Posts tagged with "25th Amendment"

January 6 panel zeroes in on Fox News’ Hannity; releases texts between host and White House

January 6, 2022

Fox News host Sean Hannity was concerned about former President Donald Trump‘s strategy and conduct before, during, and after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, according to a letter sent to him on Tuesday, January 4, by the House select committee probing the insurrection, reports CNN.

The committee asked Hannity for his voluntary cooperation with its investigation  as a patriotic American—noting it had received “dozens” of his text messages sent to and from former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that indicate that he had “advance knowledge regarding President Trump’s and his legal team’s planning for January 6th.”

In the letter, the panel said it wants to speak with Hannity specifically about his communications with Trump, White House staff, and his legal team between December 31, 2020, and January 20, 2021, when President Joe Biden was inaugurated.

Hannity’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, told CNN, “We are reviewing the committee’s letter and will respond as appropriate.”

The committee said it has text messages from Hannity pushing back on the plan to urge Congress to challenge the certification of the election on January 6—and urging Trump to prepare for his departure from office.

On January 5, Hannity wrote that he was “very worried about the next 48 hours.”

In its letter the committee asked Hannity, “With the counting of the electoral votes scheduled for January 6th at 1 p.m., why were you concerned about the next 48 hours?”

The committee also cited a separate December 31, 2020, exchange in which Hannity wrote to Meadows, “We can’t lose the entire WH counsel’s office. I do not see January 6 happening the way he is being told. After the 6th. [sic] He should announce will lead the nationwide effort to reform voting integrity. Go to Fl and watch Joe mess up daily. Stay engaged. When he speaks people will listen.”

The committee said it appeared that Hannity has “detailed knowledge regarding President Trump’s state of mind,” and engaged with the former President numerous times. The committee noted that Hannity spoke directly with Trump on January 5 about “his planning for January 6th” and on January 10, when Hannity “may have raised a number of specific concerns about his possible actions in the days before the January 20th inaugural.”

The committee referenced messages from January 10 that Hannity sent to Meadows and Ohio Republican Representative Jim Jordan: “Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days. He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say, and I don’t like not knowing if it’s truly understood. Ideas?”

Trump told CNN in a statement Tuesday evening, “I disagree with Sean on that statement and the facts are proving me right.”

In a text to Meadows on January 5, Hannity wrote that he was “very worried about the next 48 hours” and referred to then-Vice President Mike Pence, who oversaw the certification of the 2020 election, saying: “Pence Pressure. WH counsel will leave.”

And on January 6, Hannity urged Meadows to tell Trump he should “ask people to peacefully leave the [C]apit[o]l.”

Before sending its letter, the committee revealed it had text messages from Hannity to Meadows on the day of the attack, calling for Trump to take action. According to the previously released text, Hannity said to Meadows: “Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol?”

In its letter, the panel also made clear that it wants to learn more about the communications Hannity had as the riot was underway. “We are aware of and interested in your communications to Mr. Meadows and others during the violent attack on January 6th, as the rioters were attempting to occupy the Capitol building,” the letter reads, specifically referencing a text message sent to Meadows about “a potential effort by members of President Trump’s cabinet to remove him from office under the 25th Amendment.”

The committee made clear that its questions for Hannity are narrowly focused on those topics and do not address his public broadcasts.

Research contact: @CNN

Democrats look to impeachment as Pence demurs at invoking 25th Amendment

January 11, 2021

Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts , the assistant speaker of the House, told The New York Times on January 8 that Democrats could vote on impeachment by the middle of next week—just seven days ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration as POTUS.

Democrats plunged forward on Friday with plans to impeach President Trump over his role in inciting a violent mob attack on the Capitol, picking up some potential Republican support to move as early as next week to try to force Trump from office just as his term is drawing to a close.

Clark, the No. 4 Democrat, said that if Vice President Mike Pence would not invoke the 25th Amendment to forcibly relieve Trump of his duties, Democrats were prepared to act by the middle of next week to impeach him for a second time. Speaker Nancy Pelosi planned to gather Democrats by telephone at noon to discuss the effort.

According to the Times, they were rushing to begin the expedited proceeding two days after the president rallied his supporters near the White House, urging them to go to the Capitol to protest his election defeat; then continuing to stoke their grievances as they stormed the edifice— with Pence and the entire Congress meeting inside to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory— in a rampage that left five dead.

“If the reports are correct and Mike Pence is not going to uphold his oath of office and remove the president and help protect our democracy, then we will move forward with impeachment to do just that,”  Clark said in an interview on CNN.

The prospect of forcing Trump from office in less than two weeks appeared remote given the logistical and political challenges involved, the Times said—given that a two-thirds majority in the Senate would be required. But the push unfolded amid a sense of national crisis following the Capitol siege, as White House resignations piled up and some Republicans appeared newly open to the possibility, which could also disqualify Trump from holding political office in the future.

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, said he would “definitely consider whatever articles they might move, because I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office.”

“He sworn an oath to the American people to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution — he acted against that,” Sasse said on CBS. “What he did was wicked.”

Research contact: @nytimes

Study: In 13 hours of COVID-19 briefings, Trump expressed just 4.5 minutes of empathy for victims

April 27, 2020

From the time he started his COVID-19 press briefings in March to the moment when he ostensibly stopped them on Saturday, April 25, tweeting that they were “Not worth the time & effort!”—President Donald Trump spent a total of ten minutes praising himself for every one minute he spent expressing condolences for the Americans who have died in the pandemic, Common Dreams reported on April 26.

Indeed, a new analysis—published Sunday by the nonprofit, independent news outlet— details a “shocking lack of sympathy expressed by the nation’s highest ranking elected official,” Common Dreams said.

The actual study, conducted with help from the data analytics firm Factbase by The Washington Post, looked at the cumulative hours of White House pandemic briefings since March 16—including a detailed breakdown of the last three weeks in which the press events have become increasingly concerning , the Post noted, as Trump pushed unproven treatments and, just last week, suggested that patients could be injected with disinfectants as a way to cure their illness.

Indeed, according to the Post:

  • The president has spoken for more than 28 hours in the 35 briefings held since March 16, eating up 60% of the time that officials spoke;
  • Over the past three weeks, the tally comes to more than 13 hours of Trump—including two hours spent on attacks and 45 minutes praising himself and his administration—but just 4½ minutes expressing condolences for coronavirus victims;
  • The president spent twice as much time promoting an unproven antimalarial drug that was the object of a Food and Drug Administration warning; and
  • Trump also said something false or misleading in nearly 25% of his prepared comments or answers to questions, the analysis shows.

The uproar over Trump’s mismanagement of the crisis and his increasingly erratic behavior led the progressive advocacy group MoveOn.org on April 24 to call for the president’s removal under the 25th Amendment.

Finally, a public survey conducted recently by psychology researchers found broad consensus among the American people—both Republicans and Democrats—that Trump exhibits clear traits associated with a spectrum of six personality disorders, including narcissism, sadism, histrionic tendencies, being passive-aggressive, an anti-social lack of empathy, and paranoia.

Research contact: @commondreams

He’s all in: Former congressman Joe Walsh announces primary challenge against Trump

August 27, 2019

Former congressman Joe Walsh (R-Illinois) announced on ABC’s This Week Sunday that he would challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 primary—becoming the third Republican to go up against the POTUS, after former Massachusetts Governor William Weld and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford announced they were in the race during April and August, respectively.

According to a report by The Washington Post, Walsh, a talk-radio host, was elected to Congress in 2010 as part of the conservative Tea Party wave and served one term. He has described himself as an immigration hard-liner and said he would not challenge Trump from the center but from the right and on moral grounds.

“I’m going to run for president,” Walsh told ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, charging that the president is “incompetent,” “a bigot” and “a narcissist.”

When Stephanopoulos pushed back, pointing out that Walsh, himself, had a long history of racist and controversial statements, the new candidate said, “I helped create Trump, and George, that’s not an easy thing to say,” noting,  “I went beyond the policy and the idea differences and I got personal and I got hateful. I said some ugly things about President Obama that I regret.”

Like another Republican who recently turned on Trump— former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci—Walsh would not be averse to invoking the 25th Amendment in order to remove the “unfit”  president from office. He told Stephanopoulos that the amendment should be  “looked at” because “we’ve never had a situation like this. You can’t believe a word he says.”

Meanwhile, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld welcomed Walsh’s entry into the race, saying on NBC’s Meet the Press, “It’s going to be a more robust conversation. Who knows? The networks might even cover Republican primary debates.”

Research contact: @washingtonpost