The lame-duck House, controlled by Democrats for a few more days before the new Congress is sworn in on January 3, is attempting to pass legislation that is designed to permanently disqualify President Donald Trump from holding public office again.
The bill’s lead sponsor is Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). The language of the bill introduced on Thursday relies on Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. That provision was adopted shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War and was directed at members of the recently defeated Confederacy. It disqualifies any person from federal office who “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.
The legislation argues that Trump orchestrated an “insurrection” against the federal government on January 6, 2021.
Cicilline issued a statement regarding the bill that said President Trump “very clearly engaged in an insurrection on January 6, 2021, to overturn the lawful and fair results of the 2020 election.” The Illinois Democrat added, “You don’t get to lead a government you tried to destroy.”
The bill has 40 House Democrats listed as co-sponsors.
President Trump has already formally announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, setting up a third run for the White House and a possible rematch of the 2020 contest with Joe Biden.
It remains to be seen if Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will attempt to secure a vote on the bill before the full House in the very few days left before she steps down as Speaker and the GOP asserts control of the lower chamber. The current session is expected to end no later than December 23, when lawmakers will be heading home for Christmas before the new Congress is seated days later.
After January 3, the bill would need support from at least five House Republicans and every Democratic member to pass.
Cicilline was one of the House managers of the second impeachment of President Trump in January 2021. That impeachment spearheaded by Pelosi was based on a similar charge that Trump had instigated an “insurrection.” Although it moved through the Democrat-controlled House, the Senate refused to remove Trump from office when they heard the Democratic case against the president.
Bannon: After Monday, it’s rolling. They’re going to indict [Trump]. There’s no doubt about that. 41 Democrats put a bill in to restrict him from running for president. They understand they can’t beat him at the ballot box. pic.twitter.com/LcjoFtNB7F
— Grace Chong 🇺🇸 (@gc22gc) December 17, 2022
Pelosi’s hand-selected January 6 Committee is holding its final hearing on Monday. It is expected to hold a vote on whether to refer their findings to Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland with instructions to pursue criminal charges against President Trump regarding the events of January 6.