Photo by Gage Skidmore. License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
WASHINGTON — It would be far easier to remove a President Trump from office than most Americans think – at least, that’s what his critics say.
All it would take is for the vice president and a majority of the members of the cabinet to declare the president mentally or physically unfit, according to liberal commentator Keith Olbermann, who made the case in a new video as part of his GQ “The Resistance” series.
“Section four of the 25th Amendment to our Constitution provides the means to vice president-elect Pence and Trump’s cabinet office to remove him from office as soon as the inauguration is over,” Olbermann said.
“No hearings, no doctors, no conferences, no impeachment. The vice president and merely most of the cabinet write to the Speaker Paul Ryan and the Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch and they say the president’s unable to do the job and the vice president becomes president,” Olbermann said.
Technically, Olbermann is right, although Republicans so far are extremely loyal to Trump. Olbermann’s theory also shows how desperate the Left is to deny Trump the presidency. First, a group of Democrat electors launched an effort to persuade Republican electors to abandon Trump in the electoral college. Then, Jill Stein of the Green Party sought a series of recounts.
The relevant portion of the 25th Amendment states:
“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.”
The amendment does not require a medical or psychological examination of the president. The amendment allows the president to resume office by sending his or her own letter to the speaker and the president pro tempore. If the cabinet and vice president refused to go along, then a vote by a two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress would be required to remove Trump.
The 25th Amendment was ratified in 1967.
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