(StraightNews.org) — A group of 40 Democrats have introduced legislation to bar Donald Trump from office. Led by Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, the Democrats are invoking the 14th Amendment of the Constitution which prevents anyone who has engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” from holding any office, civil or military, in the United States.
Cicilline said that Trump had “very clearly” engaged in insurrection on January 6th 2021 and that he intended to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election. The former President believes that the election was fraudulently conducted and “stolen” by Joe Biden. In January 2021, he called for a protest on Capitol Hill that ended in demonstrators storming Congress.
The 14th Amendment states that “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress” if that person has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same”. Some legal experts however say this does not extend to the office of President. Doron Kalir, a professor of law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law said, “I don’t think it applies to the President of the United States at all”, adding that if the amendment was intended for the Oval Office, it would have explicitly said so.
The amendment has only been used once. In 1919, Wisconsin socialist Victor Berger was barred from joining the House because of his opposition to the US entering the First World War. The process for this was a simple majority vote in the House and the Senate, but Kalir said applying the same process to barring a US President was a “big legal leap”.
Trump’s opponents may also have difficulty demonstrating that his actions on January 6th amount to ‘insurrection’ or ‘rebellion’. He was acquitted of this at his second impeachment trial in February 2021 when his lawyers argued that the First Amendment protected his speeches and Tweets on the day of the riots.
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