Capitol Hill lawmakers are reportedly harboring a "growing obsession" with the 25th Amendment following Donald Trump’s “nuclear button” meltdown this week. The renewed interest comes after a bipartisan cohort sought out advice last month from a Yale psychiatrist, Dr. Bandy X. Lee, who has been sounding the alarm bells about Donald Trump's mental state for months. Politico’s Annie Karni writes:
In private meetings with more than a dozen members of Congress held on Dec. 5 and 6, Lee briefed lawmakers – all Democrats except for one Republican senator, who Lee declined to identify. Her professional warning to Capitol Hill: “He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs.”
In an interview, she pointed to Trump “going back to conspiracy theories, denying things he has admitted before, his being drawn to violent videos.” Lee also warned, “We feel that the rush of tweeting is an indication of his falling apart under stress. Trump is going to get worse and will become uncontainable with the pressures of the presidency.”
Lee, editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” which includes testimonials from 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts assessing the president’s level of “dangerousness,” said that she was surprised by the interest in her findings during her two days in Washington. “One senator said that it was the meeting he most looked forward to in 11 years,” Lee recalled. “Their level of concern about the president’s dangerousness was surprisingly high.”
Lee also wrote a letter to the editor published in the New York Times last November that notably warned we were witnessing a "pattern of decompensation" and pushed "the public and the lawmakers of this country to push for an urgent evaluation of the president."
Democratic lawmakers were heeding that warning more so than Republicans prior to the New Year, but Trump's "nuclear button" gamesmanship with North Korea this week is reportedly pouring fuel on the 25th Amendment fire.
Trump’s Tuesday night nuclear taunt managed to cause alarm even within his own party. [...]
“The tendency was anti-alarmism among Republicans,” said Bill Kristol, editor at large of the Weekly Standard and one of Washington’s leading conservative voices.
That made Trump’s sudden fit of saber-rattling “more jolting,” according to Kristol—and it reopened the national conversation about the president’s mental stability. “I was focused on Iran, and talking to people in the administration about serious policy,” Kristol added, “and then to see in the middle of what might be a serious policymaking process, Trump’s just flipping out.” [...]
Richard Painter, who served as chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, tweeted on Tuesday of the president’s comments about North Korea, “This Tweet alone is grounds for removal from office under the 25th Amendment. This man should not have nukes.”
In the meantime, Dr. Lee's assessment is gaining traction and she is scheduled to brief another group of lawmakers along with addressing a town hall hosted by Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, who has authored a bill to establish a commission for evaluating Trump's mental fitness.