Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, said the Senate should consider removing GOP Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz under the 14th Amendment because they objected to the Electoral College’s certification of votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania on Jan. 6.
Manchin claimed Hawley and Cruz’s objections helped “incite” an “insurrection” when a rogue group of individuals broke into the U.S. Capitol building while Congress was certifying the Electoral College’s results.
He was then asked whether he would support their removal through Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which says, “No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress…who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
He replied: “Well they should look—absolutely—basically, that should be a consideration,” Manchin replied, adding, “He understands that. Ted’s a very bright individual and I get along fine with Ted. But what he did was totally outside the realm of our responsibilities or our privileges that we have.”
“There’s no way they cannot be complicit in this,” Manchin continued. “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.”
The 14th Amendment is the appropriate tool to hold Hawley and Cruz accountable because it was designed to cover instances of sedition, Manchin said.
“That those people should never hold public office, they should never have the public microphone, they should never be allowed to be in a position of power or of decision-making, or purpose, because they’re going to serve themselves,” he explained.
Both the House and Senate would need to vote to expel Cruz and Hawley if senators decided to invoke the 14th Amendment.
Manchin recalled the Jan. 6 riot and said he pleaded with Hawley not to go forward with his objection after they had fled the Capitol building.
He allegedly told Hawley, “Please think of what you’re doing, please reconsider what you’re doing.”
Instead, Hawley and Cruz began fundraising off of their objections, Manchin said.
“I don’t know how you can live with yourself right now knowing that people lost their lives,” he added.