Democrats wasted no time following the Senate acquittal of former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial, raising immediately the prospect of blocking him from ever holding office again by taking action under the 14th Amendment.
One of those Dems floating the 14th Amendment vote to bar Trump from future office was the newest member of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, Jake Auchincloss.
“Going forward there are other avenues for accountability, including the 14th Amendment to ensure that Donald Trump can never run for president again, and I think we should pursue that,” Auchincloss, who represents the Bay State’s 4th Congressional District, said on MSNBC.
A majority of senators on Saturday voted to convict Trump in his historic second impeachment trial, but the 57 senators voting in favor came up short of the necessary two-thirds, resulting in his acquittal.
The House of Representatives in January had voted to impeach Trump for inciting the deadly insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Under the 14th Amendment, insurrectionists can be barred from holding future office. This requires Congress to pass a bill with a simple majority in each branch.
“Impeachment has now carried through, and we need to explore other options available to us, including fact finding,” Auchincloss said. “It can never happen again and (we need to make sure) this worst president in American history does not have the power to hold office again. It’s a threat to national security.”
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, on Sunday noted that a number of Republicans have “already come out and said there should be further accountability, whether through a criminal trial or through some other path towards being barred from office.”
“I, frankly, think there were a majority of Republicans hanging their hat on a not very compelling constitutional argument and we need to find a way that we can deliver that accountability,” Coons said on ABC’s “This Week.”
But Trump also has his supporters in Congress, and among them, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Sunday called for unity between factions of the GOP split by the former president and a continuation of his agenda.
“I said, ‘Mr. President, this MAGA movement needs to continue. We need to unite the party. Trump-plus is the way back in 2022,’ ” Graham told “Fox News Sunday.”
“My goal is to win in 2022 to stop the most radical agenda I’ve seen coming out of the Democratic presidency of Joe Biden,” Graham said. “We can’t do that without Donald Trump, so he’s ready to hit the trail and I’m ready to work with him.”
But the prospect remains for a criminal investigation of Trump.
“I think there’s grounds for further proceedings, both civil and criminal, against former President Trump,” Coons said.
The attorney general for the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, has said that district prosecutors are considering whether to charge Trump under local law that criminalizes statements that motivate people to violence.
“Let it be known that the office of attorney general has a potential charge that it may utilize,” Racine told MSNBC last month.
Herald wire services were used in this report.
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