WASHINGTON - Does Donald Trump have the mental fitness to be President of the United States? A Democratic congressman wants to create a commission to answer that question and he said the Constitution is on his side.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said he has heard a lot of jokes over the past few months about the President Trump’s mental health. However, the congressman said this is no laughing matter and has introduced a bill to create the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity.
The bill would invoke a never-before-used part of the 25th Amendment to decide once and for all whether or not the President Trump is capable of doing his job.
How would this work? The bill would activate Section 4 of the 25th Amendment creating an independent, nonpartisan eleven-member commission to determine if the president is physically or psychologically unfit for office. Congress would give the commission the power to examine the president and report back its findings. If the president was determined to be incapacitated, the vice president would become acting president.
The political reality is that while 20 Democrats are co-sponsoring this bill, not one single Republican is – giving it little to no chance of even getting a vote. Raskin said he knows that, but introduced it anyway in case the country finds itself in a constitutional crisis.
He said it is a concern now escalated in light of some of Trump’s Twitter rants, the firing of the FBI director and allegations the president disclosed classified information to Russian diplomats.
“That raises at the very least a profound question of political judgment, maybe a question of divided loyalties, and maybe just a question of mental coherence and lucidity,” Rep. Raskin said. “We don’t know what is exactly going on, but we have got to be prepared for every eventuality. Believe me, it is just not Democrats who are asking the question now about the fitness and the continuing capacity of the president.”
Before Raskin became a congressman this year, he worked as a constitutional law professor at American University and does not have a medical degree.
But one congressman who is a medical doctor is Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.). He has labeled the bill as a "cheap shot" at President Trump. The White House has said it will not dignify the issue with a response.