Bryant “Corky” Messner, a former Senate candidate endorsed by Donald Trump in 2020, is now pushing left-wing arguments that the 14th Amendment bars the former President from running for office.
A Politico report highlights how Republicans in New Hampshire “have erupted in a feud” over the legal theory that would keep Trump off the ballot.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is a rarely cited Civil War-era provision that bars individuals from holding office if they “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
Messner propped up the simple-minded argument.
“I’m a Constitutional conservative. The words say what they say,” Messner misinterpreted. “I quite frankly believe it is in Donald Trump’s best interest to get this looked at as quickly as possible.”
N.H. Republicans feud over bid to knock Trump off 2024 ballot https://t.co/SAxBXTETSp
— POLITICO (@politico) August 28, 2023
New Hampshire Secretary Of State Reviewing 14th Amendment Argument Against Trump
Messner has already forced New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan to review the 14th Amendment argument against former President Trump.
He has argued to ABC News that it is his civic duty to keep Trump off the ballot, and he truly believes he is right in advancing a ridiculous legal theory to remove voting power from the people of New Hampshire and the nation.
“I really don’t view myself as turning on Trump, as odd as that sounds,” Messner told the outlet. “I love this country. I’ve served this country. I’ve taken an oath to this country. My sons are serving right now and I believe someone’s got to step up to defend the Constitution.”
Scanlan, a Republican, has given fuel to the argument by seeking legal input from the attorney general and others on the matter.
Of course, the idea that a rally that got out of hand on January 6th amounts to an “insurrection” is a media-driven fantasy not grounded in reality. No such rebellion took place.
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But even legal precedence states Messner’s argument has no standing. Trump was impeached in January of 2021 on the charge of “incitement of insurrection,” but was ultimately acquitted by the Senate.
🚨🚨I spoke with Chris Agers, Chairman of the New Hampshire GOP, about reports that former Republican US Senate candidate, Corky Messner, working to remove Trump from the ballot based on another “novel” legal theory involving Section 3 of 14th Amendment:
“We’re not going to… pic.twitter.com/CvaQ5qpi4h
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 28, 2023
Will It Go Anywhere?
Chris Ager, chair of the state Republican Party, has dismissed Messner’s arguments and believes they will ultimately be put to bed.
“I don’t think the effort to limit the options for our primary voters has any legs whatsoever,” said Ager.
He later added, “Corky’s a friend of mine and I respect him. I just totally disagree with him on this issue.”
With all the talk of using the 14th Amendment as a pretext to throw Trump off the ballot in the 2024 election, it seems worth noting that the actual text of the amendment very conspicuously does not include the President of the United States. pic.twitter.com/QbqVZiJqBo
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) August 28, 2023
Messner was endorsed by Trump during his 2020 Senate race against Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. Trump insisted “Corky” would make “a fantastic Senator for New Hampshire!”
Even with Trump’s endorsement, Messner lost to Shaheen by nearly 16 points.
Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement that any 14th Amendment challenges to the former President’s 2024 campaign constitute “blatant election interference and tampering.”
“They are not even trying to hide it anymore and it is sad they want to deprive the American people of choosing Donald Trump – the overwhelming front-runner by far – as their President,” he told the Washington Post. “History will not judge them kindly.”
Trump team prepares to fight efforts to block him from ballots over Jan. 6 Bill to Block in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas https://t.co/TlN0tCAQkb
— Missouri Vote (@tmsnbb) April 18, 2023
Messner isn’t the only useful idiot in the GOP furthering a 14th Amendment conspiracy theory to keep Trump off the ballot.
Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, knowing full well he can’t make headway in the GOP primary, has also made the argument.
“I’m not even sure he’s qualified to be the next president of the United States. And so you can’t be asking us to support somebody that’s not perhaps even qualified under our Constitution,” he said. “And I’m referring to the 14th Amendment.”
Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson said that former President Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 likely violated the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution and therefore disqualifies Trump from taking the nation’s top office ever again. https://t.co/tLooMwu199
— The Hill (@thehill) August 21, 2023
Earlier this week, a low-level tax attorney and Democrat donor based in Florida filed a lawsuit attempting to get the GOP frontrunner disqualified from the 2024 presidential race due to an alleged 14th Amendment violation.
NEW: A challenge has been filed in federal court to have Donald Trump removed from the 2024 race under the 14th Amendment.
Mark my words: They’ll claim they’re doing this to “protect democracy.”
Attorney Lawrence Caplan filed a challenge claiming Trump cannot legally be on the… pic.twitter.com/BKBgqrxOmL
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) August 26, 2023
It’s amusing to hear people who have clearly only done a cursory review of the Constitution claim they’ve interpreted an Amendment aimed at high-ranking Confederates during the Civil War as a legitimate argument to keep Trump off the ballot because he held a rally.
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