Ever since scores of protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol, Democratic lawmakers have been gathering a list of tools to wield against President Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues. Many Democrats and their allies in the establishment press had already accused several GOP officials of sedition and treason for objecting to the 2020 presidential election results. But one senator, echoing his party’s calls, believes that some of these Republicans could be ousted for fighting the November electoral contest, even in the immediate aftermath of the riots on Capitol Hill.
Joe Manchin Toes the Firing Line
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) recently appeared on PBS’ Firing Line and said that the Senate should think about removing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) by using the 14th Amendment. Manchin stated that his colleagues should consider the option over the two senators’ objections that the 2020 race was fraudulent.
“Well, they should look, absolutely,” Manchin responded when asked about triggering the 14th Amendment. “That should be a consideration. He understands that. Ted’s a very bright individual, and I get along fine with Ted, but what he did was totally outside of the realm of our responsibilities or our privileges.”
The senator thinks everything was done was for “political reasons” and “not what they believed to be true or false.” As a result, according to Manchin:
“Those people should never hold public office, they should never have the public microphone, they should never be allowed to be in a position of power or of decision-making, or purpose, because they’re going to serve themselves.”
Manchin also revealed that he spoke with Sen. Hawley and tried to encourage him to “think about, basically our country.” The two did not converse beyond that, noted Manchin, but “he listened to me.”
The offices of Hawley and Cruz did not issue a statement in response to Manchin’s remarks.
14th Amendment: A Primer
In July 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified and adopted by the federal government. It is considered to be one of the most substantial additions to the Constitution. The first section grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” and prohibits the states from denying any person “life, liberty or property, without due process of law” or to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
But it is Section Three that legislators are mulling over weeks after the deadly incident.
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”
At the time of its passing, the purpose behind the section was to prevent the president from letting former Confederate leaders regain power within the U.S. government after being given a presidential pardon. But Democratic lawmakers ostensibly believe they can exploit Section Three to their advantage.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) recently introduced a resolution, with 47 Democratic House members, that expels those who voted against certifying the 2020 election results, including Cruz, Hawley, and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL). The legislation charges them for having “taken unprecedented steps to defy the will of the American people.”
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) encouraged the Senate Ethics Committee to “consider the expulsion, or censure and punishment” of Cruz, Hawley, and others.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who announced that she almost died during the Capitol riots, told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that Congress would be investigating other avenues through the 14th Amendment.
‘A Tough Sell’
So, what are the odds of the Democrats successfully utilizing the 14th Amendment to kick out two prominent figures on the other side of the aisle? Liberty Nation‘s James Fite asserts that the premise of the discussion is disingenuous, averring that individuals alleging fraud had utilized every legal means possible to “pause – not stop, pause – the progress of what they felt was a fraudulent election.” Fite further explained:
“Several even went so far as to say if Biden won, then so be it — but they wanted a real investigation first. Even up to the point of challenging the electoral votes on Jan. 6, they were following the law according to the 12th Amendment and the Electoral Count Act of 1877. Even then, they weren’t trying to ‘overturn’ the election, but to pause the process long enough for a ten-day emergency audit.”
Ultimately, says Fite, it “would be a tough sell” for Sen. Manchin if he contends that members of Congress were guilty of insurrection or rebellion by following a legal route to challenge vote counts.
Read more from Andrew Moran.