Senate GOP campaign chairman floats 25th Amendment, probe against Biden
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who chairs the Senate GOP campaign arm, is raising the prospect of using the 25th Amendment to remove President Biden from office and calling for a congressional investigation into his handling of Afghanistan.
“After the disastrous events in Afghanistan, we must confront a serious question: Is Joe Biden capable of discharging the duties of his office or has time come to exercise the provisions of the 25th Amendment?” Scott tweeted on Monday.
After the disastrous events in Afghanistan, we must confront a serious question: Is Joe Biden capable of discharging the duties of his office or has time come to exercise the provisions of the 25th Amendment? https://t.co/l1bFrUdZH9
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) August 16, 2021
The idea of removing Biden from office through the 25th Amendment — which allows the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet or a group established by Congress to remove a president by declaring them unfit for office — is a non-starter.
But it marks the latest attempt by former President Trump and some of his closest allies to raise questions about Biden’s mental fitness. Other Republicans have warned that personal attacks against Biden risk backfiring.
Democrats, and some Republicans, called for Trump to be removed from office using the 25th Amendment after a mob of his supporters breached the Capitol when Congress was formally counting votes for Biden’s Electoral College victory. Scott, as part of that process, supported a challenge to Pennsylvania’s election results. He also voted, along with most GOP senators, against convicting Trump of inciting an insurrection during an impeachment trial that took place after the former president left office.
Scott appears to be the first GOP senator to float removing Biden from office via the 25th Amendment over his handling of Afghanistan. But Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), who has previously made a similar push, revived his call on Monday, tweeting that “Something MUST be done,” and Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted a criticism of Biden’s upcoming speech with the hashtag “#25Amendment.”
But Republicans are launching fierce criticism against Biden over his handling of Afghanistan, where a chaotic scene is dominating headlines after the Taliban entered and recaptured Kabul. Biden is returning to Washington, D.C., on Monday and is expected to address the nation on Monday afternoon.
Though Republicans struggled early in Biden’s tenure to find a messaging foothold against him, Republicans view Afghanistan as a major misstep for Biden and an opening for GOP lawmakers that sparks broad unity in the party. The Republican National Committee knocked Biden on Monday over his “Afghanistan Disaster.”
“A proud superpower has been reduced to hoping the Taliban will not interfere with our efforts to flee Afghanistan. God knows what fate awaits vulnerable Afghans who cannot make it to Kabul to board one of the final flights out. Terrorists and major competitors like China are watching the embarrassment of a superpower laid low,” Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement over the weekend.
Scott chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, putting him in charge of the Senate’s GOP strategy for trying to win back the majority during next year’s midterm election.
In addition to his tweet floating the use of the 25th Amendment, Scott is calling for House and Senate leadership to start a bicameral investigation into Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan drawdown.
That, according to Scott, should include reviewing advice Biden received from military and intelligence leadership, how the administration prepared for the drawdown and what advice either from within the administration or internationally Biden rejected.
Trump, as part of negotiations with the Taliban, had set a withdrawal deadline for U.S. troops in Afghanistan for May 1. Biden announced in April that the U.S. military would withdraw from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, but has sped up that timeline.
“Today, I’m calling for Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi to immediately launch a bipartisan and bicameral investigation into the Biden administration’s failed withdrawal of American forces. They must put partisan politics aside and demand accountability from the Biden administration,” Scott said.