Could Biden be impeached?

20.05.2022, Moscow.

After reviewing the mechanism and history of the use of impeachment of the US president, it becomes clear that in modern conditions, putting this procedure on the agenda and its use can serve as a powerful weapon in the electoral struggle, but it is almost impossible to achieve the removal of the current US president from his office through the mechanism of impeachment.

Is there any other legal way to remove an incumbent US president from office? Yes, there is. It has to do with the 25th amendment of the US Constitution.

The 25th amendment was passed soon after John Kennedy’s assassination, and its main function was to clearly outline the procedure of passing power from president to vice-president when the president is unable to fulfill his duties.

Specifically, with Kennedy, everything happened very quickly – his death was certified a half-hour after he was shot, but Congress was concerned about what might have happened if the president had remained alive but incapacitated for a long time.

The amendment, among other things, gives the vice president – with the consent of a majority of the president’s cabinet ministers – to declare the president incapacitated, in which case the presidential powers would pass to the vice president. There is not a single precedent for the exercise of these powers. But the situation with Joe Biden is also, in a way, unprecedented.

The post of president of the United States has already been held by a man with Alzheimer’s disease – it was Ronald Reagan’s second term.

But those were different times. The White House could choose when and under what conditions the president appeared in public or on television. And under these controlled conditions, the actor Reagan was quite adept at hiding his lapse into senility from the general public.

In the age of ubiquitous smartphones with video recording functions, all this becomes much more difficult. Not only Biden’s opponents, but some of his supporters are already talking periodically that the president is “not all there.”

In theory, Biden’s inner circle, led by Vice President Kamala Harris, could use this ground to declare him incapacitated, or Biden could even resign himself on health grounds. But why?

Closer to the 2024 presidential election, a move to acting presidential status could theoretically help Kamala Harris with her electoral ratings, but to do so she would need the support of the majority of the party establishment, including that of her more successful rival in the 2020 primary, US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and that is by no means predetermined.

As a practical matter, an increasingly senile US president who can be used as a “screen” to hide behind and quietly push one’s agenda is convenient and satisfactory to many in Washington.

So while the mechanism of the 25th amendment may be used more successfully to terminate Biden’s powers than impeachment, it seems unlikely.

Although Biden is crumbling before everyone’s eyes, he remains a convenient signboard for his entourage.

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