Who needs to wait for a Trump impeachment when Article 25 will do just fine and remove him from office in days — if only a handful of people say so? One prominent lawmaker thinks she knows how.
An obscure article in the U.S. Constitution allows for expeditious removal of the president. And while impeachment rumors are floating around, one leading Washington legislator is invoking it and wants Trump removed from office over his “diagnosed” mental status.
A grassroots effort is underway to impeach Donald Trump amid a special counsel’s investigation into the president’s campaign and possible collusion with Russia in the past election. In the wake of the Charlottesville, Virginia white supremacy and alt-right rallies that left three people dead (one pedestrian and two helicopter pilots when their craft went down while monitoring the clashes), Trump’s statements inflamed an already heated debate.
The president, who was criticized early on by his silence after the violence took a deadly turn, caught more heat over statements he made suggesting a moral equivalence exists between neo-Nazis and counter-demonstrators.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham joined Ohio Governor John Kasich in saying that Trump’s statements “are diving Americans instead of healing them.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to a USA Today report, was furious in private about the president’s response. He later released a statement — without mentioning Trump’s name — saying, “There are no good neo-Nazis.”
House Intelligence Committee member Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) and many others echoed McConnell’s statements, with some in the public continuing the impeachment drumbeat. However, Rep. Speier invoked Article 25 of the United States Constitution as a basis to impeach President Trump, minus the extended time to remove him from power.
The Washington Journal‘s post on Speier’s tweet suggested that she “diagnosed Trump’s mental state” and called for his immediate removal.
Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute offers an overview of Article 25.
“The 25th Amendment, which was ratified after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, details the procedure for non-electoral succession and removing a president from office if two-thirds of Congress and the Vice President deem the Commander-in-Chief ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
The article (aka Amendment XXV) that Rep. Speier referred to is broken into sections. The portion of the article she unofficially invoked is Section 4. It outlines the procedures involved in removing the President of the United States — in this case, Donald Trump — from office.
In sum, at the behest of the Vice President (Mike Pence) and the majority of Trump’s cabinet or Congress, a declaration can be provided to the President Pro tempore (Utah GOP Senator Orrin Hatch) and the Speaker of the House (Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan) that outlines a belief that Trump should be removed from office, as outlined above. Next, Pence shall assume the powers of the Oval Office as “Acting President.” Last month, a Yahoo (tweet below) report published a report about an insider’s claim that Pence is looking ahead and has plans of his own.
The Journal took a swipe at the GOP, claiming the party doesn’t have the courage to act on the article. While the Republicans control all three branches of government, many posit that the GOP needs Trump to further its agenda and is hesitant to further along any process to impeach or remove Trump from the presidency.
“While the provisions have the same hurdles for a Republican Congress without courage, the process is designed to work significantly faster than impeachment, which can take more than a year.”
Should Pence and other sanctioned authorities invoke Article 25, Congress has only 21 days to act. Since its inception, the article has never been formally invoked. Still, the Journal believes that for every day the GOP-controlled Congress doesn’t act to remove or impeach Trump, “they are complicit in his crimes.”
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