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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) in Washington filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing Trump of violating Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars from running for office anyone who had previously taken an oath of office, then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” The lawsuit says Trump “incited, exacerbated, and otherwise engaged in a violent insurrection at the United States Capitol” on January 6, 2021.
“If the very fabric of our democracy is to hold, we must ensure that the Constitution is enforced and the same people who attacked our democratic system not be put in charge of it,” CREW President Noah Bookbinder said in a statement. “We aren’t bringing this case to make a point, we’re bringing it because it is necessary to defend our republic both today and in the future.”
“While it is unprecedented to bring this type of case against a former president, January 6th was an unprecedented attack that is exactly the kind of event the framers of the 14th Amendment wanted to build protections in case of. You don’t break the glass unless there’s an emergency,” he added.
The Trump campaign has called the lawsuit’s premise an “absurd conspiracy theory” that reflects a desire among Trump’s political opponents to take the former president out of the 2024 race.
“The people who are pursuing this absurd conspiracy theory and political attack on President Trump are stretching the law beyond recognition,” campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told ABC News in a statement. “There is no legal basis for this effort except in the minds of those who are pushing it.”
The lawsuit is being brought by CREW and a group of Republican and independent Colorado voters. The group is being represented by the law firms Tierney Lawrence Stiles LLC, KBN Law LLC, and Olson Grimsley Kawanabe Hinchcliff & Murray LLC.