Another week, another call for President Donald Trump‘s removal. On Tuesday, Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat out of California, said the 25th Amendment should be invoked.
POTUS is showing signs of erratic behavior and mental instability that place the country in grave danger. Time to invoke the 25th Amendment.
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) August 16, 2017
Trump is stewing in ongoing controversy over his apologia for a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. A woman died and 19 others were injured Saturday after a car plowed into a crowd of anti-racist counter-protesters, cops say. Police arrested 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. for murder. Injuries were reported in other incidents. After a uncharacteristically muted initial response, the president held a press conference on Tuesday in which he defended the rally holders because they had permits. He blamed “both sides” for the violence.
Kicking out the POTUS will take some doing, however. It’s easy enough to find Dems who support the idea. But removing Trump under the 25th Amendment will require overt aid from Republicans, who maintain a real, if slight, majority in both the House and Senate.
The removal process requires the vice president and cabinet members to tell Congress that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Then the VP becomes acting president.
After that, POTUS has the chance to insist that he can still do the job. Then the VP and cabinet must once again formally question his ability to lead. Finally, both houses of Congress must, by a two-third supermajority, agree that the president can no longer steer the ship.
This would be completely unprecedented. Only parts of 25th Amendment have been invoked before, and that was only when a commander-in-chief goes under for surgery. Openly criticizing a president from your own party is one thing. Sticking in the knife and turning it is another.
[Screengrab via ABC]