Former President Donald J. Trump is not qualified to be president again.
That’s the newest line of attack that Trump’s enemies and constitutional scholars are starting make against the forty-fifth president.
That’s because the former president stands accused on having incited an insurrection on January 6.
And in a significant loss to Trump, challenges along this line are moving forward in court.
While that trial is ongoing, if Trump is found guilty, his days as being a legitimate presidential candidate—let alone his prospects of being sworn in as president in 2025, if he were to defeat President Joe Biden in the election—would be over.
Article Three of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution has come to be called the “Insurrection Clause.”
Created in the wake of the Civil War, the Insurrection Clause was designed to prevent former Confederates from returning to power and, theoretically, replicating the same policies that had led to the Civil War in the first place.
Of course, it should be noted that many former Confederates did, in fact, return to political power in the post-Civil War South—which is why Reconstruction was such a failure and it took another century after the Civil War for African-Americans south of the Mason-Dixon Line to gain full rights.
The Insurrection Clause and Donald Trump
The Insurrection Clause has remained a key aspect of the Fourteenth Amendment. It has even been used against two Trump-supporting individuals who sought office. One of those individuals was a New Mexico man who had created the “Cowboys for Trump” political action group and who was arrested for having trespassed on Capitol Hill during the January 6 riots.
He was accused and found guilty by the New Mexico legal system of having been part of an insurrection against the lawful certification of the 2020 Presidential Election results.
Therefore, his bid to become a state senator in New Mexico was terminated, as the Constitution bars anyone accused of insurrection from holding office.
Two lawsuits have already been filed against Trump on the grounds that he be disqualified from holding high office again, because of his role in the January 6 riot. One of the suits was thrown out for lack of standing.
The other, however, in Colorado continues working its way through the court system. Many believe that suit is a much stronger case than the one brought by unlikely GOP presidential candidate, John Anthony Castro.
Trump and his lawyers are downplaying that suit as little more than another round of politically motivated lawfare by Trump’s Democratic rivals. That may be the case. Although, those possible partisan lawfare warriors have a real challenge against Trump. He has been accused of insurrection in the years since January 6.
The former president denies this.
But multiple individuals from deep inside Trumpworld have testified under oath in Congress that Trump and his inner circle plotted to essentially disrupt the constitutional election certification process by inciting an insurrection. This has prompted federal prosecutors to open an investigation into Trump’s alleged role in the January 6 riots.
Should he be found guilty of those charges, Trump will likely be immediately disqualified from holding office. And given how slowly the legal system resolves cases, Trump could very well be the GOP nominee and could possibly defeat President Joe Biden in the 2024 Election, only to be constitutionally barred from holding office, if (and when) a guilty verdict in that case was handed down.
Trump Has No Business Seeking the Presidency Again
The fact of the matter is that Donald Trump should not even be running for president. A man with 91 felony charges, who is in his late 70s, should be focused on beating these felony charges.
He should leave politics to the next generation and work to ensure that a “MAGA” candidate becomes the next president—so that he could be pardoned. Instead, Trump’s ego precludes him from thinking that anyone other than himself could fix whatever problems afflict the country.
Hence, Trump is running as one of the most legally compromised candidates in history, during an election that will decide the future of the country this century more than any other previous election has. A constitutional crisis may be in the making if Trump were to be found ineligible to hold higher office under the Fourteenth Amendment and refused to respect that call.
This was a disaster that could have been completely avoided. Instead, because the GOP cannot break their Trump fever, the Republicans may lose the next election.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor and an energy analyst at the The-Pipeline, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (Republic Book Publishers). Weichert occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.
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