- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 9, 2022

Rep. Jamie Raskin suggested Sunday that Donald Trump could be blocked from returning to the Oval Office if the Democratic-controlled Jan. 6 committee rules that the former president was complicit in “organizing” or “participating” in last year’s attack on the Capitol.

The Maryland Democrat, a Jan. 6 committee member and former House impeachment manager, said Democrats and those opposed to another Trump term in the White House would have the Constitution on their side.

“Section 3 of the 14th Amendment says that anybody who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution, who violates and betrays that oath by participating in an insurrection and rebellion against the Union shall never be allowed to hold public office again,” Mr. Raskin said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“That was adopted by the Republicans, the radical Republicans, after the Civil War during the Reconstruction period. It was used then and it may indeed, depending on what we find Donald Trump did, be a blockade for him ever being able to run for office again.”

Asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about whether Mr. Raskin had evidence Mr. Trump participated in the insurrection, Mr. Raskin cited the House’s second impeachment of Mr. Trump after the Jan. 6 riot. Mr. Trump was later acquitted in the Senate.

“The question is to what extent he was complicit in organizing [the riot],” Mr. Raskin said. “And that’s exactly what the select committee is looking at, as we are fulfilling our charge under House Resolution 503 to determine all of the facts composing the events and causes of the events on Jan. 6th.”

SEE ALSO: House Democrats propose permanent recognition of Jan. 6 as ‘Democracy Day’

Republicans have shown zero interest in using legislation to decide Mr. Trump’s electoral fate. 

Asked about Mr. Raskin’s view, Sen. Mike Rounds, South Dakota Republican, told ABC questions about whether Mr. Trump was involved in Jan. 6 should not be answered by Congress.

“I think this is an issue which the courts can decide and, most certainly, if there’s evidence there, this is going to be up to the Justice Department to bring it forward and to move with it,” Mr. Rounds said. “But, once again, every single person has protections under that system. The former president has protections under that system as well. But this is something that should be decided in the courts and I don’t think it’s something that we should be legislating on right now.”

Mr. Rounds said he did not view the Justice Department as having presented evidence to accuse Mr. Trump of committing a crime.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Illinois Republican and Jan. 6 committee member, likewise said Sunday that he would want more information in order to determine Mr. Trump’s potential foreknowledge or level of involvement, if any, in the riot. 

“I think the one thing that if I could wave a magic wand and have more information on, it would certainly be what did the president know about January 6th leading up to Jan. 6th,” Mr. Kinzinger said on NBC. “And I think what’s important is, it’s the difference between was the president absolutely incompetent or a coward on the 6th when he didn’t do anything or did he know what was coming? And I think that’s the difference between incompetence with your oath and possibly criminal [conduct].”

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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