Trump's legal team argued against the Colorado case to remove him from the 2024 ballot by stating that he technically did not swear an oath to "support" the Constitution.
Judge ruled Trump did "engage in insurrection"
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) watchdog group filed a lawsuit citing Section Three of the 14th Amendment, and the Colorado Judge ruled Trump is eligible for the ballot. Yet the Judge also ruled Trump did, in fact, "engage in insurrection" on January 6. The case is now being appealed.
Trump's lawyers presented their argument
Trump's legal team wrote, "Section Three does not apply, because the presidency is not an office 'under the United States,' the President is not an 'officer of the United States,' and President Trump did not take an oath 'to support the Constitution of the United States.'" Instead, Trump swore, during his inauguration, to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution but not to did not swear an oath to "support" the Constitution.
The reactions are quite telling
Tristan Snell, a lawyer, and ex-assistant AG for New York state, wrote on X: "Donald Trump is arguing the president is not an 'officer of the United States' — and so he can't be disqualified from office under the 14th Amendment for his involvement in the January 6 insurrection. Yes, you read that correctly. This is how bad his legal arguments are."
New Jersey lawmaker was shocked
New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell shared on X, "Wow, in a legal proceeding, Trump is now arguing he didn't violate the 14th Amendment by inciting the January 6 insurrection because he 'never took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States.' This treacherous criminal is head of the Republican Party."
But it could be a winner for Trump
According to Geoffrey Blue, Trump's Colorado-based lawyer, "the framers chose to define the group of people subject to Section Three by an oath to 'support' the Constitution of the United States, and not by an oath to 'preserve, protect and defend' the Constitution, the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment never intended for it to apply to the President."
Blue continued, "If they wanted to include the President in the reach of Section Three, they could have done so by expanding the language of which type of oath would bring an officer under the strictures of Section Three. They did not do so, and no number of semantic arguments will change this simple fact. As such, Section Three does not apply to President Trump."
A former federal prosecutor summed it up
Eric Lisann, an ex-federal prosecutor, wrote, "Crazy as it sounds, Trump made that exact same argument to the Colorado trial judge, and somehow, it is the only argument the judge agreed with him on." But, CREW disagrees, "The natural reading of 'oath to support the Constitution' includes the stronger Presidential oath to 'preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.'"
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