Top Elections Official Argues Engaging In Insurrection Must Be Disqualifying

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In an interview on MSNBC with host Ali Velshi, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, sharply criticized the recent outcome from a court case in her state in which Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and others were challenging Donald Trump’s eligibility for the ballot.

Those who brought the case were pointing to the 14th Amendment’s restrictions on certain individuals holding office if they previously engaged in insurrection, something the coalition challenging Trump argued was applicable to him because of his role in January 6. The judge, Sarah Wallace, did conclude that Trump engaged in insurrection under the relevant Constitutional standards via overt incitement of the crowds that descended on the Capitol, but she did not go as far as actually ordering that Trump be blocked from ballots. CREW’s president quickly promised appeals.

“That basically means that the presidency is a get-out-of-jail-free card for insurrection,” Griswold said, discussing the judge’s decision. “As someone who cares deeply about the state of our democracy, I find that very troubling. The American people need to know that the president, the person — if anybody, the person most in charge of protecting the Constitution, actually has a duty to do so.”

Other notable portions of the judge’s ruling have also circulated. She rebuffed, for instance, the argument that Trump authorized 10,000 or more National Guard troops for protection in D.C. ahead of what became the violence of January 6, something that — if generally upheld — could be taken as pointing towards better intentions from Trump. The evidence, Wallace found, just wasn’t there. The judge also pointed out that the numbers cited in these claims from Trump’s circles don’t apparently match the number of National Guard troops who were most directly under the then-president’s control at all. Wallace further concluded Trump knew his voter fraud claims were false.

Watch Griswold below, highlighted earlier by Raw Story: