GOP Leaders Put Forth Resolution Supporting Trump

A group of Republican members of the House introduced a resolution this week saying that former President Donald Trump “did not engage in insurrection or rebellion against the United States.”

The resolution was introduced by Representatives Elise Stefanik of New York and Matt Gaetz of Florida, and has more than 60 other GOP House members as co-sponsors.

Its introduction on Tuesday came just two days before the Supreme Court was set to hear oral arguments in a case that seeks to ban Trump from the ballot, based on the insurrection clause in the 14th Amendment.

That case comes from an appeal Trump filed to a decision by the Colorado Supreme Court that bars him from the Republican primary ballot in the state.

At a press conference held Tuesday to announce the bill, Gaetz referred to that Supreme Court case. He said:

“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 decision. It’s not the job of the states and especially not the job of some bureaucrats in Colorado to make this assessment and interfere with the right of voters to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice.”

The resolution is nonbinding and would just declare that it’s “the sense of the House of Republicans … [that Trump] did not engage in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or give aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

That’s the central point of the case at hand — whether Trump actually committed insurrection for his role in the January 6, 2021, attacks at the U.S. Capitol building. If he were found to have participated in an insurrection, then it’s possible that he could be barred from running for public office.

The insurrection clause was added to the 14th Amendment following the Civil War. It was meant to prevent Confederate soldiers and leaders from winning political office in the U.S., and was also meant to dissuade people in the future from participating in such rebellious acts against the republic.

It’s never been used before now, but multiple groups are claiming it should be as they have challenged Trump’s candidacy.

Colorado and Maine are the only two states that have disqualified Trump from their primary ballots, though the Maine decision is on hold pending the decision from the Supreme Court.

Another 35 states at least have challenged Trump’s candidacy, The New York Times reported.

Gaetz said this week that he believes the resolution, if approved, would be “incredibly helpful legally.”

As he explained:

“If we’re the purported victim, in Congress, and we’re saying this was not an insurrection, I think that will hold a great deal of weight.”

Gaetz added that House Speaker Mike Johnson didn’t assure him that the resolution would be brought to the floor for a full vote. However, he did make an allusion to Johnson’s affinity for Trump.

As he said of Johnson:

“I sat next to him for seven years on the Judiciary Committee, though, so I’m pretty sure as to where he stands.”