The specter of the 25th Amendment – that is, removing a president deemed unfit or incapable of performing the job – has raised its head again.
The last time we heard mention of applying the 25th Amendment to the yammering, incoherent embarrassment in the White House, it was in an anonymously written op-ed to The New York Times.
In that instance, someone claiming to be a senior White House official suggested that the 25th Amendment had been discussed, early in Trump’s presidency.
Trump’s behavior, the chaos he seems to thrive on, and a combination of disinterest and intellectual inability to grasp the most basic functions of the office he found himself swept into, was enough to cause members of the administration to formulate plans focused on protecting the nation from the orange menace.
On Friday, The New York Times dropped a bombshell:
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested wearing a wire to record Trump, in order to push for a 25th Amendment removal.
Mr. Rosenstein made the remarks about secretly recording Mr. Trump and about the 25th Amendment in meetings and conversations with other Justice Department and F.B.I. officials. Several people described the episodes, insisting on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The people were briefed either on the events themselves or on memos written by F.B.I. officials, including Andrew G. McCabe, then the acting bureau director, that documented Mr. Rosenstein’s actions and comments.
None of Mr. Rosenstein’s proposals apparently came to fruition. It is not clear how determined he was about seeing them through, though he did tell Mr. McCabe that he might be able to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security and now the White House chief of staff, to mount an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment.
We keep hearing about how chaotic the Trump White House is.
We keep hearing stories of aides and Cabinet members taking unusual measures to try and stop the president from creating a major disaster.
We’ve seen how pathetic Donald Trump performs, when put on display next to other world leaders.
And for anyone with a Twitter account, it has been made abundantly clear that the gilded toad is just a few doses short of a complete mental collapse.
So why hasn’t someone done something?
The GOP do not want to be known as the party that allowed a mentally incompetent lunatic to become the face and voice of Republicans.
They’d much rather attempt to paint over the mishaps and nightmarishly bad press, and in the face of all evidence, claim, “This is fine.”
No matter what you hear or see, ignore it all and just believe what they tell you.
I don’t think they realized how bad it would be, until it was too late.
So back to Rosenstein.
He says he didn’t do it.
Rosenstein provided the Times with a statement adamantly denying the report, saying, “The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect. I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
A DOJ spokesperson provided the Times an account from someone who apparently said the comment about wearing a wire was made in jest, but the report says his comment was dead serious.
Rosenstein knows he’s walking a fine line with the president.
It was Rosenstein who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller and kicked off the probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russia, or possible obstruction, afterwards.
The move was made after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, due to his involvement with the Trump campaign, and after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
So was Rosenstein only kidding?
Let’s just meet in the middle and say, maybe.