25th Amendment: Will It Be Used to Remove President Trump?
We are 13 days away from Joe Biden getting sworn in as the next President of the United States.
Even Donald Trump himself has at last acknowledged this is going to happen on January 20.
Following the events of Wednesday afternoon, however, a contingent of lawmakers now believe we can’t even wait just this short period of time before a new Commander-in-Chief takes over.
Trump, after all, encouraged his followers to push back against election results he has falsely labeled as “fraudulent” for months yesterday morning.
A few hours later, hundreds of these same followers overwhelmed police and attacked the U.S. Capitol.
They vandalized the building… they caused it to go on lockdown… they took over the Congressional chamber… and one woman was shot and killed as a result of these traitorous actions.
In response to such an historic display of sedition and violence, Trump referred to these terrorists as “very special” and said he loved them.
Both Twitter and Facebook subsequently suspended the President’s accounts, prompting many to ask:
If these social media platforms think Donald Trump is too dangerous of a presence… can we really have him in charge of the military and the nuclear codes for the next two weeks?
What could be done in response?
Cabinet members and/or top government officials could invoke the 25th amendment.
On the floor of the Senate last night, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania referred to Trump as a “demagogue” and said plainly:
“We witnessed today the damage that can result when men in power and responsibility refuse to acknowledge the truth.
“We saw bloodshed because the demagogue chose to spread falsehoods and sow distrust of his own fellow Americans.”
It should be noted that Toomey is a Republican.
Former Joint Chiefs Chair Mike Mullen, meanwhile, told Judy Woodruff of PBS that Trump “incited” this failed insurrection, adding that Trump is “not in position to lead the next 14 days.”
“I don’t think we’re done. Today was not it. We need to act in a preventive way to prevent more from happening,” Mullen said, citing the 25th amendment as”very, very important.”
Mullen also compared Trump to “dictators around the world who pull the levers of power to stay in power.”
He called Trump “desperate, doing anything he can to hold onto power — to the point of what I consider grossly illegal actions today.”
The 25th amendment allows the Vice President — along with a majority of the Cabinet — to have the President’s powers temporarily transferred to the Vice President.
It effectively removes a sitting President from office.
Trump could dispute the move.
He would need to write a letter to Congress, in which case Pence and the Cabinet would have four days to dispute the disgraced leader.
Congress would then vote … requiring a two-thirds supermajority, typically 67 senators and 290 House members, to permanently remove the President.
Has this ever been done before?
Yes, in a very different context.
The 25th Amendment was enacted in the wake of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, whose predecessor Dwight Eisenhower suffered significant heart attacks.
It was meant to create a clear line of succession and prepare for urgent contingencies.
One elected Republican official told CNN late Wednesday that Trump “has to be impeached and removed.”
A former senior official added to the outlet of Wednesday’s chaos:
“I think this has been a huge shock to the system. How do you keep him in place for two weeks after this?”
There have allegedly been “preliminary discussions about invoking the 25th Amendment,” according to multiple reporters.
Perhaps aware of these discussions, and how he would become the first President to actually be booted from the White House in such fashion, Trump conceded the election very early Thursday morning.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in the statement released through a spokesman.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted.
“While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”
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