Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

David Cicilline

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) leaves the House Democrats caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on November 15, 2022. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

House Democrat Leads Charge to Bar Trump From Office, Citing 14th Amendment

The former president "forfeited his right to ever hold federal office again for leading an insurrection against the United States," said Rep. David Cicilline.

Julia Conley

As former President Donald Trump prepared to announce his 2024 presidential campaign Tuesday, Rep. David Cicilline was circulating a letter to his fellow Democratic lawmakers calling on them to support legislation that would bar Trump from running, citing his involvement in the January 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"This language in our Constitution clearly intended to bar insurrectionists from holding high office in the United States."

Lawmakers have until Thursday at noon to sign on as original co-sponsors of the legislation, which states that the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution bars anyone from holding public office if they, "having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States... to support the Constitution of the United States... engaged in insurrection of rebellion against the same."

Trump "forfeited his right to ever hold federal office again for leading an insurrection against the United States," the Rhode Island Democrat wrote in the Dear Colleague letter. "This language in our Constitution clearly intended to bar insurrectionists from holding high office in the United States."

Cicilline noted that hearings held by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol earlier this year demonstrated that Trump "engaged in insurrection on January 6 with the intention of overturning the lawful 2020 election results."

The committee presented evidence showing that Trump planned for thousands of his supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol where lawmakers were voting on the certification of the presidential election, and that he sought to make the march to the Capitol seem spontaneous. It also showed that he watched the chaos unfolding at the Capitol on television and refused to stop the attack, which was linked to several deaths.

Cicilline's plan to introduce legislation barring Trump from holding public office follows a letter sent by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to the former president earlier this month, in which the watchdog said it would pursue his disqualification "under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment based on your engaging in the insurrection."

"We warned him that should he decide to run again, we would be taking action to ensure the Constitution's ban on insurrectionists holding office is enforced," said CREW in a statement after Trump's announcement on Tuesday. "Now we will be. Trump made a mockery of the Constitution he swore to defend, but we will see that it is defended."

Also on Tuesday night, Free Speech for the People (FSFP) and Mi Familia Vota launched a campaign calling on secretaries of state across the U.S. to "follow the mandate of [Amendment] 14.3 and bar Trump from the ballot."

John Bonifaz, president of FSFP, thanked Cicilline for leading the push in Congress to block Trump from running, noting that "even without this legislation," state election officials are bound by law to uphold the 14th Amendment.

"Donald Trump's words and actions incited a violent riot on our nation's capital," said Héctor Sánchez Barba, executive director of Mi Familia Vota, before urging Americans to sign a petition urging officials "to uphold this critical provision."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Groups Warn Pelosi, Schumer Against Allowing Manchin 'Dirty Deal' in Pentagon Spending Bill

"This obvious fossil fuel giveaway would devastate communities and set back efforts to avoid a climate catastrophe," said one campaigner.

Jon Queally ·

'Intentional Vandalism' Leaves Thousands Without Power in North Carolina

One right-wing extremist implied that multiple electrical substations were targeted to disrupt a drag show in Moore County. Local law enforcement authorities and the FBI are investigating.

Kenny Stancil ·

GOP Silence on Trump's Call to Axe Constitution Reveals 'Full Embrace of Fascism': House Dem

"Last week the leader of the Republican Party had dinner with a Nazi leader and a man who called Adolf Hitler 'great,'" said Rep. Bill Pascrell. "Yesterday Trump called for throwing out the Constitution and making himself dictator."

Kenny Stancil ·

Protesting Fuel Poverty, People Tell UK Government to 'Keep Everyone Warm This Winter'

As energy bills—and fossil fuel profits—continue to soar, demonstrators around Britain demanded immediate action from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and members of Parliament.

Kenny Stancil ·

'Turn Off the Tap on Plastic,' UN Chief Declares Amid Debate Over New Global Treaty

"Plastics are fossil fuels in another form," said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, "and pose a serious threat to human rights, the climate, and biodiversity."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo