Impeach Trump, Don’t Use the 25th Amendment, Says Co-Author of Succession Clause

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President Donald Trump (L) listens with US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen during a meeting with Republican members of the Senate about immigration at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 4, 2018. AFP via Getty Images/Jim Watson

The best way to remove President Donald Trump from power is not the 25th Amendment but the process of impeachment, according to one of the creators of the amendment.

Related: Trump Staffers Not Trusted Enough to Bring Own Cell Phones Into West Wing Over Leak Fears

Jay Berman, formerly a chief of staff to Senator Birch Bayh, helped author the amendment following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Congress approved the measure meant to institute a process, or, more order should a commander-in-chief become disabled or if they die or resign from office.

But Berman said he did not think enacting the amendment offered a way to oust Trump. Instead, he faulted the electoral system for allowing someone with Trump's temperament to be elected in the first place.

“At this moment, I don’t think he meets the test of a president who’s incapable of fulfilling his responsibilities,” Berman told Vox for an interview published Wednesday. “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.”

Berman added: “The problem is that we have a ridiculous electoral system and a bizarre set of circumstances that conspired to make this situation possible. But I can’t honestly say that the 25th Amendment is the answer right now. The answer right now is impeachment.”

The amendment’s fourth clause details the process by which the vice president and Cabinet could remove a sitting president. Specifically, Vice President Mike Pence and a majority of the Cabinet members would all need to agree that Trump is unfit and then inform the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House in a letter of explanation. Pence would then assume power as the acting president.

But, much like impeachment, the amendment is highly political. Trump has faced questions about his mental acuity and stability following the release last week of a damning book by journalist Michael Wolff, but he still holds strong approval ratings among Republicans and the party maintains a majority in both chambers of Congress.

Impeachment would involve a simple majority of the House voting to impeach, followed by a two-thirds in the Senate after a trial.

Multiple Democrats filed articles of impeachment last year but never came close to lobbying a majority of the House. And even top Democratic members have called to stand down talk of impeachment.