Three congressional Democrats approached a Yale psychologist to discuss the logistics of forming an expert panel tasked with assessing President Donald Trump's mental health, with the ultimate aim of determining whether he is fit to serve in office, STAT reports.
Dr. Bandy Lee of the Yale School of Medicine told STAT he had been approached by the left-wing lawmakers in recent weeks, but he would not reveal their names at the Congress members' request.
The proposed panel would bring together mental health professionals “to review the president’s mental health, and review it on a periodic basis" beginning in September.
Opponents and skeptics of Trump have questioned his mental faculties consistently since before he was elected, and those questions still persist today on the basis of sometimes inconsistent or hard to decipher quotes and decisions from the president.
Despite claims to the contrary from people unhappy with the president's behavior, there is no true indication that Trump suffers from any sort of mental illness. As Roni Jacobsen of Vice put it, "Flip flopping is not a symptom of a mental illness. In fact, it's kind of politicians' MO."
Any congressional challenge to Trump's presidency on the basis of his mental health would likely be based on a provision in Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reads:
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Twenty-seven Democratic representatives have already introduced a bill to establish the "Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity," which, if established, would meet the 25th Amendment definition of a body with the authority to declare the president unfit to discharge his duties. The bill was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice in May, and no further action has been taken at this point.
Still, it should be emphasized that all confirmed medical information about Trump, 71, has shown that he is in good health, and there is no indication that any of these panels or committees would gain any traction in legitimately challenging the president's mental faculties.
The American Psychological Association has also discouraged mental health professionals from publicly making statements about Trump's mental health, based on the Goldwater rule, which was implemented in 1964.