For months, Democratic leaders have told people that impeachment of President Trump was impossible with a GOP-controlled Congress. However, it seems as though Trump’s tweet that targeted MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski has pushed some Republicans to take an interest in some Democratic legislation that may change things.
Some congressional leaders are now are pushing a bill that would create a congressional “oversight” commission that would determine if the president is incapacitated, which could lead to his removal under the 25th Amendment.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) is a former constitutional law professor and the main sponsor of the bill. For the basis of the bill, Raskin used some largely overlooked language in Session 4 of the 25th Amendment. It allows “such other body as Congress may by law provide” along with the vice president to reach the conclusion of the president being incapacitated. In other words, if Congress agrees to an “incapacitation committee,” how badly does Pence want to be president?
Congress has never set up this kind of body in the 50 years since the 25th Amendment was put into place. In Raskin bill, it calls for the formulation of an “Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity.” It would be nonpartisan, consisting of four physicians, four psychiatrists and three other people, like previous presidents, vice presidents, and other previous senior U.S. government officials. The commission would carry an examination of the president “to determine whether the president is incapacitated, either mentally or physically.”
There are no guidelines on determining if the president is incapacitated.
Raskin first introduced the bill in April and there has been increased interest in the legislation since- even by some Republicans. The co-sponsors who signed the bill are Rep. John Conyers, (D-Mich.), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee (and the only member of Congress who was around when the 25th Amendment was established), and former chair of the Democratic National Committee Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, (D-Fla.).
“I’ve had tons of inquiries, and lots of colleagues have been talking to me about it,” he said. “I’m convinced most Americans believe we are living in a very strange reality. … The question is, what are the escape routes we have, and the 25th Amendment is one of them,” Raskin stated.