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Pelosi Wants Trump to Have a Checkup From the Neck Up: 25th Amendment Legislation Coming

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she was going to be discussing the 25th Amendment to the Constitution on Friday, but coyly didn’t reveal any further details at her weekly news conference on Thursday. Now we know what she was hinting at.

On Friday, Pelosi and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) issued a news release indicating they will introduce legislation on Friday to establish a 25th Amendment commission to assess the president’s mental and physical capacity to hold office. The panel would be called the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office.

Raskin had introduced a similar bill in 2017, in which he called for a commission made up of doctors and psychiatrists to determine “whether the president is mentally or physically unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office.”

“For the security of our people and the safety of the Republic, we need to set up the ‘body’ called for in the 25th Amendment,” Raskin said in 2017. “The president can fire his entire Cabinet for asking the same question tens of millions of Americans are asking at their dinner tables, but he cannot fire Congress or the expert body we set up under the Constitution.”

(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for MoveOn.org)

In an interview immediately after her Friday press conference, Pelosi suggested that the president may not be thinking clearly because of the drugs he has taken while being treated for the disease.

“The president is, shall we say, in an altered state right now,” Pelosi said on Bloomberg TV. “I don’t know how to answer for that behavior.”

Perhaps the Speaker’s assessment of the president’s capacity is at least in part related to his almost hour-long phoner on the Fox Business cable channel Thursday morning. During that rambling appearance, Trump praised his medical care,  downplayed the dangers of the coronavirus, said he thought his infection “would have gone away by itself” without treatment and then declared “I don’t think I am contagious at all.”

He is, of course, still very much capable of spreading COVID-19 to others given that his symptoms and positive test result are less than a week old.

Predictably Trump responded Thursday afternoon, tweeting that Pelosi “is the one who should be under observation.”



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