Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz Tuesday said invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump would amount to staging a coup d’etat.
“The 25th amendment was intended for a president who is shot, a president who has had a stroke – a president who is incapacitated – not a president who you disagree with, or you think is creating havoc in the White House,” Dershowitz said during an appearance on Fox News.
“That’s what you have an election for. But you don’t use the 25th Amendment promiscuously,” he continued. “The 25th Amendment would constitute an unlawful coup – a coup d’etat” – for the first time in American history.”
The 25th Amendment permits the removal of the president by the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet if the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Dershowitz said that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s willingness to even discuss the notion of using the 25th Amendment against Trump is disqualifying.
“I think he’s done. He’s not going to be the deputy attorney general after the election. The question is only now of timing . . . The day he mentioned the 25th Amendment, he was out,” Dershowitz said. The New York Times last week reported that Rosenstein, during a meeting with FBI DOJ officials, last spring discussed the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment.
Rosenstein responded that “any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false.” But did he discuss it? That’s not clear even in his “denial.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders Tuesday refused to comment on whether Trump was planning to fire Rosenstein. Trump and Rosenstein plan to meet Thursday. My guess is Trump isn’t quite sure himself what he’s going to do.