President Donald Trump is freaking out about the possibility that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) could become president in the event that the coronavirus incapacitates him and Vice President Mike Pence.
The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 makes it clear that the Speaker of the House is third in line to the presidency should both the president and vice president become too ill to carry out their duties or die.
“In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President…” the act states.
By law, Pelosi would be elevated to the presidency if the pandemic took Trump and Pence out of action. And because the coronavirus has breached the inner circles of both men, it’s very possible they could contract the virus, which can render them incapacitated by forcing them to rely on a ventilator or kill them.
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After all, the virus has killed more than 80,000 Americans so far and Trump and Pence refuse to wear masks.
But after learning that Pelosi would become president in such a scenario, Trump lashed out.
Then we must be very careful. Crazy Nancy would be a total disaster, and the USA will never be a Communist Country! https://t.co/r0tP5dxZ9h
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2020
The United States would not become a communist nation if Pelosi were to take over the reins, which would only be temporary anyway. And attacking the official line of succession doesn’t make it any less the law. Trump, of course, may think he has the power to designate his successor in such situations, but that’s not the case. The reason why the House Speaker is third in line and the Senate president pro tempore is fourth in line is because Congress wanted to make sure an elected official would be elevated to the presidency in case the president and vice president could no longer perform the duties of the office for any reason.
In short, Trump can’t just appoint Ivanka or Jared Kushner to fill in for him. But maybe the idea of Pelosi taking over the presidency will cause him to take the pandemic more seriously. If not, all hail the new chief.
Featured image via screen capture
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