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Congress Must Invoke the 14th Amendment to Stop Trump from Running Again

The Senate impeachment trial has provided further proof of what can no longer be denied: Former president Donald Trump poses an existential threat to American democracy. The harrowing evidence shows that Trump incited and supported the violent insurrection at the Capitol that aimed to prevent the peaceful transition of power and resulted, tragically, in multiple deaths. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) confirmed these facts in his statement following the Senate vote.

Such anti-democratic conduct should disqualify Trump from ever holding future public office. While conviction by the Senate would have been the best and quickest route to disqualification, because that failed, Congress can — and must — pursue an alternative path to protecting our republic from a future Trump presidency: Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

Section 3 bars from public office those officials who engage in “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States. Passed in the wake of the Civil War, Section 3 sought to ensure that those who have violated their oaths to defend the Constitution by threatening our democracy cannot hold public office in the future. Importantly, Congress did not limit Section 3 to disqualifying only members of the former Confederacy, but instead deliberately drafted language to encompass any future acts of insurrection or rebellion — such as those of Jan. 6.

There can be no serious dispute that Trump engaged in insurrection within the meaning of Section 3. While Trump did not himself storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, his actions leading up to and during that day’s events were central to the insurrection.

Irrefutable evidence shows that Trump engaged in a long-term campaign to undermine confidence in the election and overturn the results based on unfounded claims of fraud. He pressured and threatened state election officials and the vice president to violate their oaths and the Constitution in order to prevent a peaceful transition of power. When those efforts to overturn the election failed, he incited a violent mob of his supporters to storm the Capitol for the first time since the War of 1812. And as members of Congress hid, fearing for their lives, Trump enthusiastically watched the insurrection on TV and refused to act to stop the violence despite having the authority and power to do so.

These actions amount to a historic attack on our democracy, an astonishing abuse of power and a violation of his oath of office — and they rise to the level of “insurrection or rebellion.”

Read entire article at Washington Post