Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#76

Post by Addie »

Cross-posting

Politico
Forget About Impeaching Trump

Democrats should be building the legal case for an indictment instead.


Special counsel Robert Mueller’s cryptic message to Donald Trump’s attorneys—that the president is being investigated but is not currently a criminal target—is certain to intensify talk of impeachment. As Princeton University professor Keith Whittington told the Washington Post in response to the news, while Trump could still become a criminal target, “The president’s personal risk is primarily on the impeachment front.”

But if Mueller believes that Trump needs to be held accountable for any violation of law, he cannot expect Congress to do the accounting. There is only one mechanism that has any chance of working, and it is not impeachment. It’s indictment.

Impeachment is a dead end because the congressional jury pool is tainted. Mueller has been systematically demonized for weeks by Trump and his allies. For example, earlier this week Fox News host Sean Hannity warned of a proverbial “civil war … if Robert Mueller is so pompous and so arrogant and so power hungry and so corrupt” that he would accuse Trump of a crime (as if that’s the only motivation Mueller could possibly have). In turn, more than half of Republicans disapprove of Mueller’s handling of the investigation, giving House Republicans no incentive to get crosswise with their base and support impeachment.

Even if Democrats take control of the House after the November elections, and unify around impeachment (both big ifs), a two-thirds vote of conviction in the Senate is almost surely impossible. In the wildest Democratic midterm election fantasy—a complete sweep of every 2018 Senate contest—Democrats would reach 58 seats, leaving them nine short of a two-thirds supermajority. Realistically, several more than nine Republicans would be needed to convict. But good luck finding even that many who would play Brutus to Trump’s Caesar. The only Republican senators who have vocally criticized Trump got hounded out of running for reelection and won’t be around to convict an impeached president.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#77

Post by Foggy »

So sayeth the DoomSeers.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#78

Post by Addie »

WaPo - Jennifer Rubin
The indictment dilemma wouldn’t be a dilemma if Republicans upheld their oaths ...

If a president is indicted, then tried and convicted, he might be prevented from conducting his constitutional duties. He cannot very well perform his job from a jail cell. Impeachment is the only specified method in the Constitution for disabling the president (aside from the 25th Amendment).

Unlike a matter of civil litigation, a criminal case places much greater demands on the defendant (“Once criminal charges are filed, the burdens of responding to those charges are different in kind and far greater in degree than those of responding to civil litigation. . . . [A] criminal prosecution would require the President’s personal attention and attendance at specific times and places, because the burdens of criminal defense are much less amenable to mitigation by skillful trial management. Indeed, constitutional rights and values are at stake in the defendant’s ability to be present for all phases of his criminal trial.”

In other words, there are perfectly good reasons a sitting president should not be indicted, quite apart from stigma, that would accompany a prosecutor’s report of the type Mueller may be contemplating.

Second, the president doesn’t necessarily need to linger in office. Impeachment is the constitutionally approved method of ejecting the president after the issuance of a damning prosecutor’s report spelling out the basis for future prosecution. If Mueller spells out credible, detailed evidence that could be used to indict Trump after he leaves office, how could Congress avoid the conclusion he has committed a “high crime” or “misdemeanor”? The prospect of a damning prosecutor’s report hanging over the president’s head only exists if Congress fails to do its job seriously. The problem is not the report or the lack of indictment but Republicans’ infidelity to their oaths of office.

The good news is that there is a remedy in November — the midterm elections. A blue wave would wash out to sea Republicans unwilling to perform their duties. Democrats can then exercise serious oversight and, if warranted, commence impeachment proceedings.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#79

Post by AndyinPA »

...proceedings that will fail in the Senate. There aren't enough republicans in the Senate with enough spine to vote for impeachment. It's not a political party that cares about the country any more. It's a cult that's only interested in ruling at any cost.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#80

Post by RoadScholar »

I'm afraid they'll intentionally vote for impeachment, but then make sure the removal vote would fail, causing much of America to say "See? He didn't do anything wrong after all!" :sick:
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#81

Post by Addie »

The Hill
Dem lawmaker: I'll introduce impeachment article if Trump fires Rosenstein

A Democratic lawmaker tweeted Friday that he will introduce articles of impeachment against President Trump if he orders the firing of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

In a tweet, Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) reacted to reports that Trump is considering firing both Rosenstein and Robert Mueller, the special counsel in charge of the investigation into Russian election meddling. ...

Dozens of House Democrats — though not Boyle — have indicated their support for impeachment in votes stretching back to last year.

A total of 66 Democrats have indicated support for impeachment so far, though the party's leadership has shied away from the issue, saying the special counsel investigation should be allowed to do its job.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#82

Post by Addie »

Cross-posting

Politico
Trump's Russia strategy: Bash Mueller to beat impeachment

Giuliani and the White House fear Congress more than criminal charges.


President Donald Trump and his lawyers have made a strategic calculation that their fight against special counsel Robert Mueller is more political than it is legal.

They’re banking that the lead Russia investigator will follow long-standing Justice Department practice that a sitting president can’t be indicted, and that that the only real threat to Trump’s survival is impeachment.

So long as that theory holds, Trump’s plan is to forcefully challenge Mueller in the arena he knows best — not the courtroom but the media, with a public campaign aimed at the special counsel’s credibility, especially among Republican voters and GOP members of Congress.

“The public strategy has now subsumed the legal strategy,” said a source who has worked with the president’s lawyers. “The public stance is fight, fight, fight. So the legal strategy is now fight, fight, fight.”

Trump’s legal team — now led by a talkative Rudy Giuliani — increasingly sees their goal as fighting potential impeachment proceedings by a Democratic-controlled Congress next year, according to multiple sources close to the White House.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#83

Post by Addie »

Slate
The Incapacitated President

Ratified in 1967, the 25th Amendment to the Constitution allows the vice president and a majority of sitting Cabinet secretaries to remove the president if they decide he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Crafted in the wake of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, it’s been cited recently in response to President Donald Trump and mounting evidence that he’s not equipped to handle the office of the presidency. Excerpts from a new book on the Trump administration don’t just bolster that view; they suggest a White House where officials have all but invoked an informal version of that provision, stymieing presidential decision making and cutting Trump out of the policymaking and other affairs of state. The White House may be divided by competing loyalties and self-interest, but it is united in its belief that the president cannot be allowed to act unencumbered, lest he plunge the federal government—and the United States—into chaos. ...

The debilitation of Wilson and deterioration of Nixon were behind closed doors. Neither Congress nor the larger public had a full sense of the turmoil in the White House. Details would emerge later, and the nation would not learn the full extent of presidential incapacitation until well after the fact. Trump is far from transparent, and yet with reported work and inside accounts, we have a remarkably full picture of the “breakdown” in and around the president. And if anything described by Wolff, Manigault, or Woodward is true, then the United States is currently in the midst of an acute political crisis, beset with a functionally incapacitated president and a government branch run on an ad hoc basis. ...

Washington may understand and acknowledge the fundamental dysfunction of the Trump White House, but the relevant power brokers—congressional Republicans and their allies—have shown no desire to act upon this slow-motion collapse of the executive branch. Their reasons are narrowly self-interested: Trump may be incapable of effectively carrying out the duties of the presidency, but there is enough of a working policymaking apparatus to accomplish key goals like crippling the regulatory state and building a durable conservative majority on the federal judiciary. ...

Trapped in an unprecedented situation of a crisis that’s broadly known but presently unresolvable, we’re experiencing the extent to which Hamilton was simply too optimistic. The ability to deal with wrongdoing and complete dysfunction in the executive branch is, as he feared, entirely “regulated … by the comparative strength of the parties.” And one of those parties is unconcerned with the potential consequences of a dysfunctional White House and a seemingly unhinged president. Donald Trump cannot do his job, and as long as the Republican Party holds power in Washington, there’s nothing to be done about it.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#84

Post by TollandRCR »

The 25th amendment was not designed, IMHO, to deal with a president who entered office incapable of the job. That is Trump. He was never qualified. The 25th amendment was more for the Wilson situation -- a president who lost the ability to govern.

Impeachment is the right solution.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#85

Post by MN-Skeptic »

Statement from the Press Secretary regarding anonymous New York Times op-ed:
Nearly 62 million people voted for President Donald J. Trump in 2016, earning him 306 Electoral College votes — versus 232 for his opponent. None of them voted for a gutless, anonymous source to the failing New York Times. We are disappointed, but not surprised, that the paper chose to publish this pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed. This is a new low for the so-called "paper of record," and it should issue an apology, just as it did after the election for its disastrous coverage of the Trump campaign. This is just another example of the liberal media's concerted coverage of the Trump campaign. This is just another example of the liberal media's concerted effort to discredit the President.

President Trump has laid out a bold and ambitious agenda. Every day since taking office, he has fulfilled the promises he made. His accomplishments in less than two years have been astounding.

The individual behind this piece has chosen to deceive, rather than support, the duly elected President of the United States. He is not putting country first, but putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people. This coward should do the right thing and resign.
Sarah Sanders signed her name to that, but it's vintage Trump.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#86

Post by vic »

TollandRCR wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:16 pm
The 25th amendment was not designed, IMHO, to deal with a president who entered office incapable of the job. That is Trump. He was never qualified. The 25th amendment was more for the Wilson situation -- a president who lost the ability to govern.

Impeachment is the right solution.
I don't consider the 25th Amendment so limited. In the current office-holder's case, sufficient people (voters, electors) either didn't believe him incapable or believed his shortcomings could be overcome. More and more are realizing that he is in fact incapable.

If a candidate manages to hide a disability and gets elected, and the disability becomes worse, or reveals itself to be impeding the person's ability to execute the office, the 25th amendment should apply.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#87

Post by Dr. Kenneth Noisewater »

Lawrence Tribe seems to think that it applies for 21 days at a time and then you have to keep doing it.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#88

Post by TollandRCR »

I would love for the 25th amendment to apply to Trump. I would also love for the VP and the cabinet to have the courage to apply it.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#89

Post by Addie »

CNN
Elizabeth Warren: Time to use 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office

(CNN) Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, seizing on an explosive op-ed from an anonymous administration official, said Thursday that it's time to use constitutional powers to remove President Donald Trump office if top officials don't think he can do the job.

"If senior administration officials think the President of the United States is not able to do his job, then they should invoke the 25th Amendment," Warren told CNN. "The Constitution provides for a procedure whenever the Vice President and senior officials think the President can't do his job. It does not provide that senior officials go around the President -- take documents off his desk, write anonymous op-eds ... Everyone of these officials have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. It's time for them to do their job."

The hard-charging comments by the potential 2020 presidential candidate come in the wake of the stunning New York Times piece where an anonymous official raises deep concerns about the President and contends there were some initial conversations to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the President from office. The White House has aggressively pushed back on the piece, calling the author a traitor and a coward.

The remarks are bound to spark a debate within the potential 2020 field about how hard to go after Trump, with some advocating impeachment and invoking the 25th Amendment and others acting more cautious.

Warrren dismissed questions that invoking constitutional remedies would provoke a constitutional crisis.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#90

Post by Lani »

I'm leery about that op-ed. It's great that the NYT states that the writer has been verified; however his/her intentions have not.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#91

Post by dunstvangeet »

The 25th Amendment doesn't actually remove the President from office, and furthermore is one of the messiest ways to declare him temporairly incapable from the office.

These are the words of the 25th Amendment:
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.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless 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. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
So, in order for this to work, you'd need the following to vote (and continue to vote) against the President:
1. The Vice President.
2. A majority (8 out of 15 members) of the Cabinet
3. 2/3rds (290 out of 495) of the House
4. 2/3rds (67 out of 100) of the Senate

Furthermore, this doesn't actually remove Donald Trump from office. This just bestows the powers upon the Vice President. At any time, the President can petition the Congress to restore the powers of the Presidency (and anything less than a 2/3rds vote from each house would automatically do it). Furthermore, if he fails, he can petition the house again, and again to restore his powers, forcing them to continually vote to declare him unfit for the Presidency.

If you're going to have all of that, then why not just have the house enact articles of impeachment. This only takes a majority of the House (218 out of 435) to pass the articles of impeachment. After that, it takes the 2/3rds of the Senate to kick him out of office. So, in this scenario, you don't need the VP, or anybody from the cabinent, and your requirement from the House goes from 290 members down to 218 members. At this point, the President is out of the office, and can't continually petition for congress to reinstate him.

If you have the votes to invoke the 25th Amendment, then you also have the votes for impeachment.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#92

Post by pipistrelle »

The 25th seems to be written for physical inability, with VP taking over until the POTUS shows recovery to Congress. "Inability" doesn't seem to include extreme narcissism. Individual-1 is technically able to do stuff, most of it vile. The drunken pronunciation of "anonymous" twice, though, makes one wonder how far along mental decline is.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#93

Post by Sam the Centipede »

Beaten by pipi, so I'll delete most of my comment. Yes, the 25th Amendment appears designed to prevent the executive freezing when the President is so unwell that he cannot even hand over the reins of power.

If my (and pipi's) understanding is correct, then it's not really the appropriate way of removing a President, is it? An underlying principle of US-style democracy is that the electorate put officials such as the President in power, and it is for the electorate to remove them, and the proper mechanism for removal is to vote in a new official at the next election.

Trump came into power via the electoral process. Trump should be removed via the electoral process. However, Republicans attempted all manner of dirty tricks to sabotage Clinton's and Obama's presidencies, so I wouldn't object to the Democrats playing equally dirty to try to get Trump out of the White House.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#94

Post by Mikedunford »

I agree completely.

Trump is many, many things. "Unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office" is not one of them.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#95

Post by Addie »

NPR: What Is The 25th Amendment And How Could It Undermine Trump?
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#96

Post by Addie »

WaPo - Anne Applebaum
Washington feels like the capital of an occupied country ...

There can be only one explanation for this kind of behavior: White House officials, and many others in Washington, really do not feel they are living in a fully legal state. True, there is no communist terror; the president’s goons will not arrest public officials who testify to Congress; no one will be murdered if they walk out of the White House and start campaigning for impeachment or, more importantly, for the invocation of the 25th Amendment, the procedure to transfer power if a president is mentally or physically unfit to remain in office. Nevertheless, dozens of people clearly don’t believe in the legal mechanisms designed to remove a president who is incompetent or corrupt. As the anonymous op-ed writer put it in the New York Times, despite “early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment,” none of the secret patriots “wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis” and backed off.

You can imagine why this would be. Leading members of Congress might resist invoking the 25th Amendment, which would of course be described by Trump’s supporters as a “Cabinet coup.” The mob — not the literal, physical street mob, but the online mob that has replaced it — would seek revenge. There may not be any presidential goons, but any senior official who signs his or her name to a call for impeachment or removal will certainly be subjected to waves of hatred on social media, starting with a denunciation from the president. Recriminations will follow on Fox News, along with a smear campaign, a doxing campaign, attacks on the target’s family and perhaps worse. It is possible we have underestimated the degree to which our political culture has already become more authoritarian.

Maybe we have also underestimated the degree to which our Constitution, designed in the 18th century, has proved insufficient to the demands of the 21st. In 2016, we learned why it matters that our electoral college — originally designed to put another layer of people between the popular vote and the presidency, or as Alexander Hamilton wrote, to ensure “that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications” — has become a stale fiction. Now an important constitutional amendment seems, to the men and women who are empowered to use it, too controversial to actually use.

The result: institutional and administrative chaos; our military chain of command is compromised; people around the elected president feel compelled to act above the law and remove papers from his desk. The mechanisms meant to protect the state from an incompetent or dictatorial president are not being used because people in power no longer believe in them, or are afraid to use them. Washington feels like the capital of a state where the legal order has collapsed because, in some ways, it is.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#97

Post by Addie »

New York Times - Peter Baker
Talk of the 25th Amendment Underscores a Volatile Presidency

WASHINGTON — President Trump had not even taken office before critics who considered him dangerous began imagining how to get him out. One idea floated from the very start was the clause in the Constitution permitting the removal of a president deemed unable to discharge his duties. ...

On that, at least, he was right. There has been a lot of talk about it. But what has become increasingly clear in recent days is that the talk has extended not just to those who never supported Mr. Trump, but even to some of those who worked for him. As it turns out, according to memos written by an F.B.I. official, the deputy attorney general at one point last year suggested that the president was so unstable that Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet should consider invoking the amendment. ...

“Like so much with this president, it’s quite literally without precedent,” said Russell L. Riley, a presidential historian at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. “To anyone’s knowledge, we’ve never been anywhere close to this situation before.” ...

As a practical matter, the notion that Mr. Trump would be removed through the 25th Amendment is more opposition fantasy than plausible outcome, absent a significant change in circumstances. The amendment does not define “unable to discharge” and was devised mainly for a situation when a president had a serious health problem, not for a president whose behavior seems erratic and would fight removal.

The amendment can be put to use only if the vice president agrees, and few can imagine Mr. Pence, who has made public loyalty to Mr. Trump his calling card, going along without a more extreme situation. The amendment then requires the support of a majority of the cabinet or some other body designated by Congress. Congress has never designated such a body, leaving the matter to the cabinet.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#98

Post by Addie »

Politico
Republicans battle to defend Trump from threat of impeachment

Lawmakers are jockeying for the top GOP spot on the House Judiciary Committee, which will be ground zero for Democratic attacks on the president.


The audition to become President Donald Trump's most visible defender in Congress — and lead the fight against any impeachment proceedings — is in full swing.

One of Trump’s fiercest allies, Rep. Jim Jordan, on Friday began flirting openly with a bid to serve as the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, the panel where a flood of Democratic-led investigations, and potential impeachment, will begin. ...

Republicans' pick will be critical for Trump and his party. The new House Democratic majority has detailed a long list of targets for investigation, from Trump’s business entanglements to his decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey. Even after Republicans were routed in the midterms, GOP leaders are vowing to aggressively defend against Democratic probes, which they've labeled "presidential harassment." ...

The top slot on the Judiciary Committee also comes with a powerful policy portfolio. The committee has jurisdiction over immigration, gun control and abortion, as well as oversight of the Justice Department and FBI. But with Capitol Hill polarized over the president, the next ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee will likely be spending more time fighting for Trump than legislating with Democrats. It’s a reality that is already coloring the jockeying for the job.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#99

Post by RTH10260 »

Addie wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:52 pm
Politico
Republicans battle to defend Trump from threat of impeachment

:snippity: .
Hmm - didn't Nixon show them the way to proceed, like having dotus step down :?:

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#100

Post by Addie »

Bloomberg OpEd - Jonathan Bernstein
Trump Keeps Making the Case for Impeachment

Removing the president would be harmful. But Trump seems determined to force the issue. ...



If the evidence doesn’t yet demand impeachment, however, it is certainly getting closer. For example, the story of what Roger Stone and other Trump associates did during the campaign is coming into clearer focus and may well have involved criminal activity – which Trump would very likely have known about. But really the problem isn’t the full body of evidence or what else special counsel Robert Mueller might do. It’s that Trump seems determined to force the issue with his flat-out contempt for the rule of law.

Just this week? Trump once again ramped up his attacks on Mueller. He and Paul Manafort, it emerged, have been collaborating behind the backs of federal prosecutors, which could amount to obstruction. His public hinting about a pardon surely is obstruction. Then there’s the Department of Justice, where Trump has (perhaps unconstitutionally) installed a loyalist who hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate as acting attorney general and is apparently refusing to nominate a permanent replacement. As Lawfare’s Susan Hennessey says: “There is just no way to understand this other than as an outright assault on basic separation of power principles of the US Constitution.”

That’s not to mention the president’s ongoing defiance of constitutional prohibitions on emoluments and norms governing conflicts of interest. Or his frequent suggestion that his political opponents should be imprisoned – in the case of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, because, as Trump said Wednesday, “He should have never picked a special counsel.” This is consistent with Trump’s increased use of “lock her up” as a general slogan, rather than as a reference to specific alleged crimes. It’s no longer just an ugly catch phrase; Trump has in fact attempted to get the Justice Department to prosecute his political enemies.

So here’s the problem: Trump’s impeachable offenses aren’t just in the past. It’s not like the Iran-Contra scandal, where Congress could choose (essentially) not to press charges after the fact. What made the “smoking gun” tape so devastating at the end of the Watergate saga was that it offered absolute proof that President Richard Nixon’s cover-up was still in effect – that he was still fully engaged in impeachable activity, even two years after the break-in.

In this respect, Trump is actually worse than Nixon, because Nixon at least pretended that the law applied to him; he just lied about following it. Trump expresses contempt for the rule of law every day – some days, he shouts it from the mountaintops. That attitude, more than any of the specifics of the Russia probe or the obstruction investigation, is why this is such a malignant presidency. And why, unfortunately, the House may eventually have no choice but to act.

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