As reported by B2C, the Keith Olbermann Trump removal plan has much to recommend it. Lots of people are wondering if there is a way to dump Trump before or after he takes office. But last-minute recount efforts and begging electors to switch probably won’t work. A Trump impeachment? It takes too long and requires that Trump is convicted for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” But do we have to wait for that? Olbermann doesn’t think so.
Removing Donald Trump
With the January inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States already looming on the horizon, even some Republicans are wondering if it’s really a good idea.
Trump becoming president of the United States is a concept so anathema to many that some have been desperately looking for a method – any method – by which a Trump presidency can still be legally prevented. Until recently, none of the options considered, such as recounts, elector flipping, and impeachment, looked too promising.
So isn’t there any way to avoid the Trump freight train hurtling toward us? Maybe there is. The Keith Olbermann Trump plan lays out a clear and perfectly constitutional way to toss Donald Trump out of the Oval Office on day one of his new administration. It’s quick, clean, and requires only a bit of bureaucratic paperwork.
Alternative via Keith Olbermann
The Keith Olbermann plan provides an entirely constitutional means by which Trump can be removed as president or – more accurately – can have all his powers removed so he becomes nothing more than a somewhat embarrassing figurehead. It all comes down to the wording of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution – specifically Section 4.
Part of it runs as follows.
“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.”
And that’s how it’s done. “Whenever” means that the newly sworn in vice president of the United States can walk off the inauguration podium following the president’s own swearing-in, meet with the other members of the cabinet, write a letter to the leaders of the Senate and House, and remove all of the powers and authority of the new president.
The 25th amendment has several other sections and was originally written to deal with the question of succession in the event of the death of a president or his or her incapacitation. As noted by HNN, it was used for a few hours following the attempt to assassinate Ronald Reagan, with Vice President George Bush temporarily assuming the powers of the presidency.
In response to implementation of the Keith Olbermann Trump removal plan, Trump could immediately send a letter to the Senate and House claiming that he was, in fact, capable of carrying out his duties. This would have to be accepted, unless – as the law states in similar language to the above.
“…the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days 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.”
At that point, Congress would assemble for an emergency session – if it wasn’t already in session – to determine if the president was still able to discharge his duties. If two-thirds of the House and Senate decide that he isn’t up to the job – despite his or her assertions to the contrary – that’s it. In this scenario, Trump would become a figurehead with no power or authority. No, he probably wouldn’t be too happy.
Of course, there’s always a fly in every ointment, including the Keith Olbermann Trump removal plan. The fly, in this case, is the vice president. Even assuming he and the Republicans in the House and Senate were willing to do this and rid themselves — and the nation — of Donald Trump, the drawback for Democrats is that arch-conservative Mike Pence would himself become acting president. And if that’s not a Pyrrhic victory, I’m not sure what is.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]