Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia said Sunday he believes he can make a strong legal case for using the 14th Amendment to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot. Capital.
Jan. After 6, with 10 Republicans and all Democrats voting to impeach him, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for inciting a rebellion in an attempt to reverse his election loss.
He denied any wrongdoing, and when seven members of his own party joined the Democrats in supporting his conviction, he was eventually acquitted by the Senate.
“In my view, the attack on the Capitol that day was designed for a specific purpose at a specific moment in time to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power as enshrined in the Constitution,” Kaine said in an interview Sunday. ABC “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos. “So I think there’s a powerful argument to be made.”
“The language is specific,” Kaine argued, referring to a section of the amendment that states that when someone previously held office, if they took an oath to support the Constitution, “if engaged in, shall be ineligible for future office.” Rebellion or insurrection against it, or [gave] aid or comfort its enemies unless pardoned by a two-thirds vote of Congress.
While similar efforts against other Republicans have failed, some legal scholars and advocacy groups agree that Trump is included.
A Trump campaign spokeswoman previously called the potential use of the 14th Amendment “blatant election interference.”
Kaine, a former vice presidential candidate, said his congressional colleagues had discussed using the 14th Amendment to remove Trump from office “this week,” but he said he did not pursue a second impeachment after Jan. 6. It might have been a “more productive way to go” time.
Kaine, however, suggested that Democrats not pin their hopes on legal maneuvering.
“My sense is that this is probably going to be resolved in the courts,” he said. “But, you know, what we have to focus on on our side is that we have to win in 2024.”
It starts with winning legislative races in his home state in 2023, he said, because that will “send a message” about next year’s elections.
Last week, President Joe Biden directed the Democratic National Committee to invest $1.2 million in those races, a DNC spokeswoman confirmed to ABC News. The money will go to support campaign workers across the state and get-out-the-vote programs, the DNC said.
“This week,” Kaine accused many of the 2024 Republican presidential hopefuls of “lacking a moral compass” because they pledged to vote for Trump even if he was convicted of a felony. (One of those candidates, Vivek Ramasamy, maintained in his own appearance on “This Week” that the charges against Trump were false.)
“If you don’t want to say that Donald Trump’s behavior in trying to thwart a peaceful transfer of power is disqualifying, if you’re going to vote for him, you’re going to have to forgive him anyway. Being elected — it shows that you don’t have the moral compass you need to be the leader of the world’s greatest nation.” Cain said.
Stephanopoulos asked Kaine why Trump, despite legal challenges, has tied with Biden in recent polls. (Trump pleaded not guilty to four counts.)
Biden has struggled with anemic approval and favorable ratings that suggest voters are disaffected with both politicians.
Kaine cited the “painful” years Americans have gone through due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused more than a million deaths, countless job losses and personal sacrifices.
“I think there’s a collective shock that’s still working its way through the system,” he said. “But when I look at what the Biden administration, working with Congress, has been able to do: provide infrastructure, provide clean energy, record job growth, manufacturing has returned to America. I have every reason to believe that we can continue to celebrate those accomplishments.”
Kaine added that the disparity between Biden’s legislative victories could be a divisive screen that would help Democrats.
“On the other hand, you’re going to read what’s the latest news about Donald Trump’s criminal investigations,” he said.
Stephanopoulos, pressed by Stephanopoulos, pointed to what Kaine called bad news if the current close race between Biden and Trump reflects voter concerns about Biden’s age, health or his policies.
“One of the things we have to do as Democrats is to go and sell what we don’t do well: sell achievements, sell infrastructure projects, sell growth and manufacturing jobs,” Kaine said. “If we do that, I think Joe Biden will be reelected.”