Betsy McCaughey

Betsy McCaughey

Opinion

Biden’s cowardly Cabinet is a national disgrace, shirking its duty to remove him

President Biden is incapable of governing: Americans can see it, and perilously our adversaries can too.

The US Constitution spells out a remedy for just such a situation in the 25th Amendment.

But a constitution is just a piece of paper, only as good as those who have taken an oath to defend it — and Biden is surrounded by rogues like Vice President Kamala Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland, who both swore to support the Constitution but are instead defying it.

Their deliberate coverup of the president’s condition is a national disgrace, putting our national security at risk and making a mockery of democracy — the very thing they claim to be protecting.

Under the terms of the 25th Amendment, a president who is unable to serve can either voluntarily transfer authority to the vice president, or can be involuntarily removed at the vice president’s instigation.

Despite growing numbers of top Democratic Party bigwigs calling on the bumbling Biden to drop out of the race to prevent a wipeout in the general election, the president insists he will remain the Dems’ nominee.

But the party’s fate in November is only a secondary issue: Biden is unfit to run the country now.  

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment is designed to swiftly rescue the nation from the dangerous scenario of an incapable president clinging to power.

The process begins when the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet issues a written statement declaring the president “unable to fulfill the powers and duties of his office.” At that point, the vice president becomes the “Acting President.”

If the president disagrees and reclaims authority within four days via a written declaration, the decision shifts to Congress, which can remove the president with a two-thirds vote of both chambers.

That’s how it’s meant to work, at least. But seeing it through requires patriots, not partisan hacks, to be serving in the executive branch.

In January, Garland’s special counsel Robert Hur reported that although Biden had broken the law by mishandling classified documents, the president was too much of a doddering old fool to stand trial — or in Hur’s words, an “elderly man with a poor memory.”  

That’s when Garland had a constitutional responsibility to take action.

If he accepted Hur’s conclusion that his boss was too addled to stand trial, Garland had to know that Biden was equally unfit to serve as president.

Instead, the attorney general chose to help conceal the president’s incapacity, defying a congressional subpoena to keep tapes of Biden’s stammering, confused interviews with Hur hidden.

Fast-forward half a year: After Biden’s alarming debate performance, Reps. Chip Roy (R-Tex.) and Clay Higgins (R-La.) called on Harris to use her powers under the 25th Amendment to convene the Cabinet and “respond to this moment of crisis by gently removing President Biden” from office.

Instead, Harris too is covering up, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Biden is “extraordinarily strong.”    

The 25th Amendment was drafted in 1965, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

When Congress debated the measure, some worried that Cabinet members wouldn’t dare to defy a sitting president, no matter how incapacitated.

But as Sen. Everett Dirksen argued, during “a monumental national crisis . . . those charged with responsibility will do what is in the public interest.”

The Biden administration is failing that test — much like corrupt administrations throughout American history.

Before the amendment’s passage, it was common for insiders to conceal a presidential disability: Those closest to the president rarely want to lose power.

When James Garfield was struck by an assassin’s bullet in 1881, his Cabinet allowed the government to operate on autopilot — with the president performing no official duties — for the two months it took for him to die of his wounds.

After Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke in 1919, his wife Edith, his physician and his private secretary kept mum and ran the country for 17 months.

Jill Biden is doing the same, the Constitution be damned.   

Since the debate debacle, Biden’s circle has apparently shrunk to his wife, her close adviser and “work husband” Anthony Bernal, speechwriter Mike Donilon and son Hunter Biden, who is acting as his father’s gatekeeper.

The addled president is in a bunker, and the nation is in danger. 

“We will decide our future,” the first lady declared on the cover of Vogue last week.

Outrageous. An impaired president and his wife should not be able to hold onto power, endangering the national interest.

Americans adopted the 25th Amendment for a crisis just like this one.   

We must demand that Harris, Garland and other senior officials do their constitutional duty.

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.

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