Firebrand Rep. Matt Gaetz and at least 65 House Republicans rolled out a resolution Tuesday stating that former President Donald Trump “did not engage in insurrection or rebellion against the United States.”
The one-page resolution attempts to undercut justification to jettison Trump off state ballots across the country. This comes as the Supreme Court is poised to hear oral arguments on the Colorado matter on Thursday.
“We are here today to authoritatively express that President Trump did not commit an insurrection and we believe Congress has a unique role in making that declaration,” Gaetz (R-Fla.) explained at a press conference.
“It’s time for members of the House and Senate to show where they stand on this question.”
Gaetz, 41, was flanked by numerous House Republicans including Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), an original co-sponsor of the measure.
In tandem with the House resolution, Sen. JD Vance (D-Ohio) unveiled a companion bill in the Senate.
“From the President on down, Democrats are abusing our judicial system to disenfranchise millions of Americans and take Donald Trump off the ballot,” Vance said in a statement.
“It’s an incredibly dangerous precedent they’re setting — all based on a meritless legal theory about the application of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
Back in December, Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled that Trump was disqualified from the state’s primary ballot after concluding he engaged in “voluntary and direct participation in the insurrection.”
The Centennial State’s high court invoked Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, also known as the Disqualification Clause to boot him from the ballot.
That clause states that “No person shall…hold any office, civil or military, under the United States…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
Right after Colorado, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, unilaterally moved to disqualify him from that state’s primary ballot as well.
Both decisions are in limbo amid the Supreme Court’s decision on Colorado. The two states also have their Republican presidential contests slated for March 5.
Backers of the effort to rip Trump from the ballot point to his actions revolving around the Jan. 6, 2021, ransacking of the Capitol.
Trump is also facing a four-count indictment from the Justice Department over alleged 2020 election subversion and a 13-count indictment from Georgia over alleged 2020 election tampering.
“The bottom line is President Trump is not an insurrectionist, nor did he incite an insurrection,” Rep. Cory Mills (R-Fla.), who co-sponsored the resolution said in a statement.
“This narrative is simply a political distraction from the Biden Admin’s failures, spanning a crippling economy, record inflation, foreign policy blunders, to his disastrous handling of the border.”
Trump has weathered challenges to his ballot status in at least 35 states, per the New York Times. So far Maine and Colorado are the only two states where he was disqualified pending an appeal.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has not yet confirmed plans to take that resolution up for a floor vote, according to Gaetz.
“I sat next to him for seven years on the Judiciary Committee, though, so I’m pretty sure as to where he stands,” Gaetz explained.