. 6 Committee, former Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin testified that he “briefly” discussed the 25th Amendment with former Sec. of State Mike Pompeo, the Washington Examiner reported.

That is potentially a big deal, as Pompeo reportedly denied in his own testimony to the committee that the 25th Amendment had ever been discussed with other Cabinet members.

Trump and the 25th Amendment

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment lays out the process by which the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can declare to Congress that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” and, as such, will be removed and replaced by the vice president, either until the president is deemed fit to fulfill the duties once more or the elected term is complete.

As noted, in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, there was a flurry of talk among Democrats and the media about the possibility of Trump’s Cabinet and Vice President Pence invoking that constitutional authority to oust the president from office just weeks shy of the conclusion of his term.

That obviously never happened, and despite claims to the contrary from some in the media, numerous officials have since come forward to deny that there was ever any real discussion of taking such drastic action.

Deposition transcripts released

On Tuesday, the House Jan. 6 Committee dumped a bunch of transcripts of its interviews with various Trump Cabinet officials, some of which were shared in a thread of tweets by CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane.

The reporter noted that, per the transcripts, both former Labor Sec. Eugene Scalia and former Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao did not recall any discussions about the 25th Amendment, but in contrast to them, Sec. Mnuchin did.

“It came up very briefly in our conversation”

In Mnuchin’s testimony, the testimony of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley was referenced in which he seemed to recall some discussion of the 25th Amendment, albeit not directly with him as he wasn’t a Cabinet member, but between other officials, including Mnuchin and Pompeo.

Asked if he recalled any such instance, Mnuchin replied, “I mean, I do recall speaking to Secretary Pompeo about the 25th Amendment. I don’t recall it being in that circumstance, and I surely don’t recall that I stopped the conversation when General Milley came up.”

Pressed on the content of that 25th Amendment discussion with Pompeo, the former secretary explained, “It came up very briefly in our conversation. 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.”

So who’s telling the truth — Mnuchin or Pompeo?

Additionally, Mnuchin denounced in his testimony as “completely inaccurate” a claim by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl that he had had multiple discussions with several different officials about using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The Examiner noted the potential legal trouble for either or both Pompeo and Mnuchin, given the discrepancies in their sworn testimonies with regard to any conversations about the 25th Amendment, as Pompeo denied any such talk while Mnuchin acknowledged that it did occur, though not in any serious way.

Latest News