Gordon Humphrey: A lone voice in the Trump wilderness

Gordon Humphrey isn’t a household name. But perhaps he should be. Humphrey, formerly a conservative Republican senator from the Granite State who served for twelve years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, resigned in protest from the Republican Party the day after the 2016 general election. In early August, Mr. Humphrey emerged from his home in Chichester, New Hampshire, to thrust himself into the center of the debate on Donald Trump’s fitness to serve as president.

On August 9, 2017, after listening to Donald Trump’s blustering on North Korea, Humphrey sent scathing letters to Representatives Ann McLane Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter, as well as to U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan outlining the reasons why members of the New Hampshire congressional delegation should support congressional bill H.R. 1987.

H.R. 1987 proposes to establish an Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity. The commission would be charged with determining whether the president is “mentally or physically unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of president” and whether he should be removed from the duties of the presidency under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. To date, H.R. 1987 has attracted the co-sponsorship of twenty-one House Democrats and been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. There the bill is expected to languish without coming to a vote. Not surprisingly, not a single Republican has shown the courage or patriotism to sign on, even though signs of Trump’s mental instability continue to mount.

Following release of his letter, Humphrey spoke candidly with New Hampshire Public Radio’s Peter Biello about why he felt compelled to speak out. Calling Trump delusional, sociopathic, and a sick psyche with no sense of shame or guilt, Humphrey observes during the interview that there is “a mountain of empirical evidence that this president is not well.” Listen to the full interview here and read Humphrey’s letter below.

Dear Representative Kuster:

President Trump’s threat to rain down “fire and fury” on North Korea is like pouring gasoline on a fire. It’s crazy. Donald Trump is impaired by a seriously sick psyche. His sick mind and reckless conduct could consume the lives of millions. The threat of nuclear war is steeply on the rise.

You must not take comfort in the system of checks and balances. The president alone has the authority to launch nuclear weapons, the only restraint being the advice of senior advisers who might be present at the time of crisis, and Donald Trump has shown repeated contempt for informed and wise counsel. He is sick of mind, impetuous, arrogant, belligerent and dangerous.

Donald Trump should be relieved of the powers of the presidency at the earliest date. I urge you to support HR 1987, the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act, which would establish a commission to determine whether the president is mentally fit. I have asked Rep. Shea-Porter to do the same and have asked Sens. Shaheen and Hassan to lead an effort in the Senate.

HR 1987 is consistent with the intent and the wording of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Either the Cabinet or a body created by Congress, may find the president unfit for reasons of health, whereupon his powers are transferred to the vice president.

Serious crises are bearing down on us. We cannot leave our national security and our families’ safety in the hands of a president whose poor judgment, belligerence, vindictiveness and reckless impetuosity constitute an indictment of his mental health.

Donald Trump is seriously sick. He is dangerous. As a citizen, a former U.S. senator and 12-year member of the Armed Services Committee, I urge you to act at once. This is an emergency.