Section 4 of the 25th Amendment is clear:
“…Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office….”
The key phrase, of course, is that the president is no longer able to discharge his duties.
This allows the president’s cabinet to relieve him of his duties, temporarily, until such time as they agree he is once again able to function.
I have read arguments on both sides of the issue. Some experts claim that the 25th Amendment would not apply to Trump, others say it would.
Initially the Amendment (which also includes the method of selecting a vice president) was designed as a short term solution to a temporarily disabled POTUS. For example, he has an operation . Or he is very sick and cannot function for awhile. It allowed a legal way for the Vice President to take over, temporarily. It was not intended to be a method for permanently removing a POTUS from office.
But, on the other hand, the WORDs are clear. If a POTUS is unable to be a POTUS. It does not give any guidelines for making that decision. It is left solely with the Vice President and the majority of the cabinet. It does not stipulate mental or physical disorder. It does ask “why”? It allows the cabinet to define what the word “unable” means.
So, the 25th Amendment, no matter what the intent, is a viable solution to the Trump problem. It allows the GOP to remove him from office without going through an impeachment process. It is a more painless way to take power from an obviously unfit human being. Of course, since his cabinet is composed of a cadre of sycophants any attempt to use the 25th would probably fail. Their lips are firmly attached to Donald’s hindquarters, like zebra mussels on an intake valve. (Ironically zebra mussels originated from Russia and the Ukraine)
Unless. Unless Trump continues to act nuttier and nuttier every day. If he were to call for a whistleblower to be treated as a spy. Or if he were to call for a member of Congress to be tried for treason . Or if he were to publicly ask another nation to investigate his domestic opponents. Or if he were to start using vulgarities in public. Or if he tweeted that a Civil War might erupt unless his crimes are allowed to stand. Unless. Unless. Unless.
Of course the 25th will not be used. But it should be. If ever there was a POTUS who is “unable to discharge the powers and duties” of the presidency it is Donald Trump. He has demonstrated that on a regular basis. From day one.