House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that Democrats will hold an event on Friday about discussing the 25th Amendment after President Donald Trump’s CCP virus diagnosis.
“Tomorrow, by the way, tomorrow, come here tomorrow. We’re going to be talking about the 25th Amendment. But not to take attention away from the subject we have now,” she said in response to a question about a CCP virus stimulus package.
She was then asked about whether the 25th Amendment should be invoked, Pelosi didn’t give an exact answer. She alleged there was a lack of transparency about Trump’s health after he was diagnosed with the virus and treated over the weekend at Walter Reed hospital.
“I’m not talking about it today except to tell you, if you want to talk about that, we’ll see you tomorrow,” she told reporters. “But you take me back to my point. Mr. President, when was the last time you had a negative test before you tested positive? Why is the White House not telling the country that important fact about how this made a hotspot of the White House?”
It’s not clear if Pelosi was using hyperbole to make a point.
The 25th Amendment of the Constitution stipulates presidential succession. However, Democrats during Trump’s term in office have frequently suggested that Section 4 of the amendment should be invoked, which involves involuntary measures to declare the president incapacitated.
“Whenever 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, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President,” according to the section.
However, according to the Constitution, only Vice President Mike Pence can trigger the involuntary removal of Trump. If the president challenges Pence’s move, then he would have to gain the support of the majority of Trump’s cabinet as well as a supermajority in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Congress can also form a body approved “by law” to agree that “the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
In recent days, Democrats have been ramping up speculation about the 25th Amendment after Trump’s diagnosis but Pelosi’s remark on Thursday marks a sharp escalation in rhetoric.
Pelosi also told reporters: “I do not know what the prospects are when we hear somebody saying, ‘I am a perfect specimen and I am young, instead of addressing the facts, while 50,000 people were infected, reported to be infected yesterday and nearly 1,000 people died.” She was referring to Trump’s comments to Fox News earlier on Thursday.
Pelosi’s office has not responded to a request for comment.