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Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to members on Friday that she's spoken to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley about blocking an "unhinged" President Trump from accessing the nuclear codes.

Why it matters: Pelosi's effort underscores the extraordinary nature of discussions among top political civilian and military leaders right now about what threats Trump may pose to national security following Wednesday's attack on the Capitol by his supporters.

  • It also raises questions about the separation of powers between Congress and the executive branch.

What she's saying: "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 the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike," the speaker wrote.

  • "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."

The big picture: In the same letter, Pelosi said that she has reached out to Vice President Pence about invoking the 25th Amendment to immediately remove Trump from office. If the Cabinet does not act, Pelosi said the House will proceed with impeaching Trump.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 8: The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.