Washington, D.C., is in the grip of “impeachment fever,” with many progressives calling for the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is the leader of this group, but she has many followers, including Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), who has already introduced articles of impeachment against Trump despite being warned off by Nancy Pelosi.
That’s serious enough, but some of Trump’s opponents can’t even wait for impeachment hearings. They want to move immediately to remove Trump using the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Section 4 of that amendment says, “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.” Additional language includes procedures for the president to regain his powers.
As described in this article, the leader of the 25th Amendment attack crew is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who is now running for president. The problem with Warren’s approach is that the 25th Amendment is based on a determination that the sitting president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” This is based on some physical or mental disability, not on mere disagreement about policy or an unconventional demeanor.
Warren’s plans are not going anywhere, but they make a great talking point on the campaign trail to rally supporters and solicit contributions. The problem for investors is that such reckless talk by Warren and others adds to uncertainty in markets. This is one more head wind for stocks, in addition to a slowing economy and a behind-the-curve Fed.
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