Robert Atkins and Adam P. Frankel, Washington Times/Washington Post: President Pelosi? It could happen.
What happens when a Democratic speaker of the House – third in line to the presidency, according to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 – is suddenly thrust into the Oval Office, succeeding a Republican president and vice president who resign, embroiled in scandal?
Such a scenario is attracting attention – #PresidentPelosi was trending on social media after last week’s announcement of an impeachment inquiry – even though it may seem far-fetched that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence would be forced from office over abuse of power related to the administration’s dealings with Ukraine or other misdeeds.
This was a more urgent question in the fall of 1973. On Oct. 10, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned, pleading nolo contendere to charges of tax evasion. Ten days later, President Richard Nixon ordered the firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox in what is widely known as the Saturday Night Massacre. As hearings began in the Senate and the House on the nomination of Agnew’s successor, Gerald Ford, questions swirled about the possibility that Democratic House Speaker Carl Albert, D-Okla., might assume the presidency.
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WNU Editor: What is more likely is Nancy Pelosi losing her Speakership when Americans go to the polls next year than being in the Oval Office before November, 2020.