During a Friday appearance on PBS, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) expressed support for considering the removal of Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) from Congress via the provisions of the 14th Amendment. That amendment, which others have recently discussed, prohibits individuals from serving in the government who have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion,” and Cruz and Hawley helped incite a deadly riot at the Capitol last week that unfolded as Congress was certifying the electoral college outcome, meaning Biden’s victory. Cruz and Hawley were at the forefront of pushing lies about the presidential election outcome, which they claimed was dubious and warranted further scrutiny no matter the dozens of post-election court cases and efforts in every single state to securely certify the results.
Asked about the possibility of removing Cruz and Hawley with the 14th Amendment, Manchin — who’s commonly known as a conservatively inclined Democrat — commented as follows:
‘That should be a consideration. He understands that. Ted’s a very bright individual, and I get along fine with Ted, but what he did was totally outside of the realm of our responsibilities or our privileges… I’m totally convinced it was done because of political reasons. This was all politically motivated. This was calculated. I believe that all my colleagues truly made a decision that was politically best for them and expedient for them. It was not what they believed to be true or false.’
Cruz in particular pushed the idea of auditing the presidential election results before Congressional certification of the electoral college outcome, pretending as though every single state hadn’t already comprehensively secured their presidential election results. After dozens of court cases — none of which ended in a court acceptance of the systematic fraud claims — and county and state-level work across the country to verify the results (including three tabulations of every single ballot in Georgia!), pretending as though the security of the presidential election is an open question is ridiculous and seems willfully ignorant.
Among other criticism, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) recently insisted that Hawley — who was the first Senator to publicly announce that they would oppose the certification of some of Biden’s electoral votes — “was doing something that was really dumbass.”