The Other Way To Remove The President: The 25th Amendment
Conviction in the Senate is one way to remove the president, but its not the only one. Another option lies with the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution, which would require action from the presidents own Cabinet. Earlier this year, Prokop explained how the 25th Amendment works:
Specifically, thats Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment states that if, for whatever reason, the vice president and a majority of sitting Cabinet secretaries decide that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, they can simply put that down in writing and send it to two people the speaker of the House and the Senates president pro tempore.
Then the vice president would immediately become acting president, and take over all the presidents powers.
Let that sink in one vice president and any eight Cabinet officers can, theoretically, decide to knock the president out of power at any time.
If the president wants to dispute this move, he can, but then it would be up to Congress to settle the matter with a vote. A two-thirds majority in both houses would be necessary to keep the vice president in charge. If that threshold isnt reached, the president would regain his powers.
But the 25th Amendment has never been invoked to remove a sitting president. In other words, if Trump goes, it will probably be the result of the ballot box in 2020.
What Does The Constitution Say
Article II Section 4 of the Constitution specifies that a President must be removed from office if he is convicted in an impeachment trial. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors, the document reads.
There was debate during Trumps first impeachment whether the conduct he was impeached on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress fell under the Constitutions loosely defined high crimes and misdemeanors. In their impeachment resolution charging Trump with incitement of insurrection, House Democrats argue why it rises to the level of an impeachable offense. President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government, the resolution reads. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinate branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
In other words, the Senate holds the power to convict Trump and remove him from office, and must do so with a two-thirds majority vote. The Senate can also disqualify him from holding future office if he is convicted, but the Constitution doesnt specify whether that would also require a two-thirds majority vote.
After The 2018 Midterm Elections
On March 11, 2019, Nancy Pelosi said, “I’m not for impeachment, Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it. No. I don’t think he is. I mean, ethically unfit. Intellectually unfit. Curiosity wise unfit. No, I don’t think he’s fit to be president of the United States.” She then scolded herself for “coming across too negatively”.
With the Democrats in control of the House, and with a direct impeachment inquiry deemed somewhat toxic, the work of investigations into Trump’s possible crimes were divided into several committees while waiting for some outside force, such as the Mueller probe or the Southern District to force the Democratic leadership’s hands.
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Theres A Surprisingly Plausible Path To Removing Trump From Office
It would take just three Republican senators to turn the impeachment vote into a secret ballot. Itâs not hard to imagine what would happen then.
A secret impeachment ballot might sound crazy, but itâs actually quite possible. In fact, it would take only three senators to allow for that possibility.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will immediately move to hold a trial to adjudicate the articles of impeachment if and when the Senate receives them from the House of Representatives. Article I, Section 3, of the Constitution does not set many parameters for the trial, except to say that âthe Chief Justice shall preside,â and âno Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.â That means the Senate has sole authority to draft its own rules for the impeachment trial, without judicial or executive branch oversight.
During the last impeachment of a president, Bill Clinton, the rules were hammered out by Democrats and Republicans in a collaborative process,as then Senate leaders Trent Lott and Tom Daschle recently pointed out in a Washington Post op-ed. The rules passed unanimously. Thatâs unlikely this time, given the polarization that now defines our politics. McConnell and his fellow Republicans are much more likely to dictate the rules with little input from Democrats.
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Despite Mr Trumps noticeably erratic behaviour over the past few months, which prompted 35 mental health professionals to write an open letter to The New York Timessaying he showed signs of grave emotional instability, this is still unlikely.
Mr Breidbart and Mr Nayak say it is likely that they will have to get the sign off of the Vice President Mike Pence and will need to get a super majority two thirds approval in both houses in order to override a presidential veto.
But they argued it may be enough that Congress has this power to hold over Mr Trumps head to force him to behave.
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How To Remove Trump From Office
Donald Trump is a one-man basket of deplorables. He is a braggart and a liar. He is a bully and a demagogue. He is an ignoramus and a deadbeat, a chiseler and either a sincere racist or an insincere one, and his love for himself is matched only by my loathing of him. He is about to be president of the United States. A constitutional coup may be in the offing.
Since winning the election, Trump has not moderated his behavior. He still behaves like a brat his childish tweet zinging Arnold Schwarzenegger for failing to get Trumpian ratings on The New Celebrity Apprentice being the most amusing example. Many of the others were just plain lies, the most serious being his earlier troubling statements regarding Russian efforts to affect the election. As always, Trump made this about himself not, as it should be, about a foreign power meddling in our democracy.
It is folly to think that aides such as Priebus are going to be able to moderate Trump. They are enablers, emptying their consciences and stuffing their egos, and it is even sillier to think that Trump himself will change. He is 70, into the years of ossification, and his political triumph has only convinced him of his inerrant correctness. He thinks he is infallible, a kind of secular pope. Things will go from bad to worse.
Few Workable Options For Removing Trump From Office Says Law Prof
Pence and the majority of Trump’s cabinet would need to declare that Trump is unable to perform the duties of the presidency and remove him. Pence would take over in that scenario.
Trump could subsequently declare that he is capable of resuming the job. If Pence and the majority of the cabinet do not contest Trump’s determination, Trump regains power. If they dispute Trump’s declaration, the issue would then be decided by Congress, but Pence would continue to act as president until then.
A two-thirds majority of both chambers would be needed to keep Trump sidelined. But the Democrat-controlled House could simply delay voting on the substantive dispute until Trump’s term ends, said Paul Campos, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Colorado.
Campos said the 25th Amendment would be an appropriate way to remove Trump from office and has the benefit of being quicker than impeachment.
“Pence could instantly become president, whereas impeachment and conviction could take at least a few days,” Campos said.
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How Does The 25th Amendment Work
The other way a president could have his or her powers stripped is by invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution. This section allows top government officials to assess whether the president is fit for office and, potentially, remove his or her powers.
To trigger Section 4 a drastic measure that has never been used Vice President Mike Pence and the majority of 15 Cabinet members, which includes staunch Trump allies like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, would have to agree the president is unfit for office.
Pence and the majority would sign and send a letter to both houses of Congress the House of Representatives and the Senate stating that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” The powers of the executive would then immediately be assumed by the vice president.
“It would remove any of powers and any of his tasks. Mike Pence would then become acting president,” Kenneth Manusama, a US constitutional law expert and lecturer at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, told DW.
But Trump would have an opportunity to contest this by sending a written letter to both chambers of Congress. Congress can then decide by two-thirds majority in both Houses.
The vice president would remain acting president until both chambers reach a conclusion on the issue.
Explainer: How Could Trump Be Removed From Office Before His Term Ends On Jan 20
5 Min Read
– The storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump on Wednesday has prompted calls by some lawmakers to remove him from office before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20.
The chaotic scenes unfolded after Republican Trump, who has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, addressed thousands of protesters and repeated unfounded claims that the election was stolen from him.
There are two ways to remove a president from office: the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and impeachment followed by a Senate conviction. In either scenario, Vice President Mike Pence would take over until Bidens inauguration.
A source familiar with the effort said here have been some preliminary discussions among some Cabinet members and Trump allies about invoking the 25th Amendment.
Whats the purpose of the 25th Amendment?
The 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967 and adopted in the wake of President John F. Kennedys assassination in 1963, deals with presidential succession and disability.
Section 4 addresses situations where a president is unable to do the job but does not step down voluntarily.
The drafters of the 25th Amendment clearly intended for it to apply when a president is incapacitated by a physical or mental illness, experts say. Some scholars have also argued that it could also apply more broadly to a president who is dangerously unfit for office.
Can Trump be impeached and removed?
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What’s The Purpose Of The 25th Amendment
The 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967 and adopted in the wake of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, deals with presidential succession and disability. President Lyndon B. Johnson in his 1965 state of the union address promised to “propose laws to ensure the necessary continuity of leadership should the president become disabled or die.”
Section 4 addresses situations where a president is unable to do the job but does not step down voluntarily. This section, which allows the cabinet to declare the president unfit, has never been invoked.
The drafters of the 25th Amendment clearly intended for it to apply when a president is incapacitated by a physical or mental illness, experts say. Some scholars have argued it could also apply more broadly to a president who is dangerously unfit for office.
WATCH | Assessing the likelihood of impeachment or 25th Amendment use:
Do Americans Support Removing Trump From Office
An updating average of support for and opposition to removing Trump from office before the end of his term, accounting for each poll’s quality, recency and sample size
We collected all the polls we could find that asked some version of a yes-or-no question about whether respondents supported removing Trump from office, though some polls also offered a dont know or no opinion option. If the same poll asked more than one removal question , we included both questions, but the results of those questions were averaged together, then input into the model, so the poll was not double counted.
Wednesday evening, the House passed its second resolution aimed at removing President Trump from office. But as FiveThirtyEight’s Perry Bacon Jr. wrote, it was still a largely partisan affair, with only 10 Republicans joining the latest rebuke of the president. What happens next is, in many ways, anyones guess, but it doesnt seem as if well have an answer before Joe Bidens inauguration next week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reported to believe that Trump has committed impeachable offenses, but McConnell has indicated that he thinks no final verdict will be reached in the impeachment trial until after Trump leaves office. Welcome, in other words, to the limbo period in the 2021 impeachment process.
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Trump Calls Rioters Very Special
The assault on the US Capitol by armed supporters of Trump earlier on Wednesday left four people dead and came as the House of Representatives and Senate convened to certify the outcome of the presidential election two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20.
The chaotic scenes followed a pro-Trump rally outside the White House during which the outgoing president, who has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, addressed thousands of supporters and repeated unfounded claims that the election was stolen from him.
Trump later called on his supporters to go home, but also praised them as very special, while professing his love for them.
Jotaka Eaddy, a political consultant and founder of Full Circle Strategies, said that Trumps actions have raised real questions about his state of mind, and that everything should be on the table right now to prevent him from making more damage to the countrys democratic institutions even if he only has two weeks left in office.
He has been inciting violence, and he created the platform and atmosphere of violence, she told Al Jazeera.
Enough Is Enough Remove Donald Trump From Office
Donald Trump must be impeached or otherwise removed immediately and barred from holding office. The daily damage he is doing to Americamuch of it criminalis inexcusable. He continues to relentlessly spread conspiracy theories about voting and federal elections and is actively working to manipulate election results. Trump’s incitement of mob violence earlier today in D.C. is just the latest in a series of insults and assaults on our democracy.
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Trump Impeached For Abuse Of Power And Obstruction Of Congress
Voting nearly along party lines, the House approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump, making him the third president in history to face removal by the Senate.
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The 25th Amendment: Can Trump Be Declared Unfit For Office
Democratic Congress members tell Vice President Pence that Trump cannot remain for full term as not mentally sound.
Broadcast network ABC News, citing multiple sources with direct knowledge of the move, reported that some members of Trumps cabinet were discussing an unprecedented move to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment of the constitution, as several Democratic members of Congress urged Vice President Mike Pence to lead the charge in declaring Trump as unfit to remain as president.
President Trump revealed that he is not mentally sound and is still unable to process and accept the results of the 2020 election, they wrote in a letter that was signed by all Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee.
President Trump has shown time and again that he is unwilling to protect our Democracy and carry out the duties of the office.
NEW: I am sending a letter with @RepTedLieu and our colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee, calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from office after todays events.
The Washington Post newspapers editorial board also called for Trumps removal, saying, every second he retains the vast powers of the presidency is a threat to public order and national security.
It was a view echoed by The Miami Herald newspaper: His comments were no mere dog whistle to his marauding posse. This was a full-throated war cry, the paper said in an editorial.
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His Coup Plot Ends In Tragedy Insurrection And National Humiliation
This afternoon, President Trump’s cynical and ham-fisted efforts to steal the 2020 election and destroy American democracy ended predictably in tragedy and terror as an armed mob of seditionists stormed the U.S. Capitol and occupied it for several hours as of this writing. The ceremonial counting of electoral votes was halted and both chambers went into recess when terrified members of Congress and their staffs were forced to hide like schoolchildren in an active shooter scenario.
All of this was the inevitable result of President Trump’s unhinged, incendiary rhetoric and his months-long plot to stage a coup, and he must be removed from office via the 25th Amendment or impeachment at the earliest possible opportunity. Even two more weeks in office is too much runway to give this maniac, his ragtag army of Confederate cosplayers, and his proto-authoritarian allies in Congress. Unless we want to see this country descend further into sclerotic violence and civic madness, a bipartisan effort must be mounted, now, to end the Trump presidency and begin the process of rooting out what can only be described as a domestic insurrection.
The president, of course, rambled incoherently well into the time that Pence was supposed to begin counting the Electoral Votes. But perhaps most consequentially, Trump literally encouraged his supporters to march over to the Capitol, which is exactly what they soon did.