- Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said the Senate should consider removing his Republican colleagues, Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz.
- Manchin said the 14th Amendment should be applied after Cruz and Hawley pushed forth with efforts to dispute Electoral College votes last week.
- Trump supporters stormed the Capitol during a joint session to debate the electoral results, leading to the deaths of five people.
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Sen. Joe Manchin said the Senate should consider using the 14th Amendment to remove Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, two Republicans who objected to the Electoral College vote last week.
“That should be a consideration,” Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, said when asked if the 14th Amendment should be triggered during an interview with PBS’s “Firing Line.”
On January 6, supporters of President Donald Trump breached the US Capitol and clashed with law enforcement, halting the joint session of Congress as lawmakers were debating challenges to electoral votes.
Critics have called on the senators to resign and blamed them for the five deaths that occurred as a result of the siege on the Capitol.
The House has since impeached Trump on a charge of inciting an insurrection. The Senate will soon hold a trial and vote on whether to convict the president.
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez previously said Cruz and Hawley’s support of the election challenges, which stemmed from President Donald Trump’s baseless allegations of mass voter fraud, helped inspire the mob that ransacked and destroyed the Capitol.
“Sen. Cruz, you must accept responsibility for how your craven, self-serving actions contributed to the deaths of four people yesterday. And how you fundraised off this riot. Both you and Senator Hawley must resign. If you do not, the Senate should move for your expulsion,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Manchin had also previously said that the senators were at fault for the violence.
“There’s no way they cannot be complicit in this,” he said. “That they think they can walk away and say, ‘I just exercised my right as a senator?’ Especially after we came back here and after they saw what happened.”
He added: “I don’t know how you can live with yourself right now knowing that people lost their lives.”
The 14th Amendment says that no lawmaker holding office “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”
Many Republicans abandoned their plans to dispute the election results following the violence, but Hawley and Cruz pushed forward in an effort that would have been futile but gained them points with Trump’s base.
Earlier this week, Democratic aides also told The Hill that some senators were also considering censuring Cruz and Hawley. While a censure wouldn’t remove them from office, it could seriously hurt their political aspirations.