Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, seizing on an explosive op-ed from an anonymous administration official, said Thursday that it’s time to use constitutional powers to remove President Donald Trump office if top officials don’t think he can do the job.
“If senior administration officials think the President of the United States is not able to do his job, then they should invoke the 25th Amendment,” Warren told CNN. “The Constitution provides for a procedure whenever the Vice President and senior officials think the President can’t do his job. It does not provide that senior officials go around the President – take documents off his desk, write anonymous op-eds … Everyone of these officials have sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States. It’s time for them to do their job.”
The hard-charging comments by the potential 2020 presidential candidate come in the wake of the stunning New York Times piece where an anonymous official raises deep concerns about the President and contends there were some initial conversations to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the President from office. The White House has aggressively pushed back on the piece, calling the author a traitor and a coward.
The remarks are bound to spark a debate within the potential 2020 field about how hard to go after Trump, with some advocating impeachment and invoking the 25th Amendment and others acting more cautious.
Warrren dismissed questions that invoking constitutional remedies would provoke a constitutional crisis.
“What kind of a crisis do we have if senior officials believe that the President can’t do his job and then refuse to follow the rules that have been laid down in the Constitution?” Warren told CNN. “They can’t have it both ways. Either they think that the President is not capable of doing his job in which case they follow the rules in the Constitution, or they feel that the President is capable of doing his job, in which case they follow what the President tells them to do.”
Warren, who is running for a second Senate term in Massachusetts this year, would not say when she would ultimately decide whether she will run for the White House.
“Right now I’m running for re-election in Massachusetts in 2018,” Warren said. “I’m taking nothing for granted.”
Still, Warren is viewed as a likely presidential candidate against Trump, who rarely holds back when criticizing Warren, derisively calling her “Pocahontas” because she had claimed a Native American heritage during her career as a law professor. But last weekend, The Boston Globe published an investigative article showing that her ethnicity was not a factor in her employment at Harvard.
“My family is my family, but the Boston Globe conducted an enormously thorough investigation and determined that my family’s background had nothing to do with my being hired anywhere ever,” she said.
Asked if she regrets how she handled the episode about her ethnic background, Warren said: “I was a first time candidate back in in 2012 and frankly just didn’t even have this basic information. So got it all together, handed it over to the press, and said, there it is.”