Democrats Want to Keep Trump From Holding Office Again Amid 6 January House Panel Probe: Report

© AFP 2022 / ANNA MONEYMAKER The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is seen on November 16, 2021 in Washington, DC.
 The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is seen on November 16, 2021 in Washington, DC.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.01.2022
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Thursday marked the first anniversary of the US Capitol riot, which is now being investigated by the 6 January House Select Committee. The probe has been slammed by former President Donald Trump as a political sideshow and continuation of a "witch hunt" against him by Democrats.
Over the past year, a host of Democratic lawmakers, pro-democracy activists, and scholars "have been quietly exploring" the possibility of using Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution to disqualify former President Trump from holding office again in light of the 6 January 2021 Capitol riot, The Hill reports.

The news outlet quoted Laurence Tribe, a constitutional expert at Harvard Law School, as saying that "if anything, the idea has waxed and waned", but he "hears it being raised with considerable frequency these days both by media commentators and by members of Congress and their staffs, some of whom have sought my advice on how to implement Section 3".

Part of the 14th Amendment, Section 3 was ratified after the Civil War and stipulates that officeholders who "have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same" are disqualified from future office. President Joe Biden described the 6 January 2021 events as an insurrection during his speech to mark the first anniversary of the Capitol riot on Thursday.
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Tribe argued that whether a push for Trump's disqualification under the 14th Amendment gains more support or wider legislative traction may depend on what the 6 January House Select Committee ultimately reveals about the 45th president's alleged role in the events of that day.

"Once that committee makes clear, as I trust it will, that what took place was indeed an insurrection that triggers Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and that supports criminal prosecution by DOJ [Department of Justice] of those responsible, it is difficult to imagine this not becoming a logical next step", the Harvard Law School expert claimed.

The Hill referred to its analysis, which revealed that about a dozen Democratic lawmakers have spoken "either publicly or privately" with Tribe about the use of Section 3, including Jamie Raskin, who sits on the 6 January House Select Committee, Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Raskin told ABC News last February that legal the mechanics "to keep people exactly like Donald Trump and other traitors to the union from holding public office [again]" would require "more research".

Speaking to The Hill, Schultz said that she is continuing "to explore all legal paths to ensure that the people who tried to subvert our democracy are not in charge of it".

She was echoed by John Bonifaz, head of the pro-democracy group Free Speech for People, who told The Hill that they "intend to litigate this question", adding, "if a secretary of state does not follow the mandate of Section 3, the 14th Amendment, we will bring this matter in court".
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. U.S. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.11.2021
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Gerard Magliocca, a law professor at Indiana University, was not as certain, saying in an interview with The Hill that "if a secretary of state declines to find Trump ineligible, it is far from clear who could challenge that determination".

The 45th president earlier released a statement calling those in charge of the House panel probe "the Unselect Committee of politically ambitious hacks". The former POTUS added that the Select Committee should instead be studying the allegations of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election that he said sparked the 6 January 2021 riots.

At the time, scores of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building to stop lawmakers from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election from several states that the former president claimed were fraudulent. Five people died during the riots, and dozens more were injured, including at least 138 police officers.
Trump first called on his supporters to fight "like hell" but then urged them to go home. He was then impeached for an unprecedented second time over accusations of "incitement of insurrection", but managed to evade conviction in the Senate.
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