Can Trump be barred from running in 2024 despite impeachment acquittal? Jamie Raskin says yes, here's how
'Presumably, it could be done both affirmatively and defensively,' said the lead House manager for Trump's impeachment trial
Maryland Democrat Representative Jamie Raskin, the lead House manager for former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial, who called it the most bipartisan impeachment in history, believes that Trump can be barred from holding office in the future. Raskin said on the ABC News ‘Powerhouse Politics’ podcast on Wednesday that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment could still be used.
Last Saturday, former President Donald Trump was acquitted of inciting the horrific attack on the US Capitol on January 6, concluding a historic impeachment trial that spared him the first-ever conviction of a current or former US president. The final vote was 57 guilty to 43 not guilty, short of the 67 guilty votes needed to convict. Republican Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Mitt Romney of Utah voted to convict Trump.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered blistering criticism of Trump's actions on the Senate floor after the vote, but McConnell said he voted to acquit. "The Senate's decision today does not condone anything that happened on or before that terrible day," McConnell said. "It simply shows that senators did what the former President failed to do. We put our constitutional duty first." But the acquittal is not the end of the story.
Trump's future chances of running for office?
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment bars any public official who swore an oath to protect the Constitution from holding office if they "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against it or gave "aid or comfort to the enemies thereof."
"Presumably, it could be done both affirmatively and defensively," Raskin said on Wednesday. "People -- you know if he tried to run for office again -- people could try to stop him in the states. It also conceivably could be an affirmative statement by state legislators, by Congress, by other institutions.”
"So we'd have to figure it out and do some more research about all of that, but the point is that the constitutional purpose is clear, to keep people exactly like Donald Trump and other traitors to the union from holding public office," he added.
Earlier this week, former Republican Senator John Danforth and former Republican Representative Tom Coleman wrote a joint op-ed for The Washington Post arguing not only that Trump "engaged in insurrection within the meaning of Section 3," but also urging Congress to act accordingly.
“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,” they wrote. “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.”