Rudy Giuliani just handed the Trump cabinet and Congress the perfect means to remove Trump from office, bypassing the need for impeachment.
Rudy Giuliani, a member of Trump’s legal team, has had quite the month so far leading media assault on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and one of the key players in that inquiry – former FBI Director James Comey.
Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that Trump’s legal team tried to block any attempt by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to force Trump to testify.
Trump’s lawyers have for months quietly waged a campaign to keep the special counsel from trying to force him to answer questions in the investigation into whether he obstructed justice, asserting that he cannot be compelled to testify and arguing in a confidential letter that he could not possibly have committed obstruction because he has unfettered authority over all federal investigations.
In a brash assertion of presidential power, the 20-page letter — sent to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and obtained by The New York Times — contends that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”
Once the media had time to read that letter, it was reported that despite past denials by Trump’s legal team and the White House, Donald Trump himself dictated the first statement about the controversial 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his campaign aides and a Russian lawyer.
As CNN reported:
In a confidential letter to special counsel Robert Mueller in January, President Donald Trump’s legal team acknowledged for the first time that Trump “dictated” the first misleading statement put out about his son’s controversial 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower.
“You have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the President dictated a short but accurate response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr.,” the letter said.
Astoundingly, Giuliani made the case for Trump’s immediate removal from office pursuant the 25th Amendment when he called into question Trump’s mental capacity.
Giuliani attempted to dismiss concerns about Trump’s statement during an interview this weekend.
Mother Jones reported that: “Rudy Giuliani is supposed to be on cleanup duty, but he keeps making a mess. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week,” the president’s personal attorney explained that it might be a bad idea for Trump to testify to special counsel Robert Mueller because his client’s story kept changing.”
Asked about shifting explanations for statement on Trump Tower meeting, Rudy Giuliani told Stephanopoulos:
“This is the reason you don’t let the president testify. Our recollection keeps changing, or we’re not even asked a question and somebody makes an assumption.”
Asked about shifting explanations for statement on Trump Tower meeting, Rudy Giuliani tells @GStephanopoulos:
"This is the reason you don't let the president testify. Our recollection keeps changing, or we're not even asked a question and somebody makes an assumption." pic.twitter.com/DLQsGbfGhA
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 3, 2018
The New York Times had this to say about a possible 25th Amendment solution last year:
[U]ltimately I do not believe that our president sufficiently understands the nature of the office that he holds, the nature of the legal constraints that are supposed to bind him, perhaps even the nature of normal human interactions…
Which is not an argument for allowing him to occupy that office. It is an argument, instead, for using a constitutional mechanism more appropriate to this strange situation than impeachment: the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for the removal of the president if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet informs the Congress that he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” and (should the president contest his own removal) a two-thirds vote by Congress confirms the cabinet’s judgment.
The Trump situation is not exactly the sort that the amendment’s Cold War-era designers were envisioning. He has not endured an assassination attempt or suffered a stroke or fallen prey to Alzheimer’s. But his incapacity to really govern, to truly execute the serious duties that fall to him to carry out, is nevertheless testified to daily — not by his enemies or external critics, but by precisely the men and women whom the Constitution asks to stand in judgment on him, the men and women who serve around him in the White House and the cabinet.
Now go back and listen to Rudy Giuliani basically admitting that Trump lacks the mental functioning to withstand the challenges of being questioned by Robert Mueller’s team.
It’s possibly the best case so far for Trump’s immediate removal using the 25th Amendment solution.