Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday said he believes the argument some legal experts are making that former President Trump is disqualified from holding elected office again because of the 14th Amendment is “valid,” adding that the part of the Amendment that bans those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding elected office “fits Donald Trump to a T.”
In an interview on MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki,” Schiff noted that the 14th Amendment does not say someone must be convicted of insurrection in order to be banned from holding elected office — only that they must have engaged in insurrection.
“I think it is a valid argument. The 14th Amendment, Section 3 is pretty clear. If you engage in acts of insurrection or rebellion against the government, or you give aid and comfort to those who do, you are disqualified from running,” Schiff said when asked about his thoughts on the legal argument. “It doesn’t require that you be convicted of insurrection. It just requires that you have engaged in these acts.”
“It’s a disqualification from holding office again, and it fits Donald Trump to a T,” Schiff said.
Schiff, who served on the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, said he imagines the legal theory could be tested by either a secretary of state or a litigant challenging Trump’s name on the ballot, and he said he expects the issue has the potential to go all the way up to the Supreme Court.
“I think this will be tested when a secretary of state either refuses to put him on the ballot, or puts him on the ballot and is challenged by a litigant. I would imagine it would go up to the Supreme Court, and that’s the big question mark through all of this, which is what will the Supreme Court do?” he said.
“There are prominent constitutional scholars, as well as prominent progressive scholars who believe that he should be disqualified,” Schiff added.
On whether he thinks the Supreme Court would ultimately take that next step, he said, “Only time will tell, but I do think it is a very legitimate issue. By the clear terms of the 14th Amendment he should be disqualified from holding office.”