Trump’s Comeback Trail Stumbles: A New Lawsuit Could Slam the Door on 2024

In a bold move this week, a non-profit watchdog known for keeping an eagle eye on Washington’s shenanigans just threw a potential spanner in the works for former President Donald Trump’s 2024 ambitions.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has championed the cause of six Coloradans, presenting a fascinating legal argument that could keep Trump off any presidential ticket. They’ve invoked the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, an amendment designed to prevent those who have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding office. Given the unforgettable and tragic events on January 6, 2021, the amendment suddenly feels more relevant than ever.

At its core, CREW is arguing that Trump’s hands aren’t clean when it comes to the Capitol attack. In their words, the former President, who took an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” broke this very promise. By allegedly inciting a mob to storm the Capitol to overturn his election loss, Trump might have disqualified himself from future office runs.

The 14th Amendment is no joke, and this isn’t its first rodeo. Back in the day (think 1869), the Disqualification Clause was used against those involved in an insurrection. Fast forward to recent history, and CREW successfully wielded the amendment just a year ago to disqualify Couy Griffin, a participant in the January 6 attack, from holding public office.

For Noah Bookbinder, CREW’s president, it’s more than just a legal argument; it’s a fight for the soul of democracy. In a charged statement, he stressed the urgency of the moment, emphasizing that “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.”

Lest we dismiss this as mere partisan maneuvering, a fascinating detail in this legal saga is the political alignment of the plaintiffs. Four Republicans and two Independents from Colorado are behind the lawsuit, deliberately distancing this case from any semblance of a Democratic witch-hunt.

In the suit, CREW paints a picture of a former president who, arguably, didn’t just passively watch the events of January 6 unfold. From promising a “wild time” in a tweet to incendiary speech moments before the Capitol breach, the group contends Trump’s actions and inactions “materially aided the insurrection.”

What happens next could change the political landscape dramatically. CREW hints this is just the beginning, with Colorado being their opening move in a larger strategy. As for Trump’s camp, they’ve branded the lawsuit a baseless “political attack.”

But here’s the clincher: the 14th Amendment, while perhaps overlooked in modern political discussions, is baked into the very foundation of our Constitution. Even conservative legal voices have pondered its potential impact on Trump’s political ambitions. As Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe poignantly noted, “The people who wrote the 14th Amendment were not fools.” They intended it as a safeguard, a last line of defense to protect democracy.

As the next election cycle heats up, this legal tussle may prove monumental. CREW’s bold play shines a spotlight on the Constitution’s power to protect America’s democratic traditions, even in the face of the gravest challenges.