Lawrence O'Donnell laid out the reasons why Donald Trump could virtually lose his presidency to Vice President Pence.
Mike Pence is the man Trump better fear
This riveting clip from Lawrence O'Donnell should put the fear of Pence in Donald Trump's psyche. Given Trump's apparent fragile mental state, it may just be a matter of time.
"Every day the New York Times reporting is adding to the corruption file of the Trump Administration," Lawrence said. "And they are not the only news organization doing that. All of which makes Mike Pence the most dangerous man in Donald Trump's life. And at some point, even Donald Trump will realize that."
O'Donnell then referred to the Pence press conference in Europe where the reporter asked the following.
Who should European leaders listen to, you or President Trump? Can they be certain that what you say, the assurances you give won't be contradicted in a tweet or a statement at a press conference tomorrow?
"That question is not going away," O'Donnell sad. "What makes Mike Pence the most dangerous man in the world for Donald Trump is that Mike Pence is a standard issue, Republican president, a no drama Republican president, someone who world leaders would be completely comfortable with. They've all dealt with a version of Mike Pence in the presidency before. And Mike Pence would be a president that most Republicans in the House and the Senate would be more comfortable with. He is one of them."
Lawrence points out that Trump did not pick a Vice President that scare people more than do the current President. This means getting rid of the President is not a scary proposition.
"Here is something the President does not know about his Vice President," O'Donnell said. "Something that should make Donald Trump fear Mike Pence more than anyone else in the world. It is uniquely within Mike Pence's power to take the presidency away from Donald Trump. The Vice President has the constitutional power to do that thanks to the wisdom of the 25th Amendment enacted in 1967. The 25th Amendment provided for some situations the founding fathers had not foreseen, like the vacancy of the vice presidency that tragically occurred in 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated. And in the age of modern medicine, it became clear by the 1960's that we could have a president that was on some sort of protracted life support, leaving no one with the constitutional authority to act as president. And so Section 4 of the 25th Amendment says the Vice President shall become acting president, -- that's the title -- acting president, whenever the vice president and a majority of the cabinet decide '... that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.'"
Lawrence pointed out that many assumed that that provision only applied to incapacity due to illness. But the law provides no guidance and as such Pence could make that move at any time. More importantly, it is not subject to court review but congressional review. In other words, it is left to the political process, not the judiciary to decide if any move against the president under the 25th Amendment is legitimate.
Donald Trump watches a lot of cable news. He may not be sleeping very well after watching O'Donnell.