Pelosi and Raskin said they would hold a press conference on Friday announcing introduction of the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office Act.
A press notice announcing the conference noted the commission and process are “called for in the 25th amendment to the US Constitution to enable Congress to help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership in the highest office in the Executive Branch of government.”
The 25th amendment was ratified in 1967 in the wake of the 1963 assassination of US President John F. Kennedy to establish an orderly path of succession in the event the president perishes or becomes unable to perform the duties of office, such as when suffering from an illness.
Section 4 of the amendment describes the process in which other politicians may together determine the president is unfit to perform the duties of office and go about removing them from office, which is set in motion by 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.”
The question of US President Donald Trump’s fitness to hold office has once again come under scrutiny in the aftermath of his contraction of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus last week, which caused him to spend several days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and to receive a slew of drugs and even supplemental oxygen for a brief period of time.
Trump did not pass executive authority to Vice President Mike Pence during that time, but the symptoms of the illness and potential side-effects of the drugs he was taking caused many to question his ability to do his job.
Earlier on Thursday, Pelosi noted that on Friday “We’re going to be talking about the 25th Amendment.” Trump replied to the news in furious Tweet.
“Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation,” Trump said. “They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!”
Last year, former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe revealed on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that in May 2017, after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey, he and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein briefly explored using the 25th amendment to remove Trump from office. After Trump appointed Robert Mueller to head the FBI’s Russiagate investigation eight days later, their concern was somewhat assuaged.