McCabe, Trump and the 25th Amendment


Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He is on Twitter, blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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64 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Considering Trump’s age and general health, there is a possibility that he can die in office.

    Trump’s real political opponents are politicians from the Democratic Party. They are not Republican lifers in the federal government. Democratic politicians have been doing a rather good job at not bringing up things like the 25th Amendment, because it just replaces Trump with Pence which isn’t ideal from their perspective, and impeachment because it is impossible and again, we just get Pence. Democratic voters are the ones that tend to be talking about the 25th Amendment or impeachment on their own rather than through the prompting of their politicians.

    This article seems to be imputing the fantasies of the few never Trump Republicans in the federal administration to Democratic Party politicians despite Democratic politicians are doing no such thing.Report

    • “His political opponents” is a fairly broad category that includes not only politicians but commentariat and Democrat supporters, many of whom have raised and praised the 25th Amendment “solution” to Trump.Report

  2. Avatar InMD says:

    Lionizing people like McCabe on the nominal left has been one of the worst parts of the Trump presidency. One of the most important steps the media could take to restore some credibility and combat the idea of #fakenews is to stop taking people like him at face value. At best it spoon feeds badged bias confirmation to people who want to hear it. At worst it furthers opaque and inscrutable agendas of high level, unelected career bureaucrats that are themselves as much of a threat to liberal democracy as anything Darth Trump is doing.

    Maybe this is just yelling into the wind but we as a society need to find a way to take our hands out of our collective pants and stop believing so hard in everyone who tells us what we want to hear.Report

  3. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    I think yours is a solid take… the 25th is little more than an emergency brake and/or an alternate impeachment process. It is slightly *more* difficult than impeachment since it requires 66% majorities in *both* houses, rather than 50% +1 and 66% (not to mention the defection of the President’s hand-picked cabinet).

    Further, the FBI wouldn’t have any particular role in any such determination… the fact that the topic may have come up in any given conference call/meeting is more of an indictment of the uselessness of management meetings than anything else. That McCabe might have thought himself in the middle of something is quite possible… but as you note, it is more likely that his being in the middle of something is vital for his financial well being.Report

  4. Avatar PD Shaw says:

    In The West Wing, President Martin Sheen invoked the 25th Amendment because his daughter had been kidnapped by international terrorists and he believed that he couldn’t perform his duties as commander in chief and as a father. The added twist was that the VP had resigned recently due to a sex scandal, so House Speaker John Goodman, a Republican, became President, though he had to resign from Congress first.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      On 24 the cabinet invoked the 25th amendment because President Palmer wouldn’t attack a middle eastern country fast enough (as in, within the 24 hours of the show…)

      The West Wing one was probably more realistic, though I suspect that Goodman’s character would have passed it on to the next person rather than resign his speakership.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw says:

        Wouldn’t Goodman have to resign the speakership, let someone become speaker then get the job back? Not a very good look. What the show failed to develop was that Goodman giving up a powerful position for selfless duty would have made him a front-runner in the next presidential election. Seems like Goodman wasn’t available when the elections came and Alan Alda was the most conservative Hollywood actor left.

        In retrospect, given that the terrorist threat wasn’t real and the FBI found her rather quickly, the whole thing seems a little silly. But it did get me to look at the 25th Amendment.Report

        • Avatar Trumwill says:

          Way back when the 2000 election was happening, there was some exploration of this in the event that it wasn’t settled in time. Most believed that Hastert could decline the position simply by refusing to resign his congressional post, thereby rending him ineligible, and it would go to the next in line. There was an article on Slate about this, suggesting that the presidency would go to Strom Thurmond or Larry Summers. I think it leaned towards the latter possibility, though I think the former was more likely.

          (I can’t find that article now. I can find one speculation about a President Thurmond, but that isn’t the one. So maybe the one I’m thinking of wasn’t in Slate?)Report

          • Hastert would have made Trump only the second-worst person ever to be president.Report

          • Avatar PD Shaw says:

            Is there an actual requirement that he resign, or is that an inference from separation-of-powers principles? Because there is a strong lack of mutuality in this arrangement.

            Sheen gets to remove himself from difficult decisions, while holding a letter to reinstate himself when he feels circumstances have changed, or if he doesn’t like Goodman’s decisions.

            Goodman has to sever all ties, including representing the people who elected him to office. Theoretically, he can dismiss the cabinet and other executive officers and replace them with his people, but he cannot do that for a number of reasons — political fallout being the most, but Sheen will reinstate himself immediately in any event.

            The most logical out I can think of is that the House is the ultimate arbitor of whom it seats, and perhaps a unanimous (or near u.) House vote reinstates Goodman and is sufficient to answer the question and snuff court challenges.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine says:

              Couldn’t you just as easily argue that he was still a member of congress and speaker who was rendered temporarily unable to fulfill those duties by virtue of being Acting President?

              Then when the Dominoes stand back up he just reverts back to Speaker once the impediment of the Presidency is removed?

              Or, most likely, the two members of Congress would almost always refuse to resign making the Secretary of State Acting President.

              Or am I missing something else?Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw says:

                Burt points out below that there is a statute that requires the Speaker to resign, but a quick google research and the statutory language predates the 25th amendment. So there are probably arguments to be had.Report

        • As I recall the episode, the John Goodman character claimed he didn’t want to be president (and therefore wouldn’t have wanted to run). #iwatchtoomuchTVReport

        • Avatar Marchmaine says:

          Alan Alda was the most conservative Hollywood actor left.

          Hi, I’ve just woken up from a 30-year coma, what was that you just said?Report

    • I didn’t watch the West Wing but my understanding was that this fell more under Section 3 than Section 4.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      There’s also an entire background plot in Air Force One as to whether or not Vice President Glenn Close will sign the paperwork to take over from President Han Solo.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      For those wondering why the Speaker would have to resign his Speakership — no, there is no text in the 25th that would require it. That comes from 3 U.S.C. section 19(a)(1):

      If, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is neither a President nor Vice President to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, upon his resignation as Speaker and as Representative in Congress, act as President.

      Same rule applies if the Speaker turns it down (as being Acting President for four days might not seem so wonderful a bargain in exchange for giving up the Speakership) and the office goes to the fourth-in-line President pro tempore of the Senate.Report

      • It seems to me that statute makes explicit what is there by implication: someone can’t be a member of more than one branch of government at the same time.

        Also, the “shall” language suggests to me the speaker might not be permitted to turn down the role as acting president. I’m sure that in practice, the speaker could turn it down, but it looks in theory like they wouldn’t be allowed to.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw says:

        Oops, I should have read further. I still wonder if the statutory provision contemplates the same inability contemplated in the 25th Amendment.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Good stuff agree wholeheartedly. I’m pretty sure the vast majority of stuff we’ve heard attributed to Rosenstein (e.g. this 25th amendent talk, wearing a wire) was completely dark sarcasm that now people are ludricrously taking at face value.

    For the record, Obama should have fired Comey on the way out of office. Comey allowed the FBI organization to fester with factions at war with each other to engaged in unprofessional behavior, and personally made some very bad executive decisions.Report

  6. Avatar Stillwater says:

    I agree with your take on the 25th Amendment, a view which RR almost certainly shared. So McCabe’s claim that he was “counting votes” in Trump’s cabinet seems preposterous. The question which has always puzzled me is why did McCabe effectively declare war on Rosenstein by making these accusations public way back when, not to mention doubling down on them now? Does he think RR is covering for Trump? That RR threw him under the bus? What’s weird and ironic and not insignificant is that McCabe’s public dissemination of these types of unknowable and obviously political – and politically motivated – claims reinforce Trump’s self-serving view that the FBI is a hopelessly politicized bunch of anti-democratic deep state operatives. He’s doing Trump’s work for him, despite being the guy who opened an investigation *into* Trump.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      The purported reason for the FBI to investigate “Russian collusion” is that the Russians, as always, want to undermine Americans’ faith in our election system, I suppose because they think it would lead directly to a violent overthrow of the suddenly illegitimate government (ala Romania, Poland, etc) and the very system of that government, since the think Western democracy is a sham, a position they’ve long held.

      Comey said his job was to make sure the integrity of our elections was maintained, and that faith in that integrity was maintained, and that’s why he took all those actions he took. And then he and his cohort of like-minded thinkers have spent two years desperately trying to undermine American’s faith in our electoral system with non-stop talk of “Russian collusion”. If Putin isn’t paying them, he should.

      We barely dodged a bullet in the last election. Historically, it has been very common for the top administrators of the military, organs of state intelligence, and secret police to think their role is protecting the government from threats posed by a leader who doesn’t follow accepted dogma, or one who threatens the power of state intelligence. They’re on guard against a situation which might manifest in the form of the wrong person becoming the leader.

      This was basically how the Soviet Bloc was run, and we saw such organs act in the 1991 coup against Gorbachev. The KGB decided that Gorbachev was unfit, united with elements of the military, and declared themselves the State Emergency Committee and seized power, which they held for a few days until they were overthrown by loyal army units urged on by outraged locals and Boris Yeltsin. The attempt wasn’t surprising because the KGB basically ran the East Bloc, as did their many spawn such as the Stasi. Politicians wouldn’t step out of line because they knew where the real power was.

      Having the national security apparatus run a state isn’t uncommon. “Every state fields and army. Prussia is the only army that fields a state.” Juntas have run lots of governments, and in some regions and periods its almost the norm.

      What this form of rot comes from is very dedicated individuals who are certain that their enormous responsibility for protecting a nation includes the power to decide who is fit to lead that nation, and what kind of thinking will be allowed among that top leadership. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. What corrupts them isn’t money, it’s control, knowing important secrets, having dirt on everybody, and having vast powers to investigate and destroy anyone they target.

      If the national leader is not naturally one of them, he must think like one of them, or at the very least not be opposed to them retaining their enormous power and reach. Basically, they want their own tool in charge, and his views had better align with theirs, and he’d better recognize how dedicated, important, and powerful they are.

      These kingmakers often considered themselves above politics because they’re taking a much loftier view, like aristocrats of old, when in fact everything they do is wildly political, doggedly defending their class, power, status, and perks for the good of the people. They are the super patriots at the apex of the pyramid, making sure that pyramid is sound.

      Somehow we ended up with a cadre of buffoons in these top slots who assumed they were immune to the same corrupting forces afflicting secret police everywhere else, I suppose because they were, by gosh, Americans. But Americans aren’t immune. Our uniqueness is that one of America’s founding principles is that no one is immune, and that vanity and ego eventually plagues all powerful people, and so we designed a government around that universal problem. That’s why we have separation of powers and democratic elections, which acknowledge that the best defense against a vain politicians is a second vain politician who wildly despises the first one. That’s also why we insist that our leaders are subject to the rule of law, and why we have so many checks and balances.

      Any one of them, at any point, can go off the rails and try to assume powers that have not been granted, and in the case of secret police, the power most often grabbed is the power to decide who can have power. For powerful bureaucrats, the illusion of control is seductive, especially when they feel wrapped in the cloak of the Dread Lord Protector, standing a post on that Wall. I’m sure we all remember this Jack Nicholson scene:

      Colonel Jessup: You can’t handle the truth!

      Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know — that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

      You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall — you need me on that wall.

      We use words like “honor,” “code,” “loyalty.” We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line.

      I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it.

      I would rather that you just said “thank you” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand the post. Either way, I don’t give a DAMN what you think you’re entitled to!

      That’s the kind of man who, in the wrong circumstances, stages a coup without batting an eye, convinced of his own impartiality, self-sacrifice, and righteousness. Meet a man who carries the heavy burdens of being our Dread Lord Protector, who remains apart from and above our petty system to protect us and it from hostile forces, from chaos and decay.

      Meet James Comey, who described himself as the last honest man in Washington. Everyone is corrupt or partisan except him. And so he took action – lots of actions. Important actions because our elections are so important that he had to protect them by inserting himself in the middle of them time and time again, while initiating investigations that are still going forward years later.

      At this point in Watergate Nixon was retired to California, enjoying his pardon while Liddy & company were in prison writing books about it. Instead we’re at the point where the press is starting to realize that there was never anything to investigate, there was just a delusional Don Quixote at the FBI, convinced he was the last chivalrous knight, charging windmills and causing epic disasters where ever he went. And Clapper and Brennan were no better.

      And this touches on the real danger in 2016, which was that our democratic system can be completely subverted if the national intelligence agencies decide they get to pick which candidates are allowed to run, which candidates are allowed to win, and which candidates are allowed to hold office. They can and did manufacture evidence, lie to other agencies, like to Congress, lie to US courts, and leak to the press. They have to do better than this. Much better than this. We have to hold them to account.Report

  7. The Deep State is the FBI agents, likely Giuliani’s buddies from SDNY, who were leaking about Hillary all through the 2016 campaign, not the ones investigating the Trump campaign’s corruption and lawbreaking.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      So we have a fractious deep state?Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Yeah, if there is one term that needs to be relentlessly and mercilessly mocked into oblivion, it is the Deep State (capitalized natch).

      It scarcely existed prior to January 21, 2017, but now people just use the term without quotation marks or irony, like the War with East Asia, which we have been fighting forever.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Regardless of when the term started being used, the idea that (eg) the FBI engaged in illegal covert acts to achieve political goals isn’t new. N’fact, that type of negative critique used be a hallmark of the left.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          Yes, the loony left that I used to mock.

          It is completely true that the FBI and the national security organs like the CIA and NSA have engaged in lawless actions since almost from the day they were founded.

          This is not the same as the “Deep State”.

          The idea of a “Deep State” comes from Turkey, and describes a clandestine conspiracy of interlocking agencies that hold the reins of power, while subverting the elected officials.

          This is simply an untruthful assertion about our police and security apparatus, however flawed they are. They don’t have a unified purpose or agenda and they don’t reduce the elected Congress and President to mere figureheads.

          The “Deep State” is just the conservative version of “Bushitler”, where it becomes a lazy way of justifying hysteria and the discarding of democracy.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            “Anyone who applies the term “deep state” to the US government is an idiot since our government isn’t Turkish. QED!” 🙂Report

  8. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    In 1987, second- and third-tier staffers, not Cabinet officers, shared thoughts about President Reagan. They found that they all shared the same concerns: Reagan appeared absent-minded, slow to make decisions, and seemed to be shirking work. They took their concerns to Howard Baker, the Chief of Staff to ask whether consideration of invoking the Twenty-Fifth Amendment was appropriate. Baker took them seriously and arranged for several of those staffers to attend a meeting involving the President, to allow them all to judge the President’s mental state.

    As it turned out, Reagan performed well in that meeting, demonstrating energy and mental acuity. The staffers agreed among themselves and with Baker that their concerns were alleviated. Baker described the event generally but to my knowledge has never identified the staffers who had expressed these concerns, which seems like exactly the right decision.

    Also as it turned out, seven years later Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and the behaviors that caused the concern are suspiciously similar to early manifestations of Alzheimer’s.

    N.b., the Chief of Staff is not on the list of principal cabinet advisors who are entitled to participate in a vote to invoke amendment 25, section 4.

    If we take McCabe at face value (and okay, I realize that our principal author is skeptical of that) then I’m not sure that this is materially different from the 1987 Baker episode. In that case, the process didn’t advance to the point that Baker could have gathered Vice President Bush and the various cabinet secretaries to consider how to proceed. Here, the incapacity is not mental but legal – the concern being that the President could not discharge his duties because he was legally compromised.

    I’m not offended by it and do not consider it a coup. In a way, I’d be glad if it happened because it would tell me that a) people were concerned that the President would likely act lawlessly and wanted to do something about it, and b) they considered available legal options (as opposed to extra-legal options) as ways to act.Report

  9. Avatar Dark Matter says:

    Jay Berman: At this moment, I don’t think he meets the test of a president who’s incapable of fulfilling his responsibilities. I think he was elected to do these dumb things. He hasn’t become dumber or meaner since he was elected — this is who he’s always been. This was who he was when he ran, and may well have been the reason people elected him.


    The answer right now is impeachment.

    This assumes what should be proven.

    What we have is a President who is REALLY good at inspiring overreaction, histeria, and hyperventilating.

    I saw a poll of 4+ historians whose average put Trump in as the worst President ever (so all 4 of them). Ergo Trump running his mouth is much worse for the country than setting up the civil war and expanding slavery.

    This is one of Trump’s big skills. He can’t survive a calm reasonable evaluation so instead he makes sure he’s being compared to Hitler and then he looks like the sane person in the room. He doesn’t win by boosting up himself, he wins by dragging everyone else down to below his level.

    Note this raises the issue of “does he really deserve impeachment or is this just more histeria”?

    If his political foes don’t learn how to calm down not only will they not get impeachment but they will manage to get him re-elected.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter says:

      And btw, great post. I hadn’t realized the 25th was so unable to remove him given this situation.

      His staff signs a piece of paper, he signs another and then fires them all.Report

    • What we have is a President who is REALLY good at inspiring overreaction, hysteria, and hyperventilating.

      By being a corrupt, racist, dictator-loving, inflammatory piece of shit. Obama inspired overreaction, hysteria, and hyperventilating by being calm, cautions, and conciliatory. And, you know, that other thing.Report

      • Avatar Pinky says:

        Obama was not calm; he had an affectation of calm. He was as thin-skinned and nasty as our current president. He wasn’t cautious; he was inept. He thought he could charm his agenda through Congress, and couldn’t. When he realized that, he resorted to his pen and his phone. Again, just like Trump. And he wasn’t conciliatory; he was more of a race-baiter than Trump has been (at least, if you look at the total amount of damage he did to race relations).Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          My suspicion is that Obama-hate from the religious right stems from his decision to not defend DOMA in the courts, and has nothing to do with his foreign policy, or DACA, or even his comments about guns and religion. FWIW, I also think he made a very bad decision on that score.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter says:

            My suspicion is that Obama-hate from the religious right stems from his decision to not defend DOMA in the courts, and has nothing to do with his foreign policy, or DACA, or even his comments about guns and religion.

            The part that worries me is it may have come from picking (Left) Judges.

            If that’s what is fueling this, i.e. that the level of gov intrusion is such that the stakes are so high MY TEAM needs to be picking the judges, then that’s a major step towards things falling apart.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater says:

              Dark, I feel like you’re in conspiracy land. You say you’re “worried” that Obama’s decision to not defend the law in court stemmed from lefty judges being placed in the courts. But if the fix was in at the level of judges why didn’t he go through the pro-forma process of defending it in court (knowing that the outcome was determined)?

              I guess we can agree to disagree about this. Obama’s expressed view at the time was that DOMA was clearly unconstitutional, but rather than test that view by defending the law in court and letting the chips fall where they may, he chose not to. One reason might be that he thought the law *wasn’t* clearly unconstitutional, or that judges might uphold it. Another reason might be that he thought not defending it made political sense. Either way he should have defended the law in court.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                No, I’m suggesting that DOMA was irrelevant, or at best a symptom. If the multi-culture war is fueling all this nastiness, then the President’s ability to pick judges is the prize.

                And that’s not something that will go away. Everything else just becomes a tool to put the Presidency in your corner because it’s *that* important. So important that the other side are nazis, or evil, or worthy of impeachment purely because they’re the other side.

                Thus the level of shit thrown at the other side’s President gets worse, and will continue to get worse, because the level of gov intrusion and gov importance continues to increase.

                So the hysteria surrounding Obama/Kavanaugh/Trump/etc are simply symptoms of one side rallying. At some point you impeach the other side’s guy simply because you can. Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.

                And weaponization of every aspect of the system will eventually include violence, there are already calls for that.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                No, I’m suggesting that DOMA was irrelevant, or at best a symptom. If the multi-culture war is fueling all this nastiness, then the President’s ability to pick judges is the prize.

                Well, I’m not seeing it. We’re talking about an executive action intended, by design, to circumvent the courts. So in the DOMA case the judges were irrelevant.Report

          • Avatar Burt Likko says:

            IIRC, they hated him long before that. They hated him while he was still anti-SSM. They hated him since the “cling to guns and religion” comment before he was even nominated.Report

        • Obama a race-baiter? Like when he expressed sympathy for a homicide victim? Because I honestly don’t recall him do anything like calling Nazis very fine people. Nor do I recall him calling a national emergency to get around Congress refusing to fund one of his projects.Report

          • Avatar Road Scholar says:

            Oh come on, man. You can’t deny Obama was constantly inciting racial animus standin’ there being all black and shit and pretending he belonged in the WHITE House.Report

          • Avatar Pinky says:

            Obama didn’t call Nazis very fine people, but he called very fine people Nazis (or the equivalent). As for the second part of your statement, he did declare Congress adjourned in order to make recess appointments.Report

            • He made recess appointment like every other president (it’s in the Constitution.) McConnell was playing a procedural game to deny that a clearly recessed Congress was recessed, and it worked.

              Remember when Obama called Fox News the enemy of the people and asked for retribution against them?Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      “The answer right now is impeachment.”

      This assumes what should be proven.

      It doesn’t assume anything other than the observable record of a corrupt grifter who’s campaign team has already been convicted or pled quilty to myriad crimes, like conspiring against the United States. The bar for impeachment is far, far lower than “found guilty in a court of law.”Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine says:

        The bar for impeachment is far, far lower than “found guilty in a court of law.”

        I get what you’re saying, but I don’t think this is right.

        The bar for impeachment is different for what is required to be found guilty in a court of law… I don’t think the bar is lower, its just a different bar for a different measure. Tying it to law (whether the bar is low, perfect, or high) is a constraint we should’t impose.

        That is, a lawful misuse of power is more likely a bigger reason to impeach than some infraction of the law.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter says:

        Translation: He’s a scumbag, and his scumbag crew committed crimes.

        That’s not impeachable. Worse, it probably shouldn’t be.

        What you need is something that would convince Dems to remove someone like Clinton.

        My general impression is not only do you not have that but after we subtract histeria you’re not even close. The original impeachable claim is he’s a Russian agent. That’s a great reason.

        However there seems to have been a pivot from “Is he a Russian agent?” to “he’s Trump, how do we resist/remove him?”.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          That’s not impeachable. Worse, it probably shouldn’t be.

          Sure it is. I can’t believe you’re (still) arguing this.

          The original impeachable claim is he’s a Russian agent. That’s a great reason.

          Exactly. Just because people introduce *additional* reasons to impeach doesn’t mean the earlier ones don’t count.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter says:

            Sure it is. I can’t believe you’re (still) arguing this.

            I find it difficult to believe you’d hold a Dem to this standard. It’s real easy to picture HRC in office and having ethical problems.

            Exactly. Just because people introduce *additional* reasons to impeach doesn’t mean the earlier ones don’t count.

            I think you can get half or more of the GOP to impeach for “Russian agent”. I don’t think you can get any with “enrages the Democrats”.

            At the moment you have the later but not the former. Worse, I think that’s what you’ll lead with.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              I think you can get half or more of the GOP to impeach for “Russian agent”.

              Question asked, and answered in the negative.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Question asked, and answered in the negative.

                I said “Russian agent”, not “talked to Russians”.

                Again, the bar for the GOP for Trump is roughly where it would be for the Dems with HRC. So everything that the GOP accused her of which was hand waved away with a ‘no proof’? THAT is how high the bar is set.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater says:

              Conservative pundit channeling Mitch McConnell: “Hey, we didn’t start this. The Dems did. If they were in our position they would have done it too.”Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                We’ve been watching both sides do this, for years. Now I hope Trump is especially vile, especially inflaming, especially unskilled at various important things, and that this isn’t a permanent change in the body politic.

                However that’s just a hope. Nothing here is new, even things like the idea of impeachment, it’s just more extreme.Report

  10. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    But…but there has to be *SOME* way that Hillary Clinton can be President!

    Like if we use the 25th Amendment can’t we have the Supreme Court rule that it’s retroactive and let Clinton win the election after all?Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      So far as I know, the only other way to remove a President would be if the Supreme Court ruled that he was ineligible to hold the office either by being younger than 35, born in a foreign country to anyone other than a US diplomat, not having resided here for a total of seven years, or holding foreign but not US citizenship in 1787. In that case impeachment shouldn’t be required.

      In 1935 North Dakota Governor Thomas H. Moodie was removed from office after about a month when the state supreme court ruled he was ineligible because he’d voted in Minnesota in the prior five years, and one of the requirements for the governorship there was being a citizen of Minnesota for five continual years prior to taking office. He was replaced by his lieutenant governor just as he would have if he’d died.

      There was no election do-over in North Dakota, which would be thwarting the will of the people by selecting the candidate the majority of the voters had rejected under whatever rules governed the election.Report