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Public Citizen Letter to Cabinet Secretaries: Don’t Resign, Invoke the 25th Amendment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Robert Weissman and Lisa Gilbert, president and executive vice president of Public Citizen, released an open letter to Trump administration cabinet secretaries urging them to stay on the job and invoke the 25th Amendment to remove presidential authority from President Donald Trump. This letter comes after U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced that, on the heels of a mob attack on the Capitol fueled by President Trump’s rhetoric, she will resign effective January 11. The full letter can be found below and here.

Dear Secretary Elaine Chao and all Trump cabinet members:

I am sure you all are profoundly and appropriately disturbed by what occurred yesterday at the Capitol. As many or perhaps all of you recognize, and as upsetting as it is to acknowledge, it’s impossible not to place primary responsibility for the insurrection on President Trump.

Many of you may now be considering resigning, as Secretary Chao has announced she will do in a few days. We are writing to urge all of you to stay in your posts. While principled resignations would have been appropriate at any other moment in the administration’s tenure, that is no longer this case.

Now, the American people need you to stay on the job and join Vice President Pence in invoking the 25th amendment to remove presidential authority from Donald J. Trump. President Trump has made manifestly clear that he “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Permitting him to remain in office even for the next two weeks constitutes a clear and present danger to the nation.

Invoking the 25th amendment in this way is without precedent and should only be done in the most extreme circumstances. But we are now living in those most extreme circumstances. Your country is relying on you to honor your duty to the Constitution and protect us all.


Robert Weissman
President, Public Citizen

Lisa Gilbert
Vice President, Public Citizen