Trump Legal Papers Say He 'Never Took Oath' To Support The Constitution

Trump Legal Papers Say He 'Never Took Oath' To Support The Constitution

Former President Donald Trump and wife Melania as he takes inaugural oath on January 20, 2017

Photo by The White House

In a November 27 legal filing submitted to the Colorado Supreme Court, attorneys representing former President Donald Trump made a unique argument in justifying that the US Constitution's insurrection clause doesn't apply to their client.

The clause, which is in Section Three of the 14th Amendment, states that "No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof." Trump's legal team argued that as president, their client is exempt from that language.

"The framers excluded the office of President from Section Three purposefully. Section Three does not apply, because the presidency is not an office 'under the United States,' and President Trump did not take an oath 'to support the Constitution of the United States,'" the filing read.

The filing also argues that the events of January 6, 2021 did not constitute an insurrection, even though Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol in an attempt to disrupt Congress' official certification of the 2020 presidential election in an hours-long riot that left several dead and hundreds more injured.

"Wow in a legal proceeding trump is now arguing he didn’t violate the 14th Amendment by inciting the Jan 6 insurrection because he 'never took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States,'" Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-New Jersey) tweeted. "This treacherous criminal is head of the republican party."

Trump did in fact take such an oath. The presidential oath of office — which all presidents take on Inauguration Day — explicitly mentions the Constitution.

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," the oath reads.

The matter before the Colorado Supreme Court concerns an attempt to remove the former president from the 2024 ballot on the grounds that he is ineligible under the insurrection clause due to Trump's involvement in the January 6 riot. While a judge ruled in Trump's favor, that decision has been appealed by watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.


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