Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier sent out a tweet in the aftermath of Donald Trump‘s wild press conference on Thursday that suggested he should be removed from office pursuant to the 25th Amendment. The 25th Amendment was passed in the years after John F. Kennedy‘s assassination and provides the procedures for presidential succession in the event of death, removal, resignation or incapacitation.
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) February 16, 2017
Speier is not the only Democratic member of Congress to suggest that Trump is unfit to continue serving as president. Earlier this week, Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer announced the creation of a “working group” to strengthen the 25th Amendment due what he sees as “erratic behavior out of the White House.”
Both are clearly attempting to imply President Trump is incapacitated because he is not mentally fit for office.
However, Speier refused to say whether she was truly concerned about the issue when pressed about the tweet by CNN host Brianna Keilar.
Instead, Speier would only say that she felt we had to be “very careful” and that Trump needed to start acting “presidential.” She criticized Trump’s attacks on the media and claimed he suddenly hung up during phone calls with European leaders and then “besmirch” them afterwards.
“I mean he has got to get a grip,” Speier said.
The process for removing an incapacitated president involuntarily has never been tested and it would likely be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, especially in the current political environment. Section 4 of the 25th Amendment states, in part:
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.
The matter then goes to the Congress. In order for the vice president to continue as “Acting President” both Houses are required to determine by a 2/3 vote that the president is unable to discharge the duties of his office. If both Houses of Congress fail to obtain the required 2/3 vote, the president can then resume the duties of the office.
[image via screengrab]