The Democratic Party should “sue right now” to block another Donald Trump presidential bid, using the 14th Amendment’s ban on rogue officials from seizing power again, constitutional law expert Alan B. Morrison said Sunday.
After the panel’s televised hearings on January 6, the evidence has never been stronger that Trump played a key role in the fight to overturn the results of a legitimate presidential election, Morrison noted in a column in The Hill.
“There are no more innocent explanations” for what Trump pointed out on January 6, 2021, Morrison, professor of constitutional law and associate dean of the George Washington University School of Law.
Testimony has shown that Trump’s repeated claims of a stolen election were completely unfounded, and that his only chance to stay in power was to block Congress from ratifying American voters’ choice of Joe Biden as president, he noted. Morrison.
Trump also knew that “some in the crowd gathered to hear him speak” before the Capitol riots were armed, that a crowd was making its way to the building, and that it was “clearly in his power to call off the insurrection, but instead of trying to stop the violence, chose to do nothing,” Morrison wrote.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment disqualifies from being president a person who, while holding federal office, participated in or supported an insurrection against the United States, Morrison said.
“That ban surely should apply to Donald Trump,” and should be used to prevent him from making another run for the presidency now, he added.
The Democratic Party, on behalf of all of its candidates, should file a lawsuit in federal court “right now,” seeking a ruling that Trump participated in the insurrection and obtain an “order barring him from running for president,” he said. Morrison. .
If Trump decided to fight the lawsuit, it would at least force his hand to quickly reveal if he is running, Morrison noted. He would also have to respond to discovery in court action, “including being bound by a deposition in which he would have to answer questions under oath,” Morrison said.
I could invoke the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, but it would be awkward. During his 2016 campaign, he once asked, “If you’re innocent, why do you accept the Fifth Amendment?”
“Will this lawsuit succeed? No one can know for sure,” Morrison wrote. “But it seems there is nothing to lose, or at least not if the Justice Department does not charge Trump with inciting the January 6 insurrection.”
Check out the full column on The Hill here.