Pelosi Says She’s Talked to Top Military Chief About Preventing Trump from ‘Ordering a Nuclear Strike’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/AP Photo

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a letter to her colleagues on Friday that she spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, to discuss preventing President Donald Trump from “ordering a nuclear strike.”

“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 launch codes & ordering a nuclear strike,” she wrote in a letter on January 8. Trump has given no indication that he plans to do any such thing.

She added, “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.”

Democrats are pushing Trump’s cabinet members in invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office and to impeach him, after pro-Trump protesters breached the Capitol building and engaged in violence and vandalism inside the Capitol on Wednesday.

Pelosi wrote:

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.

Milley’s spokesperson, Army Col. Dave Butler, said Pelosi initiated the call. “He answered her questions regarding the process of nuclear command authority,” he told Politico.

Democrat lawyer Jonathan Turley questioned whether Milley even had the authority to prevent a president from exercising his constitutional authority under Article II.

“I know of no authority by which the nuclear codes can be withheld from the President absent a declaration under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment. Absent such a declaration, such an action would be grounds for the removal of any military officer,” he said.

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