By James Fite
Yet another “anonymous sources” article has arrived, courtesy The New York Times, and this time it’s a doozy. In all her sensationalized glory, The Gray Lady tells us that back in 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suggested secretly recording Donald Trump, then recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to have the president removed from office.
As The Times would have us believe, Rosenstein discussed these suggestions with other DOJ and F.B.I. officials – several of whom came forward, on condition of anonymity, of course. As the paper reports, “None of Mr. Rosenstein’s proposals apparently came to fruition.” Could that be because he never made them to begin with? That’s his story, though authors Adam Goldman and Michael S. Schmidt seem reluctant to admit it.
Sensationalism, Glorious Sensationalism!
That’s right, after just over 200 words of presenting both Rosenstein’s alleged suggestions and a list of Trump’s failures to justify it, they finally admit that the article is sourced anonymously. What’s worse – they wait until almost four hundred words in for the big reveal:
“Mr. Rosenstein disputed this account.
‘The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect,’ he said in a statement. ‘I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.’”
So, Mr. Rosenstein himself denies this – quite strongly, at that. Hey, we all make mistakes, and one must be careful of anonymously sourced articles for precisely this reason: Without a publicly identified source with some serious credibility, It’s Rosenstein’s word against some random unknown folk. Shaky ground, indeed, and this isn’t the first time the news giant’s credibility has been strained by similarly suspect stories. Remember that one nameless brave soul resisting Trump from inside?
But did The New York Times apologize and pull the story? Of course not; they had too good a narrative built up for any such silliness. Rather, they doubled down on their accusations – essentially calling Rosenstein a liar – using only more anonymous sources as evidence.
Unless and until some real evidence comes to light, it’s probably a safe bet to assume that Rosenstein is telling the truth and that this whole thing never happened. After all, would Rosenstein really think that he could garner enough support to actually remove Trump, even if he wanted to? Just for fun, let’s pretend he really did try to invoke the 25th on Trump. Let’s explore that process.
The Impossible Invocation
Have a look at Section 4 of the 25th Amendment:
“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.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days 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. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.”
So here are the epic feats Rosenstein – or anyone else – would have to achieve to carry this plan to fruition:
- Convince not only the majority of the Cabinet, but Vice President Mike Pence that Trump is mentally handicapped enough to justify removal by force.
- Convince either the President to accept that decision, or two thirds of both houses of Congress.
Trump Here to Stay
That’s it, just two of three possible steps are all that stand between anti-Trumpers and their goal. But what would it take to convince Mike Pence, the man who campaigned alongside Trump and supports him to this day, that the president is insane and must be removed from office? Remember, it’s not about disagreements; the 25th only applies if the president is physically or mentally unable to carry out his duty. There is no policy disagreement clause that allows for the removal of the president for the crime of offending people.
Even if Pence and enough other Cabinet members to form a majority could be swayed, why would Trump accept it? In whose warped imagination is a two thirds majority in both houses of Congress willing to declare Trump insane and unfit for the job just because they don’t like him? And what’s the alternative? Mike Pence. Yeah, progressives across the nation are lining up behind the Christian conservative to take Donald Trump’s place – sure.
All sensational leftist propaganda aside – Donald Trump isn’t going anywhere anytime soon – not by the Russia investigation, and certainly not by the 25th Amendment. Get that out of your otherwise empty heads, progressives. It isn’t happening.