- Polls remain open
ARTIST’S RENDITION: Benedict Rosenstein (FreeMartyG, CC BY 2.0)
With polls still open on Facebook here and on Twitter here, over 92% of respondents thus far have said that an unchecked DOJ is already causing a Constitutional crisis amidst reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and fired former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe discussed removing President Trump from office.
FreeMartyG first posed the question, “is an unchecked DOJ already causing a ‘Constitutional crisis’?” in an article published Friday morning which also mentioned the 25th Amendment as part of a larger topic regarding Constitutional checks and balances on the powers of the DOJ.
Later that day, the New York Times reported details of alleged conversations between the Deputy AG and the former Deputy FBI Director in which Rosenstein apparently suggested using the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from the Oval Office and that McCabe should wear a wire to secretly record his conversations in the White House. In a statement also released on Friday, after the New York Times published these allegations online, Rosenstein claimed that his reference to removing Trump from office was made in jest and denied telling McCabe to wear a wire.
Perhaps ironically though, many people who might otherwise be dubious of the New York Times, which the President often labels as “failing,” appeared to lend this particular story credence because they doubt the Deputy AG more than they doubt the Times and the quick denial issued by Rosenstein’s office only seems to fan those fires.
The public mentions of the 25th Amendment – first published by FreeMartyG and then by the New York Times – happened within hours of each other and appear to be the first high-profile references to the otherwise obscure Constitutional Amendment made in recent memory. Seemingly rushing to publication on a Friday afternoon during a busy news cycle, it’s as if the New York Times was worried about getting scooped.
Ratified in 1967 to address concerns about Constitutional procedure after FDR’s slow decline in office and the assassination of JFK, the 25th Amendment says amongst other things:
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.
Under the 25th Amendment, should a disagreement persist between a president and his cabinet as to his or her ability to serve, then eventually Congress would decide the issue, possibly underscoring the potential importance of this year’s upcoming midterm elections.
In his statement denying some of the allegations made by the New York Times, Rosenstein said that there was no reason to question the President’s abilities under the 25th Amendment. In order to take action using the Amendment, Rosenstein would need the agreement of Vice President Pence and the majority of the cabinet.
President Trump has yet to address Rosenstein by name regarding the allegations, but in the speech below which he gave on Friday during a rally in Missouri, Trump did make mention of a “lingering stench” in the DOJ and he assured supporters there that “we’re going to get rid of that, too.”
As Trump spoke, a Washington, D.C. grand jury is reportedly investigating McCabe. And after the news of McCabe’s conversations with Rosenstein, President Trump decided to allow the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General to redact a trove of documents which the President had previously ordered released in their entirety. It is not generally known if any of these matters are related.
At the time of publication, the status of the poll on Twitter – which is still open here – is 93% yes, 6% no, with 1% unsure as to whether an unchecked DOJ is already causing a Constitutional crisis. Results thus far on Facebook to the same question are 99% yes and 1% no. Polls close on Thursday afternoon.
The author, Marty Gottesfeld is an Obama-era political prisoner. To learn more about his case or donate to support him, please go to FreeMartyG.com.