41 House Democrats introduce bill to bar ‘insurrectionist’ Trump from presidency

December 19, 2022

Representative David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island) and 40 other House Democrats introduced a bill on Thursday, December 15, that would ban Donald Trump from becoming president again because he “engaged in an insurrection,” reports HuffPost.

Donald Trump very clearly engaged in an insurrection on January 6, 2021, with the intention of overturning the lawful and fair results of the 2020 election,” Cicilline said in a statement. “You don’t get to lead a government you tried to destroy.”

Cicilline, senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and the impeachment manager for Trump’s first impeachment, noted that even Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell held Trump responsible for last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

There’s “no question—none—that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” McConnell said after the storming of the Capitol, days before Trump left the White House.

The bill cites Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, adopted after the Civil War, which bars any official who has sworn an oath to defend the government from then seeking reelection if they had “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the government — or have “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) survived a 14th Amendment reelection challenge in court earlier this year, but a challenge succeeded in September against a New Mexico official who participated in the January 6 insurrection.

A judge in New Mexico ruled in response to a lawsuit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and others that Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin be removed from office—noting the attack on the U.S. Capitol was an insurrection and that Griffin’s participation disqualified him from office under the 14th Amendment.  The ruling removed Griffin “effective immediately” and barred him from holding public office again.

The New Mexico Supreme Court last month dismissed an appeal by Griffin, who was the founder of the group Cowboys for Trump and was convicted of trespassing on the Capitol grounds during the January 6, 2021, attack.

The decision marked the first time since 1869 that a court has disqualified a public official under the amendment—and the first time any court has branded the January 6 storming of the Capitol an insurrection, CREW noted. The organization has said it plans to use the amendment to sue Trump to bar him from office.

“This language in our Constitution clearly intended to bar insurrectionists from holding high office in the United States,” Cicilline wrote to his colleagues last month after he drafted the bill

Proof that “Donald Trump engaged in insurrection” was “demonstrated through the January 6th Committee hearings, the 2021 impeachment trial, and other reporting,” he added.

If passed, the bill would “prevent Donald Trump from holding public office again under the Fourteenth Amendment,” Cicilline emphasized.

Trump “engage(d) in insurrection against the United States by mobilizing, inciting, and aiding those who attacked the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to disrupt certification of the 2020 Presidential Election,” the bill states.

That makes him “ineligible to again hold the office of President of the United States or to hold any office, civil or military, under the United States,” according to the 14th Amendment, the bill states.

Research contact: @HuffPost