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.
Scott, who is widely viewed as a potential 2024 presidential candidate tweeted: “We must confront a serious question: Is Joe Biden capable of discharging the duties of his office or has the time come to exercise the provisions of the 25th Amendment?”
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.
Afghanistan’s government fell over the weekend as the Taliban conducted a military blitz across the country, capturing major cities, military installations, and eventually the capital of Kabul within just a few days. The U.S. military has overseen a chaotic evacuation of personnel, diplomatic staff, American citizens, and Afghan refugees from Karzai International Airport.
Amid mounting criticism, Biden flew back to Washington, D.C., on Monday from Camp David, where he was on vacation. In a short speech, Biden directly addressed the situation in Afghanistan, simultaneously saying that he bore responsibility for the chaotic pullout while claiming that former President Donald Trump had forced his decision and passing blame on the Afghan military and government for falling to the Taliban.
“When I came into office, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban. Under his agreement, U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021 – just a little over three months after I took office,” Biden said. “The choice I had to make as your president was to either follow through on that agreement or be prepared to go back to fighting the Taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season.”
“There was no status quo of stability without American casualties after May 1,” he continued. “There was only the cold reality of either following through on the agreement to withdraw our forces or escalating the conflict and sending thousands more American troops back into combat in Afghanistan, lurching into the third decade of conflict.”
“I always promised the American people that I would be straight with you. The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we anticipated,” Biden continued. “So what’s happened? Afghanistan’s political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed, some without trying to fight.
If anything, the developments of the past week reinforce that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision. American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war, and dying in a war, that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”