(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, appeared on CNN’s “New Day” Sunday, but this time he never mentioned the ongoing investigation into alleged Trump-Russia “collusion.”
This was a major departure from previous interviews, where Schiff has been a leading promoter of conjecture that members of the Trump campaign either colluded with Russia or obstructed the ensuing investigations.
On Sunday, Schiff discussed what he views as dysfunction in the Trump White House, but he said it’s too soon to discuss removing the president under the 25th Amendment, which covers a situation where the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
“Do you agree that President Trump is mentally unstable?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Schiff.
“Well, I certainly think that there is an issue with the president's capability,” Schiff replied. “There is some attribute of this character that makes him seemingly incapable of introspection and a broad understanding of what the country really needs.
“And I think it's a question that people are asking, what is going on with this president, what can explain this kind of behavior.”
Schiff said Trump's troubling behavior was exhibited soon after the election, when Trump suggested that the only reason he didn't win the popular vote was because so many illegal aliens voted.
Nevertheless, Schiff dismissed talk about removing the president under the 25th Amendment, saying it would be better to check the president by putting Democrats in charge of one or both chambers of Congress:
You know, I don't think we're at a point of thinking about the 25th amendment. For one thing, this is something that the vice president cabinet would need to come together on. I think what the authors of that amendment principally had in mind was some kind of physical incapacitation or serious mental illness or a breakdown, an inability to function in office, and I think we're still far from concluding that that's the case, even though we find, many of us, his conduct an anathema and there to be a serious problem here.
But I don't think it, particularly at this point in time, makes a lot of sense to focus on the 25th Amendment.
I do think it means that we have to put real constraints on this president. We have to make sure that our system of checks and balances in Congress work.
I think, frankly, the most powerful thing we can do, rather than pursue the 25th amendment at this point, is just make sure that one house or the other, and ideally both, are in Democratic hands. Frankly, the hands of a party not in the White House to be a more effective check on some of the damage this president can do.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) tweeted last week: "POTUS is showing signs of erratic behavior and mental instability that place the country in grave danger. Time to invoke the 25th Amendment."