The Washington Post, owned by anti-Trump billionaire Jeff Bezos, has suggested a “constitutional coup” is necessary to remove the “ignoramus deadbeat” Donald Trump from office.
“Donald Trump is a one-man basket of deplorable. 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,” wrote Richard Cohen for the Washington Post. “He is about to be president of the United States. A constitutional coup may be in the offing.”
Cohen expressed disappointment that incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, “the outgoing Republican National Committee chairman and now another of the moral eunuchs in Trump’s court,” has been unable to “moderate Trump.”
“One remote remedy is impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate,” he noted.
After noting that impeachment is unlikely, Cohen suggested using the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from office for being “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
The 25th Amendment, adopted in 1967, established the processes to fill a vacancy in the office of the Vice President and replace a President unable to discharge their duties.
“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,” section four of the amendment reads.
While the President can submit a written declaration to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives indicating that no inability exists, “the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress” may submit their own letter challenging the President’s declaration, forcing Congress to decide the outcome.
As cabinet officials are tasked, under the 25th Amendment, with deciding if a President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office, Cohen advised Senate Democrats to bring the issue up for discussion during confirmation hearings for Trump’s cabinet nominees.
“But it is plain that the 25th Amendment does give a role to Cabinet members that is not generally considered when they are up for confirmation. This time, however, they should all be asked whether they are aware of the 25th Amendment and, if need be, whether they would be willing to implement it.”