Biden and Capitol

Andrea Austria / Media Matters

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Right-wing media figures call for Biden to be ousted under the 25th Amendment

Right-wing media use a special counsel report which found no criminal wrongdoing to call for Biden’s ouster

After the special counsel investigating President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents found that no chargeable crime was committed, right-wing media figures are still claiming that the report, which states that Biden would likely present to a jury as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man “with a poor memory,” indicates that Biden should be removed from office using the 25th Amendment.

  • Special counsel Robert Hur released a report stating he won’t charge Biden in the document probe but called Biden’s cognitive health into question

    • On Thursday, special counsel Robert Hur released a report concluding that “no criminal charges are warranted” in the investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents. The report states that the evidence “does not establish Mr. Biden’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”  [The New York Times, 2/8/24]
    • In the report, Hur stated his reasoning behind not charging Biden in the case is because “he would present to a jury as an elderly man ‘with a poor memory.’” He wrote in another passage that Biden’s “memory also appeared to have significant limitations.” [CNN, 2/8/24]
    • Several mainstream media figures called the report “inappropriate” or “gratuitous” and pushed back on claims that Biden has a poor memory. Andrew Weissmann claimed on MSNBC that Hur’s speculation is “exactly what you’re not supposed to do.” CNN’s Van Jones stated that “we’re sitting here talking about a president who is literally doing the job right now, the country seems to be functioning.” [MSNBC, Deadline: White House, 2/8/24; CNN, The Source with Kaitlan Collins, 2/8/24]
    • During former President Donald Trump’s term in office when many called for his removal under the 25th Amendment, right-wing media suggested that his term should be “waited out” or that Trump is the victim of a “globalist” coup attempt. According to Forbes, “In the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, there were reports that members of the Trump administration were considering invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office." [Forbes, 2/8/24; Media Matters, 1/7/21; Media Matters, 2/19/19]
  • Right-wing media figures are calling for Biden to be ousted using the 25th Amendment

    • Fox contributor Andrew McCarthy used the report to claim “there’s enough here to invoke the 25th Amendment.” During the segment he told Fox’s Martha MacCallum, “My first impression was that this is supposed to be about whether there's enough evidence to indict. As you read the report, I can't help but say it sure looks like there's enough here to invoke the 25th Amendment. And I I know that's not what he's looking at. His purpose is. His fitness for office is a major issue here.” [Fox News, The Story with Martha MacCallum, 2/8/24]
    • On Telegram, Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander proposed that “Republicans should sue the White House” and “invoke the 25th Amendment” in response to the DOJ report. Alexander also stated that Republicans should argue that Biden “cannot be allowed to issue any pardons in his current mentally incapacitated state.” [Telegram, 2/8/24]
    • QAnon influencer Jordan Sather baselessly speculated that “[they] are purposely imploding Biden so they can change batters for the election.” Sather continued on to request the 25th Amendment be invoked after criticizing Biden’s gaffe where he mistakenly said that Mexico needs to “open its borders with Gaza.” [Telegram, 2/8/24]
    • On The Mark Levin Show, host Mark Levin called Biden “an imbecile” and claimed that he was in “stage 5 dementia,” adding, “The 25th Amendment should be used.” Levin also stated that “if Joe Biden were a patriot, if his wife was a loving wife and patriot, she would pressure him, and he would tell the speaker of the house and the president pro tem[pore] of the Senate that he's unfit to serve.” [Westwood One, The Mark Levin Show, 2/8/24]
    • On War Room, host Steve Bannon said Congress needs to “either invoke the 25th Amendment or begin an impeachment process.” Bannon baselessly claimed the report reveals that Biden “has dementia”, which is creating “the most significant national security crisis.” [Real America’s Voice, War Room, 2/8/24]
    • Right-wing podcaster Erick Erickson posted on X, “If you were raising the 25th Amendment related to Trump but are not doing it related to Biden, you aren't a journalist, a pundit, or a partisan. You are a whore.” [Twitter/X, 2/9/24]
    • The Washington Examiner published an article titled “Documented: Biden’s memory loss dates to 2015, 25th Amendment territory.” The article states, “The report has prompted calls for an analysis of Biden’s mental condition, and some have suggested that he be sidelined under the 25th Amendment.” [The Washington Examiner, 2/8/24]
    • Far-right activist and anti-Muslim bigot Laura Loomer called on House Speaker Mike Johnson to invoke the 25th Amendment, posting, “So please call for the 25th Amendment instead of tweeting about it.” She continued, “We want to see the Republicans play offense. Please. For the love of God. Just do it. @SpeakerJohnson We want to see the GOP play offense.” [Twitter/X, 2/9/24]
    • The Gateway Pundit wrote that “people are starting to invoke the 25th Amendment against Biden” and suggested that it was “payback” for similar calls to remove Trump while he was in office. The outlet also claimed that Dr. Bandy Lee, a psychiatrist who raised concerns about Trump’s mental health, “served her purpose for the left.” [The Gateway Pundit, 2/8/24]
    • Right-wing activist Alex Bruesewitz posted on X, “I agree with Senator @HawleyMO. Time for the 25th Amendment.” [Twitter/X, 2/8/24]
    • Radio host and insurrection co-conspirator Jenna Ellis posted on X, “25th Amendment. NOW. Biden is NOT capable in the highest office.” She added, “This report is shocking only to the extent Special Counsel was willing to put it in writing. This could be how Dems are trying to get rid of Biden, and fine by me. He is NOT competent.” [Twitter/X, 2/8/24]
    • Conservative influencer Will Chamberlain posted, “For the good of the country the Biden cabinet needs to get together and remove the President on 25th Amendment grounds.” He continued, “It is not safe to have a senile President” [Twitter/X, 2/8/24]