#25thAmendment Trends On Twitter: Interest In How To Remove Donald Trump Using 25th Amendment Process Surges

The hashtag #25thAmendment showed a sharp upward trend on the social media platform Twitter on Thursday afternoon, according to the trend-tracking site Hashtags.org, which showed the hashtag starting an upward trending pattern at about noon Central Daylight Time, and then climbing rapidly in a sudden spike three hours later. At that point, the hashtag was used in 12,000 tweets per hour. The Twitter trend appeared to indicate a surge of interest in how to remove Donald Trump from office using the provisions outlined in the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The 25th Amendment allows Congress or in emergency cases presidential cabinet members to strip a president of his powers if he is no longer physically or mentally able to carry out the duties of the nation’s highest office. The vice president assumes the duties or even the actual office of the president once the 25th Amendment process is completed.

The Twitter trend for the #25thAmendment hashtag appears to have been sparked by recent media stories regarding Trump’s emotional and mental fitness to execute the duties of the office — specifically, an October 11 story in Vanity Fair which portrayed Trump as “unraveling,” “losing a step,” “unstable,” and “increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.”

Read that entire Vanity Fair article by reporter Gabriel Sherman by accessing this link.

Vice President Mike Pence, pictured above, would assume the duties of the presidency if Donald Trump were stripped of his powers under the 25th Amendment. [Image by Chris Kleponis/Getty Images]

Here are some of the tweets using the trending #25thAmendment Twitter hashtag.

Also, earlier this week, Republican Senator Bob Corker publicly called Trump’s fitness into question, posting a Twitter message in which he compared the Trump White House to “an adult day care center.”

Corker, in a New York Times interview, later warned that Trump’s erratic behavior was leading the country “on the path to World War III.” Corker’s statements led conservative CNN political analyst Michael Smerconish to speculate that Corker was deliberately “planting seeds” for Congress to vote Trump out of office using the 25th Amendment.

A two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate would be required under the provisions of the 25th Amendment to remove a president from office.

But there is another process spelled out by the 25th Amendment as well — one which requires, at least temporarily, a much lower standard. Under the fourth section of the amendment’s text, if a majority of the cabinet members agree that a president has become incapable of carrying out the duties of his office due to some mental or physical incapacity, they can send a letter to Congress removing the president from office.

But there’s a catch. In addition to a majority of the cabinet — which in the case of Trump’s cabinet would be 13 members — the vice president must also agree that the president is no longer able to do the job. In other words, if the cabinet were to attempt to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump, Vice President Mike Pence must agree with them — in effect casting the deciding vote and appointing himself as president.

A cabinet-level removal would last for only 21 days, at which point Congress must vote to either reinstate the president, or keep him out of office on a permanent basis.

The 25th Amendment was written and ratified following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, pictured above, in 1963. [Image by William J. Smith/AP Images

Though the Constitution specifies that the vice president becomes president in the event that a sitting president is incapacitated, prior to the addition of the 25th Amendment it contained no provisions for how the transfer of power should take place. Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, the U.S. government was thrown into confusion — until Vice President Lyndon Johnson simply took the initiative and ordered himself sworn in as president aboard Air Force One as it returned to Washington, D.C., from Dallas, Texas, — site of Kennedy’s assassination.

Johnson then served his first 14 months in office with no vice president in place in the event that he, Johnson, should also die or become incapacitated. The crisis led to the creation of the 25th Amendment, which outlines the specific method for replacing a president no longer able to discharge his duties. The new Constitutional amendment was ratified on February 10, 1967.

[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]

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