Republicans clearly see the FALLOUT from this failed pResident, the crime and corruption surrounding, their participation and knowledge, their attempts to sabotage and cover-up.
The rest of the World clearly sees even if Americans are too blind.
The US is marching toward IMPEACHMENT, a sad and divisive process.
Sad for my country! Sad for what Republicans have done to their Party and the Nation.
Is Donald Trump Too Incapacitated to Be President?
Not in this America.By Dahlia Lithwick
Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photos by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images and Thinkstock.
Ever since Donald Trump landed in the Oval Office, millions of us have been obsessing on how to get him out. For many, the question has been not justif, but how and how soon. Will impeachment happen? Could Trump simply admit defeat and stand down? Or could proving his mental incompetence to be president force his hand?
The last option has gained traction in the past few days, perhaps because it is increasingly obvious to anyone following the news that Congress has no stomach for impeachment, and also that the president is demonstrably not up to the job. Trump’s missteps have more frequently revealed themselves to be blunders of incompetence rather than blunders of malice (though they can often be both). It’s become standard for reports coming from the inside of the White House to acknowledge, slyly at first but now overtly, that Trump is in constant need of managing. He believes false reports and refuses to read truthful ones. He lashes out at anyone who hasn’t lied for him adequately. There are now entire reports devoted to his rage, his anger, his madness and his inability to accept responsibility.
Thus, my mailbox is brimming with petitions and inquiries from the 25thAmendment Hopefuls; the folks who believe Trump’s recent behaviors might trigger Article 4 of the 25th Amendment, which provides that:
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.
An increasingly vocal pool of 25th Amendment aspirants have begun to contend it is in fact possible that the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could simply notify Congress that the president is unable to “discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Even before the calamities of this past week, the idea gained traction following Evan Osnos’ expansive reporting in the New Yorker from early May on the possibility of the 25th Amendment as a vehicle for Trump’s removal. As Osnos explained, after the Kennedy assassination, the worry arose that a president could be incapacitated but not dead, and the Constitution afforded no remedy:
[T]he Twenty-fifth Amendment was added to the Constitution in February 1967. Under Section 4, a President can be removed if he is judged to be ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.’ The assessment can be made either by the Vice-President and a majority of the Cabinet secretaries or by a congressionally appointed body, such as a panel of medical experts. If the President objects—a theoretical crisis that scholars call “contested removal”—Congress has three weeks to debate and decide the issue. A two-thirds majority in each chamber is required to remove the President. There is no appeal.
As Osnos goes on to detail, however, part of the reason the 25th Amendment has never been used to remove a sitting president is that the inquiry requires assessments of presidential incapacity and mental illness that mental health experts generally want no part of, and politicians are reluctant to engage in. Almost to a one, the constitutional experts I contacted about all this confirmed that removal under Article 4 of the 25th Amendment happens only in political thrillers because back here in the real world, there will never be the political will to do it.*
The most practical problem with the 25th Amendment option is that it won’t happen. The selfsame Cabinet and vice president tasked with assessing the president are still enabling him. That’s how you get lines like the closer of this New York Times’ piece assessing the president’s alleged blurting of classified intelligence reports to Russian officials: Three administration officials privately reported “that they could not publicly articulate their most compelling—and honest—defense of the president: that Mr. Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of printed briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would do harm to United States allies.”
Put more simply, these officials know the president didn’t leak anything of deep and granular significance with respect to sources and methods because he doesn’t read or comprehend well enough to understand them. It’s the kind of detail that is worth its own story.
For the 25th Amendment aspirants, it’s also proof of the validity of their cause—after all, even the people on Trump’s side see his incompetence. Unfortunately, they also still work for him. They’re not going to fire him: They know he’s simply a useful stooge (though his level of usefulness depends on the time of day, they’re realizing).