President Trump’s Unstable and Dangerous Behavior May Continue Triggering the Twenty-Fifth Amendment.
While you might think this is just a bad dream, President Trump may continue to horrify sensible folks in the world. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/06/12/trump-is-likely-to-get-much-much-worse-here-are-a-few-big-things-to-watch-for/?utm_term=.0cca52bfc71b&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1 (left leaning editorial reporting).
Wikipedia discusses the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution in this linked article. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution Wikipedia describes relevant section 4 of the amendment as follows.
Section 4 is the only part of the amendment that has never been invoked. It allows the Vice President, together with a “majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide”, to declare the President “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” by submitting a written declaration to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. As with Section 3, the Vice President would become Acting President.
Section 4 is meant to be invoked should the President’s incapacitation prevent him from discharging his duties, but he is unable or unwilling to provide the written declaration called for by Section 3. The President may resume exercising the Presidential duties by sending a written declaration to the President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House.
Should the Vice President and Cabinet believe the President is still “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”, they may within four days of the President’s declaration submit another declaration that the President is incapacitated. If not already in session, the Congress must then assemble within 48 hours. The Congress has 21 days to decide the issue. If within the 21 days two-thirds of each house of Congress vote that the President is incapacitated, the Vice President would “continue” to be Acting President. Should the Congress resolve the issue in favor of the President, or make no decision within the 21 days allotted, then the President would “resume” discharging the powers and duties of his office. The use of the words “continue” and “resume” imply that the Vice President remains Acting President while Congress deliberates.
However, the President may again submit a written declaration of recovery to the President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House. That declaration could be responded to by the Acting President and the Cabinet in the same way as stated earlier. The specified 21-day Congressional procedure would start again.
For this reason, I wrote an open letter to Vice President Mike Pence asking him to begin the process under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment of removing President Trump from power.
June 12, 2017
Open Letter to Vice President Mike Pence
Dear Vice-President Pence:
In normal times, the sitting president would have virtually untrammeled control over America’s nuclear arsenal. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/12/01/no-one-can-stop-president-trump-from-using-nuclear-weapons-thats-by-design/?utm_term=.0b0b4039c73 ) This gives our nation the flexibility to quickly respond to serious military threats. However, a problem arises if President is unable to carefully exercise that awesome power. (See, e.g.,. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/interrogation/2016/08/a_former_nuclear_missile_officer_on_why_trump_is_unfit_to_handle_the_nuclear.html (arguing that President Trump is unfit to decide whether the world has a nuclear holocaust).
Even if President Trump was fit to perform his duties when he first became president, Robert Mueller’s recent appointment as Special Counsel to investigate Russia’s involvement in America’s 2016 Presidential elections (Time, May 29, 2017, page 29) accelerates the process that has seemed to dislodge President’s arguably loose grip on reality. Indeed, as Mr. Mueller’s investigation grows to include Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law (Time, June 12, 2017, page 27), the investigation will quickly reach the President. In analogous circumstances, President Richard M. Nixon lost it when he faced his own special investigations and international crises. “President Richard Nixon—ravaged by more than four years of war in Vietnam, 15 months of Watergate investigations and countless nights of intense insomnia—was incapacitated.” Politico, History Dept., That Time Middle East Exploded – And Nixon Was Drunk (Tim Weiner, April 25, 2015).
In troubled times like these, the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution gives America (through the nation’s designated officials) a way out. See https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/16/opinion/25th-amendment-trump.html?_r=0 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/20/opinion/sunday/donald-trump-watergate-democrats.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region®ion=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0
Given the clear threat, that President Trump poses to our nation (and to the rest of the world), I ask you to set in motion the provisions of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to remove the President before any tragedy can occur. These are special circumstances when “duty to country” trumps any personal or political loyalty even if the loyalty is “honest loyalty”.
The problem is that President Trump poses an “existential threat” to our nation that will grow as the investigation of the ties between Russia and him and/or his campaign continues. Of course, we welcome all temperate comments (“pro” or “con”).