During a discussion on MSNBC that began circulating this weekend, former federal Judge J. Michael Luttig, who’s known as a conservative, argued that former President Donald Trump is disqualified from returning to the presidency, for which Trump is now running. Luttig was discussing the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which, as others have also highlighted, contains restrictions on those connected to insurrection running for or subsequently holding elected office.
Trump is now charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and related offenses for his participation in and perpetration of an attempt to stay in power after the 2020 presidential election despite his documented loss. Some have also raised questions about the evident presence outside the Capitol around the time of the Capitol riot of Kenneth Chesebro, a Trump ally involved in targeting the 2020 election. And individual rioters have repeatedly and consistently tied their own actions to the ex-president’s inspiration. Luttig argued that the provisions from the Constitution he referenced didn’t require additional levels of action or specific steps for the restrictions to be active.
“Anyone, state or federal, who’s charged with listing the candidates for the presidency is obligated under the Constitution to make the decision himself or herself as to whether Donald Trump is qualified to be put on the ballot under the Constitution of the United States,” Luttig said, subsequently adding to the host: “Neither Congress, nor Congress through impeachment, nor a judicial order, nor the results of a criminal conviction are needed.” Luttig subsequently asserted that Trump was flatly “disqualified” from returning to the presidency under his interpretation and interpretations from others of that Constitutional passage.
Trump continues to allege that he is the victim of so-called election interference because he is campaigning for president, though the underlying investigations that led to his four criminal cases were all already established and publicly known before he confirmed he was running once again.
“As of this moment, under the professor’s reading of Section 3 and of my reading and Professor Tribe’s, the former president is disqualified from holding the office of the presidency in 2024,” @judgeluttig tells @AliVelshi. https://t.co/Hai9kn5Zyn pic.twitter.com/SZEPfnJZA4
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 19, 2023