James Madison thought that a president could be impeached on unfit grounds. During the debates of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, he had said that a president could be removed for “incapacity, negligence or perfidy.”
In fact, Rep. Al Green has put forward articles of impeachment on those very grounds, stating, “An unfit president can be impeached for those misdeeds that corrupt and harm society.”
Last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, publicly expressed that President Trump is too mentally unfit to function as president.
The president arrived late to his meeting on infrastructure with Pelosi and Sen. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. According to Pelosi, “He did not shake anyone’s hand, he did not sit down, but instead, he pounded the table and launched into a diatribe about her comments accusing him of having engaged in a cover-up before he stormed out of the room.” Pelosi said the entire meeting lasted only about three minutes.
Responding to Pelosi’s remarks, Trump said in the Rose Garden minutes later, “I walked into the room and I told Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, I want to do infrastructure… But, you know what? You can’t do it under these circumstances.”
He announced that he would refuse to carry out his legislative duties as president unless Congress stops carrying out their duties of oversight. He said, “You probably can’t go down two tracks. You can go down the investigation track and you can go down the investment track.”
Trump’s Mental Stability in Question
The next day of the meeting, Pelosi was still visibly shaken. She said, “The president again stormed out.” Pelosi added, “Pound the table. Walk out the door. What? … Another temper tantrum.”
She made one thing clear that this was a serious issue than just bad behavior. She said, “Again, I pray for the president of the United States. I wish that his family, or his administration or his staff would have an intervention. … Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence.”
Meanwhile, many people in the mental health community are arguing for years that Trump should be removed as he is psychologically unfit. In fact, there has been a professional petition online stating that “in our professional judgment … Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of president of the United States.”
The petition garnered more than 70,000 signatures and formed a professional organization called “Duty To Warn” that is dedicated solely to this particular issue and has held rallies across the country.
After Trump’s temper tantrum in the White House last month, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland said in an interview on NBC News, “Most of us on the Judiciary Committee have just thrown up our hands. Let’s go ahead and launch an impeachment inquiry.”
He also said, “Today the 25th Amendment has come resurging back into focus because of these extraordinary events that took place in the White House. … Speaker Pelosi showed her compassionate side when she said there should be a family intervention. Unfortunately, some conditions are way beyond the capacity of a family intervention to address. This might be far more serious.”
Raskin added, “The president is failing at every level of basic mental and cognitive health. He cannot take in information successfully. He cannot process information successfully. He cannot engage in decision-making without bias, distortion, impulsivity, impetuosity, and he cannot keep himself and others free from danger.” Raskin did not directly make reference to Trump’s lack of mental fitness for an impeachment inquiry; however, the context suggests that it was definitely on his mind and urges to conduct an inquiry.