By: Adelle Nazarian
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democratic lawmakers are openly questioning President Donald Trump’s mental health, and a growing number of them are invoking the 25th Amendment as a springboard to introduce legislation that would allow former presidents and vice presidents to determine if Trump is mentally unfit for office.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) are among several of these Democrats, according to The Hill. Franken reportedly said “a few” Republican colleagues have expressed concerns to him about Trump’s mental health, and Lieu plans to introduce legislation that would require the presence of a psychiatrist or psychologist in the White House.
Breitbart News previously reported that Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) had launched an online petition to force the Republican Party to submit then-presidential nominee Trump to a psychiatric evaluation.
Last week, Rep. Blumenauer used baseless allegations about Trump’s mental health as a springboard to invoke the 25th Amendment in a floor speech. And in an interview with CNN this weekend, Rep. Jackie Spier (D-CA) said Trump “has got to get a grip. The 25th Amendment is there if the president becomes incapacitated.”
The 25th Amendment was ratified in 1967 following President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination. It allows the Vice President to become President in the event the president resigns or is removed from office by his cabinet for being “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
In an op-ed he penned in the The Oregonian, Blumenauer suggested there was a “fatal flaw” in the 25th Amendment that allows the president to fire his Cabinet — which is granted the right to determine the president’s ability to serve — in order to “prevent the application of the amendment.” He added, “The alternative process spelled out by the amendment leaves the decision to the vice president and a so-far-undefined body created by Congress.”
Blumenauer said he is working to introduce legislation that would allow for living former presidents and vice presidents to form that body that would determine whether the president is mentally fit for office.
According to Breitbart News’ legal analyst Ken Klukowski, “Any law that would transfer the ability to take away presidential power from a group of Senate-confirmed group of senior Republicans and hand it over to a body mostly made of up Democrats is a naked attempt to invalidate the 2016 election.”
A recent article in NPR presented a debate around the question of whether a president’s mental health should be made public. Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, told NPR that he believes “If, say, a president is showing cognitive decline, the people and Congress should be aware of it and be able to argue it.”
Meanwhile, President Trump’s longtime personal physician, Dr. Harold N. Bornstein, told the New York Times that he would not test his mental state if he was appointed as the White House doctor.
Some medical experts say allegations about President Trump’s mental health from lawmakers and mental health experts are both baseless, and have a tainted political agenda at their core.
“You cannot diagnose someone in the public eye based solely on their TV interviews,” Los Angeles-based cardiologist and internist Dr. Afshine Emrani told Breitbart News. “A lot of these things are politically motivated and it irks me. That’s like me saying someone has heart problems by just seeing them on a TV show. You need to see the patient, examine them, take blood and perform an ECG. You can’t diagnose a heart attack by someone saying they have chest pain on TV. Psychiatry is the same.”
Dr. Emrani said he does not want people to “belittle mental illness because they have a political agenda,” adding, “psychiatric name-calling and bullying is against their professional code. They should be exposed for what they are.” He added, “I can guarantee an overwhelming majority of them voted against Trump.”
He referred to an article published by the New York Times about 35 psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers who signed a petition to diagnose Trump from afar.
They wrote that “the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.”
In response to that, Dr. Emrani told Breitbart News, “What I would love to do is have them declare what their political affiliations are to prove that this was politically motivated,” noting that the majority of people who serve in the mental health field are overwhelmingly liberal.
“A number of people have wanted to interview me about Trump but I’ve declined,” Dr. Emrani said. “The reason I am accepting this interview [with Breitbart News] is because of the dangers to those who are truly mentally ill. You can say his policies are bad, but to make fun of a psychiatric illness is irresponsible and hurtful to those who truly suffer.”
Dr. Emrani said, “the media was swooning over Barack Obama and covered up every mistake he made. But with Trump, they blow everything up. Are you telling me half of America voted for a mentally ill man? And that a mentally ill man blew out a candidate who was groomed her entire life for the presidency? Is this how you go high when they go low? That is crazy.”