Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California has introduced a congressional resolution that would compel President Donald Trump to undergo a physical and mental evaluation to determine whether or not he is fit to remain in the Oval Office. Lofgren is among a small group of Democratic lawmakers who have openly questioned the president's mental well-being.
On Aug. 18, Lofgren introduced a resolution into the House that would force Trump to undergo a physical and a psychological examination. The proposal would call upon Vice President Mike Pence and the White House Cabinet to remove Trump from office under the 25th Amendment if his mental health was deemed insufficient, The Mercury News reports.
"President Donald J. Trump has exhibited an alarming pattern of behavior and speech causing concern that a mental disorder may have rendered him unfit and unable to fulfill his constitutional duties," the resolution stated.
The measure called for medical and mental health professionals to evaluate the president to determine whether he "suffers from mental disorder or other injuries that impairs his abilities and prevents him from discharging his constitutional duties."
Lofgren's office released a supplemental statement that posited Trump may suffer from dementia. The statement offered no medical evidence to back up its speculation.
"I'm not a psychiatrist or a psychologist," Lofgren said in an interview. "If it was a physical ailment, you would be getting the advice of doctors. The same thing should be true to take a look at his stability here."
On Aug. 15, Lofgren blasted Trump following his remarks about a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK?" the president said during a press conference. "And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly."
"Something is seriously wrong with President Trump," Lofgren tweeted out in response. "Why can't he just condemn Nazis? Unscripted words today show who he really is. Shameful!"
Lofgren is not the only lawmaker to propose a mechanism to evaluate Trump's mental health. On July 3, Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland introduced legislation seeking to establish a bipartisan commission to oversee a president's mental and physical capacity. If the proposed committee determined Trump to be unfit for office in either respect, it would call for his removal under the 25th Amendment, NBC News reports.
The 25th Amendment grants a vice president and Cabinet majority to remove a sitting president if they determine the commander in chief to be incapable of executing the duties of office. The powers granted by the amendment have never been tested before. Any legislation aiming to evaluate Trump's mental health is unlikely to pass in the GOP-majority Congress.
"The bill probably will not pass, but it will stimulate a conversation," Lofgren said of her resolution. The California Democrat added that Trump should consent to a psychiatric exam "if he cares about the country."
On Aug. 20, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California addressed his colleagues' growing concern over Trump's mental well-being.
"I certainly think that there's an issue with the President's capability," Schiff told CNN. "I think that it's a question people are asking. ... There's some attribute of his character that makes him seemingly incapable of introspection and a broad understanding of what the country really needs."
While Schiff aired his concern over Trump's mental health, he added: "I don't think we're at a point of thinking about the 25th Amendment."