Calif. Democrat Tells HUD Secretary to Get Familiar With Procedure for Removing Trump

By Susan Jones | October 13, 2017 | 6:07am EDT
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) (Photo: Screen grab from C-SPAN)

( - A California Democrat urged Housing Secretary Ben Carson to get familiar with a provision in the U.S. Constitution that allows for the removal of a president who is declared "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

Unable so far to get rid of a president they despise, some Democrats and liberal activists, including those in the media, have raised the possibility of declaring Trump unfit for office.

"Beyond your responsibilities for Housing and Urban Development, you have other responsibilities under the Constitution, along with other Cabinet secretaries, particularly Section 4 of the 25th Amendment," Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) told Carson on Thursday as the House Financial Services Committee held a HUD oversight hearing.

"And we all live by this Constitution," Sherman continued:

"I -- the -- Section 4 deals with the possibility that a president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Have you taken the time to get legal counsel to brief you on what your responsibility is, as a Cabinet secretary, under the 25th Amendment?" Sherman asked Carson.

"I have not had any in-depth discussions of that," Carson replied.

"I would urge you to do so," Sherman told Carson. "This amendment was written in the early '60s as a result of what we -- life that happens, whether it's the dangers that a president faces, whether it's the health problems a president can face.

"I would urge you first to get legal counsel, to know what your responsibilities are, and second, to discuss with other Cabinet officers how you would implement Section 4 of the 25th Amendment."

Sherman's time was up, and Carson did not reply.

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment reads in part:

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.

Earlier this year, on July 12, Sherman filed Articles of Impeachment against Donald J. Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Sherman argued that Trump committed Obstruction of Justice by pressuring FBI Director James Comey to abandon the investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and by seeking to thwart the Russia Investigation.

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