Senator Suggests Legal Action To Stop Trump Presidential Run

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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) suggested in recent days that litigation be filed targeting the eligibility to run for office of former President Donald Trump, who recently confirmed he will be trying to secure the presidency again.

Donald’s announcement wasn’t much of a surprise considering his nearly endless hints that direction, but what is newer is that he might not actually secure the nomination if Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis decides to run in the primary. Although it’s not overly clear where exactly that the rumors originated, DeSantis hasn’t done much to conclusively shut down the idea of him running for president, at least in Trump’s perspective. He’s been widely floated as a potential candidate, and his personal profile saw a major boost with his recent win by nearly 20 percent over his Democratic challenger in his race for re-election. DeSantis also helped Republicans in Florida secure key wins, including super-majorities in both chambers of the state legislature and yet another additional U.S. House seat, this time in northern Florida. DeSantis pushed through a redistricting plan that reshaped a northern district to make it difficult for the Black Dem holding the seat to win re-election, and that Congressman — Al Lawson — was defeated.

Whitehouse suggested litigation against the idea of Trump running again on the basis of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which restricts those involved in insurrection from running for and holding office. Concerned observers brought challenges on those same grounds to the office-holding eligibility of far-right politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene, although she prevailed. So far, the only official blocked from office on the basis of that amendment over insurrectionary activities last year is Couy Griffin, who was removed from his position as a county board member in New Mexico after he both directly participated in the assault on the Capitol and faced criminal charges for his role in the incident.

“Something to consider: there is the prospect of litigation in every state in which Trump files, based on lawsuits to disqualify him via the Fourteenth Amendment bar on insurrectionists running for office,” Whitehouse said this week after Trump confirmed his 2024 candidacy at a Mar-a-Lago speech where it seemed like attendees were antsy to leave. “The record supporting such actions is ready-made from impeachment and 1/6 committee work. Moreover, in civil matters Trump can be called to testify under oath, and if he asserts his Fifth Amendment rights, the court can draw an “adverse inference” against him. He does not do well under oath. A great many groups could bring such lawsuits — who knows, even DeSantis front groups! Let the games begin.” Let them fight! Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which is a government watchdog group, already promised a fight on those legal grounds should Trump announce.

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