(AP/Evan Vucci)

Elizabeth Warren thinks it could be time to “invoke the 25th Amendment” on Trump after Times op-ed

The senator and reporter Carl Bernstein raise serious questions about Trump’s fitness to serve in the Oval Office


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Shira Tarlo
September 7, 2018 6:27pm (UTC)

Famed Watergate-era reporter Carl Bernstein called on Congress to hold hearings to determine whether President Donald Trump is fit to hold office.

Bernstein on Thursday expressed concern over revelations made in veteran journalist Bob Woodward's new book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," about the ongoing chaos inside Trump's White House, which includes reporting about the president's impulsiveness, unpredictability and inability to grasp facts.

"What's really going on here is that Bob Woodward's book – and the contents of what is in the anonymous piece in The New York Times – is that those closest to the president of the United States are saying we must save the country from the president," Bernstein told Anderson Cooper on CNN.

"What we need here are – finally, I think – some congressional hearings in which, in executive session or open session, those around the president of the United States are questioned about the fitness of Donald Trump to be the president of the United States," added Bernstein, who was Woodward's reporting partner in uncovering the Watergate scandal of the Nixon administration.

"It is very important for the leadership in the Congress of the United States and the people of the United States to know whether or not Donald Trump is fit to be president, whether he is stable enough to be president, honest enough to be president and has the capabilities of being president," he continued. "The people closest to him have the gravest doubts."

Bernstein appeared to echo remarks made earlier Thursday by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), in which she called on Congress to use the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove Trump from office. The amendment allows for the vice president to take over in case a president is removed from office, dies, resigns or becomes incapacitated.

Seizing on the damning op-ed published in the New York Times by an anonymous writer described only as a "senior official in the Trump administration," the potential 2020 presidential candidate  said the president's Cabinet should remove him if they believe he is unfit for office.

"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. "The Constitution provides for a procedure whenever the vice president and senior officials think the president can't do his job. It does not provide that senior officials go around the president — take documents off his desk, write anonymous op-eds . . . Every one of these officials have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. It's time for them to do their job."

"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 added. "They can't have it both ways. Either they think that the president is not capable of doing his job, in which case they follow the rules in the Constitution, or they feel that the president is capable of doing his job, in which case they follow what the president tells them to do."

The Times' editorial titled, "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration," revealed that an internal "resistance" movement was growing inside Donald Trump's White House and claimed that the president acts "in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic."

The White House has aggressively pushed back on the piece, slamming the author as a coward. The president even asked whether the piece amounted to "treason," and demanded that The Times, "for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once."

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Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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