Since Sept. 24, the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump has been at the top of a lot of people's minds. As House Committees continue to investigate, some of the public has been wondering whether Vice President Mike Pence might be caught up in it — and what would happen then. As of publication, the House has not taken any steps to impeach Pence. But — hypothetically — if both Trump and Pence were impeached and removed from office, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would take on the role of president. And if Pelosi becomes president, who becomes vice president? Basically, whoever she wants.
While the Presidential Succession Act lays out the line of succession for the presidency, it doesn't define a line of succession to the vice presidency. Instead, the 25th Amendment, which was ratified in 1967, takes over. The amendment says that if the office of the vice president is empty, the president is allowed to appoint a new veep, with the approval of Congress. A majority vote by Congress is required to confirm a new vice president. So, if Pelosi made it to the presidency, she'd get to pick her own vice president.
Weirdly enough, although no president has been impeached and removed from office, replacing both a VP and president has happened before. In 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned in disgrace over allegations of political corruption and accepting bribes. President Richard Nixon appointed then-House Minority Leader Gerald Ford to take his place — and barely a year later, Ford took over the presidency after Nixon resigned over the (entirely different) Watergate scandal. Ford remains the only person to have served as both vice president and president without being elected to either office.
The presidential succession came into question after Ambassador to the European Union (EU) Gordon Sondland testified to the Intelligence Committee on Nov. 20, in which he testified that "everyone was in the loop" on Trump allegedly directing his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to pressure Ukraine to open two politically motivated investigations. In a statement to CNN, a representative for Pence denied any connection between Sondland and the vice president. "The vice president never had a conversation with Gordon Sondland about investigating the Bidens, Burisma, or the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations," the spokesperson told CNN. In a tweet, Guiliani denied knowing Sondland. Neither the White House nor Giuliani previously responded to Elite Daily's request for comment.
The possibility that Pelosi will become president is still very much in the air, but that didn't stop Twitter from getting behind the idea. Following Sondland's testimony, it didn't take long for "President Pelosi" to start trending on Twitter.
Of course, the chances that both Trump and Pence will be impeached are... unlikely. Even if the House votes to impeach them, there must be a two-thirds majority vote from the Senate to remove them from office — which means 67 senators need to be on board. That's a tall feat, especially considering many Republicans, who still control the Senate, are against impeachment. On Oct. 24, Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina introduced a resolution to condemn the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. CNN reported on Oct. 25 that Graham's resolution drew 50 co-sponsors, one whom was Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.