Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said Thursday that it is time to invoke a constitutional amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office if top officials believe he can no longer fulfill his duties.
The prominent Democrat’s comments follow a stunning newspaper op-ed by an anonymous senior administration official expressing grave concerns about Trump’s morals and behavior.
The New York Times article described an insider resistance movement that prevents him making ‘reckless’ decisions.
‘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.
Section 4 of the 25th Amendment of the Constitution allows the vice president and cabinet officials to write to Congress if they believe the president cannot do his job.
In that event, the vice president would assume presidential duties – permanently if Congress agrees in a subsequent vote that the president cannot discharge his duties.
The amendment, ratified in 1967, allows for a temporary transfer of power if the president is incapacitated by something like surgery, as in 2002 when George W. Bush underwent a colonoscopy.
The far more consequential Section 4 has never been used, however, and experts say the process is particularly fraught.
The op-ed was published on the same day as explosive excerpts of veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward’s upcoming book which described how officials would remove important documents from Trump’s desk to stop him signing off on bad policy.
Warren, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, expressed alarm that senior officials were offering anonymous but searing critiques of a troubling presidency but not taking constitutional action.
‘What kind of a crisis do we have if senior officials believe that the president can’t do his job and then refuse to follow the rules that have been laid down in the Constitution?’ Warren said.
‘They can’t have it both ways.’
Meanwhile during a ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in Billings, Montana, on Thursday night, Trump told his supporters the blame is on them if he gets impeached and claims it could lead to the US one day becoming a third world country.
Trump raised the specter of impeachment if Democrats win control of Congress during his rally in Billings, Montana on Thursday night.
He warned that a Democratic-controlled Congress would pursue impeachment despite the strong economy and set a precedent that would hurt future presidents.
‘Let’s say a Democrat gets elected and let’s say we have a Republican House. We will impeach that Democrat, right?’ Trump said.
‘You’re going to have a country that’s going to turn into a third-world country because if the opposite party becomes president, every time before it even starts, before you even found out whether or not he or she is going to do a great job, they’ll say: ‘We want to impeach him!”
‘If it does happen, it’s your fault because you didn’t go out to vote.’
Trump continued on the topic of impeachment, saying: ‘How do you impeach somebody that’s doing a great job, that hasn’t done anything wrong?
‘Our economy is good. How do you do it? How do you do it? How do you do it?’
He warned his supporters: ‘You are not just voting for a candidate, you are voting for which party controls Congress. Very important thing. Very important thing.’
Also at the rally Trump blasted the author of the Times op-ed, calling it an act of treason.
‘The Times should never have done that because really what they’ve done is virtually, you know, it’s treason. You could call it a lot of things,’ the president said during an interview with Fox News co-host Pete Hegseth in one corner of the Rimrock Auto Arena, with a live audience of more than 10,000 people.
In his speech he blasted the ‘anonymous gutless coward’ behind the essay, verbally hiccuping on the word ‘anonymous’ and twice mangling the pronunciation.
‘Nobody knows who the hell he is, or she,’ he finally declared.
Trump repeated a challenge he had already issued to the Times on Twitter, demanding the paper’s nameless author’s head on a platter.
‘For the sake of our national security, The New York Times should publish his name at once. I think their reporters should go and investigate who it is. That would actually be a good scoop. That would be a good scoop!’ he said.
‘At some point this whole thing is going to be exposed,’ Trump predicted, as he warned about ‘unelected deep-state operatives’ who have tried to take his government into their own hands in a soft coup.
‘And it’s really bad and it’s really dangerous,’ he said. ‘And it’s really sad for the media.’
The president had suggested a half-hour earlier that he would put muscle behind efforts to identify the official who broke ranks to claim in the Times that a ‘resistance’ of aides is trying to subvert the president’s worst instincts for the good of the country.
DailyMail.com asked him on the tarmac in Billings how he planned to uncover the disloyal official’s identity.
‘We’re going to try!’ he yelled, over the noise of an idling Air Force One.
Trump needed the rally to publicly shake his Etch-a-Sketch following a week of revelations that hit his team like a series of kidney punches.
First came excerpts from journalist Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book ‘Fear,’ which paints the president as an ill-prepared and crude leader whose lack of impulse control drove senior aides to protect him from himself.
In one vignette, Woodward describes then-chief economic adviser Gary Cohn literally swiping a draft memo from the Resolute Desk to derail Trump’s goal of ending a crucial Korean trade agreement.
Scuttling the longstanding deal would have introduced uncertainty into Washington’s relationship with Seoul and could have jeopardized America’s use of South Korean real estate for an ambitious missile-detection program.
Internal fallout from the Cohn affair inside the West Wing had barely softened from panic to mere shock when The New York Times twisted the knife.
The publication of Wednesday’s unsigned op-ed, which the Times claims was penned by a ‘senior’ administration official, struck a variation on the same theme.
Its central claim is that a winking, nudging cabal of aides considers its primary mission to save the republic from Trump’s ham-fisted ways.
‘Many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,’ according to the still-unidentified writer.
Highlights: The most searing quotes in Bob Woodward’s book