Pence has until Sunday to make a move to oust Trump with the help of House Democrats
Donald Trump and Mike Pence at the White House. (CNN/Screenshot)

In a column for New York magazine's Intelligencer, longtime political observer Paul Campos pointed out that a close reading of the 25th Amendment reveals that -- should Vice President Mike Pence want to make a move and oust an increasingly volatile Donald Trump from the Oval Office -- he has until Sunday to do it.

Conceding that Pence would also need the help of eight Trump Administration cabinet members to pull it off, Campos said the Democratic-controlled House could step in and help the vice president become acting president for the rest of Trump's term.

As Campos notes, Section Four of the amendment allows a vice president with the help of the majority of the cabinet to start in motion the removal of the president if the Oval Office resident is deemed to be unstable.

Saying that framers created the amendment for a situation the country finds itself in now -- with the president lashing out at his enemies, handing out pardons to political cronies and appearing to become more unhinged as January 20th approaches -- Campos wrote, "Those who drafted and ratified the amendment made clear at the time that they were quite consciously employing general and open-ended language in the amendment's text, rather than trying to define what circumstances would warrant the use of Section Four, because they concluded wisely that it would be vain to try to anticipate in advance all the circumstances that would require removing a president."

But as he points out, there is a catch which makes Sunday a drop-dead date for Pence.

With the caveat that Pence would have to find eight cabinet members will to go up against the president, Campos explained that Pence needs to hand a letter to both the House and the Senate declaring his intentions.

"Trump would put up a fight, but it wouldn't matter this late in his presidency. Once Pence has transmitted the letter to Congress that makes him acting president, Trump may contest the vice-president's actions via a letter of his own. Section Four, however, would give Pence four days to respond to this letter," Campos wrote. "After Pence did so, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives could — by simple majority vote — decline to act on the substantive dispute for the remaining 21 days. (Meanwhile, Democrats could filibuster any action in the Senate.) Were it not the end of his term, Trump would return to office after 21 days if Congress failed to act."

Those 25 days are important, as he wrote, because, "The mechanics of the amendment allow the vice-president to remain in the position of acting president for a minimum of 25 days, as long as a simple majority of at least one chamber of Congress is willing to cooperate."

The columnist concluded, "This, in effect, means that Pence could become acting president on Sunday, December 27, and would remain in the position for the rest of the current administration's term in office, as long as House Democrats acceded to the new status quo," before adding, "For the good of the nation, he should do so this weekend."

You can read more here.