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Tipsheet

House Democrats Introduce Bill to Prevent Trump from Holding Office Again

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Last month, when former and potentially future President Donald Trump made his announcement that he was running again in 2024, Democrats were working to prevent the plan of serving another term from coming to fruition. It wasn't merely trying to appeal to voters to elect someone else, but by attempting to bar Trump from holding office. The night of Trump's announcement, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), an impeachment manager in Trump's second impeachment, was courting fellow Democrats to sign onto his bill to bar Trump from holding office again. A month later to the day, Cicilline's office announced the bill's introduction in a press release. 

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A tweet from the congressman, as well as the press release, even referenced Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has had his own share of troubles with Trump, though it's worth noting he voted against convicting Trump in both impeachment trials.

"Donald Trump very clearly engaged in an insurrection on January 6, 2021 with the intention of overturning the lawful and fair results of the 2020 election. You don’t get to lead a government you tried to destroy," the press release quotes Rep. Cicilline as saying. The congressman also claims that the "14th Amendment makes clear that based on his past behavior, Donald Trump is disqualified from ever holding federal office again and, under Section 5, Congress has the power to pass legislation to implement this prohibition."

The bill's text also promotes the work of the January 6 Select Committee as evidence to the claim that Trump should not be allowed to hold public office again. An executive summary and the first eight chapters of the select committee's report are expected next Monday. 

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As confident as Cicilline may come off in his efforts to bar Trump from serving again, this tactic has been tried and failed for multiple Republican members as their critics try to connect them to the events of January 6, 2021. 

A group of voters brought a suit in an attempt to bar Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from running for reelection. She won that suit. The same happened with soon-to-be former Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), with a judge halting a suit against him. Cawthorn went on to lose his primary a few months later, though. A Democrat running to challenge Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), Aaron "AJ" Calkins, also used the same argument to disqualify the congressman, though the Indiana state election commission unanimously rejected such a desperate attempt. Calkins also lost his primary. 

While the press release touts the support of 40 members, it's noteworthy that they are all Democrats. A handful of members will also not be returning for the 118th Congress in a few weeks. Missing from the list of members include any Republican members who voted for articles of impeachment in Trump's second impeachment, including even Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who serve on the select committee. 

It's worth suggesting that Trump may be hindering his presidential chances all on his own. As Leah highlighted earlier on Friday, the "major announcement" he had teased before turned out to be the release of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It wasn't merely Democrats mocking the decision, as they did, including President Joe Biden, who may be a 2024 challenger to Trump in a rematch of 2020, which appears to embolden the current president. Many Republicans also appeared taken aback, with former supporters of Trump mocking the idea as well.

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On Thursday though, as Spencer covered, Trump also released a free speech policy plan, which is a much more serious and appealing policy plan to voters ahead of the election.

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