OP-ED: Why Donald Trump Must Be Barred from Future Office and Face Criminal Charges

As the House select committee’s year-and-a-half-long investigation into the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol comes to a close, it is clear that former President Donald Trump must be held accountable for his role in inciting the insurrection. The committee’s final report, which was released on Thursday, includes numerous legislative recommendations, one of which is to bar Trump from holding future office under the 14th Amendment due to his involvement in the “insurrection.”

This recommendation is not only warranted, but necessary to protect the integrity of our democracy. Trump’s impeachment by the House on charges of incitement of insurrection, as well as the 57 senators who voted to convict him, serve as evidence of his wrongdoing. The committee’s criminal referral to the Justice Department on similar charges further reinforces the need for accountability.

Allowing Trump to hold future office would send a dangerous message to those who seek to undermine the peaceful transfer of power and the rule of law. It is crucial that we send a strong message that such behavior will not be tolerated and will have consequences.

But mere disqualification from office is not enough. Trump must also face criminal charges for his actions on January 6. The committee has recommended that the Justice Department investigate him for inciting, assisting or aiding and comforting an insurrection, obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and conspiracy to make a false statement. These are serious allegations that cannot be ignored.

Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing on January 6 and has labeled the committee’s investigation a “witch hunt.” But the overwhelming evidence against him speaks for itself. It is time for Trump to be held accountable for his actions and for the country to move forward. We cannot allow the events of January 6 to ever happen again, and holding Trump accountable is a necessary step in ensuring that they do not.

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