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Unstable President

It is time to remove Donald J. Trump as President of the United States before he does irreparable damage to our country. We cannot wait two weeks until Joe Biden assumes office.

In May, 1989, I was in Beijing doing legal work for Occidental Petroleum at its offices on Changan Avenue, a few blocks from Tienanmien Square. Student protesters were gathering in the Square, demanding that the Chinese Communist government embrace democracy for its citizens. I knew several people who were there. A huge Goddess of Democracy statue was built outside the Forbidden City, the inner sanctum of the Communist government there.

Then someone threw a bottle of black ink at a painting of China’s revered leader, Mao Tse Tung, staining his face, on the main wall of the Forbidden City facing the Square. My thinking at the time was “This is bad”. On June 4, 1989, over 3,000 Chinese citizens were massacred by the Chinese government in the Square. Oxy’s office on Changan Avenue was machine gunned, blowing out all the windows and spraying the people inside with broken glass as they hit the floor.

On January 6, 2021, I felt the same way, as Donald Trump’s MAGA and QAnon thugs invaded and tried to destroy the seat of our democracy, the Capitol building of the United States of America, where I once worked. The Confederate flag, which had never been streamed there, was celebrated by the thugs in the hallowed halls of Congress. For the second time in American history, after only the burning of the Capitol building in 1814 by British invaders, the building was breached by people trying to overthrow the U.S. government.

Donald Trump must be removed from office, immediately. If the current schedule holds, after confirming that Joe Biden was elected President by counting the electoral votes early Thursday morning, Congress has left town, not to return until just before Biden’s January 20 Inauguration. Who is left in town to prevent Trump from destroying us all?

Congress has left town, not to return until just before Biden’s January 20 Inauguration. Who is left in town to prevent Trump from destroying us all?

Seventeen Members of Congress, including my own Congressman, Ted Lieu, have signed a letter demanding that the Twenty-Fifth Amendment be invoked and that Trump be removed from office. Here is what has to happen:

First, Vice President Mike Pence has to be strong enough to request that a majority of Trump’s 23 member Cabinet transmit to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate (Senator Chuck Grassley) and the Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi) a declaration that “the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office”, and that the Vice President should immediately assume the powers of the office.

Then, all the members of Trump’s cabinet would have to be solicited to find out if a majority of them agree to Trump’s removal. Here they are:

  • Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin. An original member of the Trump Administration, he is a terrible suckup to his boss, but he is an effective negotiator. He knows which way the wind blows, and if he sees that Trump is a goner, he will desert him in a microsecond.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Also an original cabinet member as head of the CIA, he moved up to Secretary of State and is unlikely to abandon the man who plucked him from being an obscure Kansas Congressman (propped up by the Koch Brothers) to powerful positions in Trump’s Administration. He also could face some criminal liability.
  • Acting Attorney General. Billy Barr has left the office and has been succeeded by Acting AG Jeffrey Rosen. He has said very little since he took office, and is known as a skilled behind-the-scenes operator. He could be a major player.
  • Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller. A Trump flunky who replaced Mike Espy after Trump fired him just after the 2020 election, he is a loyalist who will not budge.
  • Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Another original member of the Administration, he is a Trump sycophant, and is unlikely to desert him now.
  • Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. An original Trump Administration appointee, he is the cousin of defeated Georgia Senator David Perdue. No way he will support removal.
  • Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. In office for just over a year, he replaced Trump suckup Rick (“Bush Without Brains”) Perry, and travels a lot. He may choose to be unavailable to address the 25th Amendment issue.
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  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar. HHS Secretary since 2017, he has been very active in the failed Coronavirus Task Force which set up Operation Warped Speed. A veteran of drug giant Eli Lilly, he had a track record of raising drug prices and opposing Obamacare. Don’t count on him.
  • Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. An original Trump appointee, she is a total sycophant and will be loyal to the end.
  • Acting (Illegally) Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf. He is out of the country now and may stay in hiding until Trump leaves office. He was the chief architect of the Trump Administration’s family separation policy, and may face jail later this year.
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson. “Sleepy Ben” (Trump’s slur for him) has been in office since March, 2017 and is one of Yale’s finest graduates. He will not wake up to make a decision as to whether or not to remove Trump for the next two weeks.
  • Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. A former oil and energy industry lobbyist, he was an early Trumpster, and replaced Ryan Zinke, who had a scandalous tenure, as Secretary of the Interior in early 2019. Position not known.
  • Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. He is the son of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and I am very ashamed to say that he is a fellow graduate of the University of Chicago Law School. An early Trumpster, but he might want to preserve his reputation and vote to remove Trump.
  • Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. The wife of Senator (and soon to be Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell, who now detests Trump for undercutting his majority, she is almost certain to vote to dump Trump, but she just resigned. Too little too late. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie. He will do whatever he is told to do.
  • White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. This former Freedom Caucus Chair will stay in the bunker with his boss until the end.
  • Administrator of the EPA Andrew Wheeler. A former coal industry lobbyist, he is the fox in the climate henhouse, and is a Trump loyalist.
  • Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought. An early Trumpster, Vought has hindered the Biden transition by not cooperating with the transition team. A “Trump saboteur”, he will not support removal until he is removed on January 20.
  • U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. He could lead the effort to remove Trump.
  • Director of the CIA Gina Haspel. She will support removal of Trump, unless she is fired first. Trump hates her.
  • Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. A total Trumpwhore, he would never vote for removal.
  • Administrator of the Small Business Administration Jovita Carranza. Who? Why? When?

As can be seen by reviewing the above, the Cabinet is a treasure trove of Trump sycophants, many of whom would only vote to remove Trump if the vote could be held quickly and in secret. Like tomorrow in an undisclosed location. And don’t even tell Mark Meadows about the secret meeting. He will squeal to Trump. All they need is Pence and 11 more to remove him. Do it…

Two problems: First, if Trump finds out, he can fire the turncoats and they would no longer be able to vote to remove. Second, the 25th Amendment provides that Trump could then transmit to Grassley and Pelosi a written declaration that no such disability exists. However, the initial declaration signed by the Cabinet members could state that if Trump says this, it is evidence of his delusion and should be disregarded. At that point, Congress could either determine by a 2/3 vote of both houses that Trump is unable to discharge his duties, or just impeach the bastard.

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Lets hope we all are alive on January 20, and that Trump does not kill us all before he is gone…

Ted Vaill