Democratic senators are floating the idea of using the 14th amendment to bar former President Donald Trump from holding a public office again, the Hill reported Friday.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment states that no public official who has taken an oath to the Constitution may hold public office again after having “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” The House has officially charged Trump with “incitement of insurrection” in his second impeachment on January 14, but he has yet to be convicted of the charge in the Senate.
Democratic senators including Tim Kaine of Virginia, and Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut, told the Hill that the 14th Amendment was, in their view, on the table. However, it’s unclear how realistic the move would be. (RELATED: POLL: 9 In 10 Democrats Want Trump Convicted — And Less Than 2 In 10 Republicans Do)
“I haven’t been convinced yet because the 14th Amendment is not explicit on how you determine whether someone participated in an insurrection,” Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin told the Hill. “There is a real serious question if that conviction has not taken place, whether the Congress can have a finding, or the Senate can have a finding, that they’re guilty of insurrection and whether that’s sufficient. So it’s unresolved.”
Republicans have yet to officially comment on the issue, but Republican Hill staffers have expressed skepticism.
“Seems very unlikely and a tacit admission they aren’t going to get many votes for impeachment,” a Republican Senate staffer speaking on the condition of anonymity told the Daily Caller. “Not positive how that would work but I guess if they think they only need 51, they could maybe go for it.
“Seems like a bad idea to me,” the staffer added.
Convicting Trump in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial would require a two-thirds majority, meaning 17 Republicans would have to defect and vote with Democrats against the former president.