EXCLUSIVE: Therapists Who Called Trump Dangerous Make Sentencing Suggestions to New York Judge

EXCLUSIVE: Therapists Who Called Trump Dangerous Make Sentencing Suggestions to New York Judge

FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—Five mental health professionals, some of whom already accused  Donald Trump of being “dangerous,” prepared a risk assessment for New York state Judge Juan Merchan to consider in his July 11 sentencing decision on Trump, according to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a longtime critic of the former president.

It isn’t clear whether the five are all psychiatrists or may have other training. Their risk assessment could be a factor in the severity of Merchan’s sentence for Trump in Manhattan Criminal Court, which could be up to 20 years in prison for all 34 felony counts on which he was convicted last month.

Lee edited the book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” first released in 2017. In May, she published a new book titled “The Psychology of Trump Contagion: An Existential Threat to American Democracy and All Humankind.” 

Lee, who has taught at Yale, Columbia, and Harvard, also opposed recent calls from some Republican members of Congress to invoke the 25th Amendment for Biden, which would allow for his temporary removal by Vice President Kamala Harris and the Cabinet. 

Such calls were renewed by Biden’s performance in Thursday night’s debate with Trump.

“The reason why so many people see problems with Joe Biden is that Donald Trump is projecting his mental symptoms on to Joe Biden so he can deny his own symptoms,” Lee told The Daily Signal, reflecting on the debate between the incumbent Democrat and his Republican opponent.

“There is a huge difference between being unfit and someone who does not present very well,” she said. “Joe Biden’s presentation makes people lose confidence in him. That’s not at all equal to danger or unfitness.”

Merchan presided over Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan, where last month a jury convicted the 45th president on 34 felony counts in connection with his efforts to cover up an alleged sexual encounter with porn star Stormy Daniels. 

Merchan next will preside over the former president’s July 11 sentencing. 

Lee said the mental health professionals made recommendations to the judge concerning the danger Trump poses to the public, how likely he is to commit a crime, and what message the sentencing would send to future offenders. 

The forensic psychiatrist said she would not make their recommendations public until after the sentencing, and declined to name the others who signed on. But she referred to public statements she and colleagues already have made in assessing Trump. 

Lee said that she and other mental health professionals evaluated special counsel Robert Mueller’s 2019 report and determined Trump wasn’t fit to be president. Mueller investigated and was unable to confirm allegations of a conspiracy between Trump and Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Lee argued that a mental fitness test doesn’t require an interview. A “functional” test does not require the cooperation of the subject, while a “diagnostic” test would, she said. 

However, Lee said she and colleagues did no such functional test on Biden, because they didn’t believe the incumbent president posed a danger to the public, but believed Trump did. 

“We only did it for Donald Trump because he poses a danger to the public,” Lee said. “Mental health professionals have a responsibility to society and are required to act.”

She and her colleagues also weren’t asked to evaluate Biden, Lee said. However, she noted: “Our group has recommended that Joe Biden volunteer to take a test and set a standard for future presidents.” 

Some high-ranking military officers are required to take mental assessment tests, Lee noted. 

During the debate, Trump noted that he had taken two cognitive tests, and that Biden hadn’t. Such a test only proves someone doesn’t belong in a nursing home, Lee said. 

The forensic psychiatrist then criticized Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, who was White House physician for both Trump and Barack Obama before him.

“I have often criticized Dr. Ronny Jackson. He is neither trained nor qualified to conduct a mental fitness exam,” Lee said. “He was an employee of the White House and a subordinate of the commander-in-chief. He had a conflict of interest.” 

As for Thursday night’s Biden-Trump debate, Lee argued that it never should have happened—and not because of Biden. 

“I would have recommended that a debate not be held,” she said. “Why elevate to a level of normalcy someone who is not normal like Donald Trump?”

Original source

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.