House Republicans, led by Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, finally presented a united front against the widespread media-fueled and Democrat-led claim that former President Donald Trump had incited an ‘insurrection’ on January 6, 2021.
Speaking at a podium at the House of Representatives, Gaetz and other Republicans made their appeal to the public that it stop believing the accusation being made by political enemies of the former president.
Rep. Matt Gaetz: “We are here today to authoritatively express that President Trump did not commit an insurrection, and we believe Congress has a unique role in making that declaration… The very experts who often get on television and talk about securing democracy seem to be… pic.twitter.com/3SGg1kdCQW
— Real Mac Report (@RealMacReport) February 6, 2024
“We are here today to authoritatively express that President Trump did not commit an insurrection, and we believe Congress has a unique role in making that declaration,” Gaetz said.
“It’s not the job of the states, and especially not the job of some bureaucrats in Colorado to make this assessment and interfere with the rights of voters to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice,” he continued. “The very experts who often get on television and talk about securing democracy seem to be the first to want to then remove a candidate from the ballot because they’re afraid that he’s too popular.”
“We have 63 co-sponsors to the resolution that Ms. Stefanik and I will be filing today to express the sense of Congress that President Trump did not commit an insurrection,” he added. “I want to express my gratitude to Senator Vance for filing the companion legislation over in the Senate.”
“And now is time for members of the House and Senate to show where they stand on this question,” he went on. “We and the former president welcome and expect many more co-sponsors in the coming days and look forward to a floor vote.”
The House members’ announcement of the resolution comes in the wake of a brutal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling stripping former President Donald Trump of executive immunity over the January 6 case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith.
Despite Donald Trump still being in office on January 6 and his exoneration though the constitutional process of impeachment, the D.C. court’s judges nonetheless that former President Donald Trump is not immune to charges being brought by a subsequent presidential administration and election rival for the criminal case at hand.
“We have balanced former President Trump’s asserted interests in executive immunity against the vital public interests that favor allowing this prosecution to proceed,” the decision reads.
“We conclude that ‘[c]oncerns of public policy, especially as illuminated by our history and the structure of our government’ compel the rejection of his claim of immunity in this case,” the judges added.
The judges Karen Henderson, Michelle Childs, and Florence Pan issued a unanimous decision.
Notably, the judges seemed to avoid interpreting presidential immunity in criminal cases. The Supreme Court has regularly supported extensive immunity in civil claims but has not established immunity from criminal prosecution.
“For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant,” the judges wrote. “But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution.”
The court stated that President Trump bears the burden of proving his immunity. He submitted arguments based on jurisdiction, functional policy reasons linked to separation of powers, and the impeachment clause, all of which the justices rejected.
The ruling is expected to be appealed by President Trump’s attorneys, who have criticized the Biden administration’s prosecution as fostering cycles of recrimination for future administrations. The Supreme Court earlier denied Special Counsel Jack Smith’s plea to expedite the case.
Anticipating such a petition, the appeals court asked the court clerk to “withhold issuance of the mandate through February 12, 2024,” retaining the matter rather than returning it to the district court.
This appeal halted President Trump’s D.C. trial, which was scheduled to begin on March 4 but was pulled off the court calendar by February 2.
The appearance of the D.C. court’s summary dismissal of Donald Trump’s executive immunity claims is explicitly political; it fast-tracks radical Judge Chutkan’s case in the D.C. criminal courts.
If President Trump files an application for review with the Supreme Court by the extremely short deadline of February 12, the appeals court will suspend its mandate until the high court has had a chance to weigh in.
President Trump has often warned that such a ruling against him would have dire consequences for the American presidency.
“If immunity is not granted to a president, every president that leaves office will be immediately indicted by the opposing party,” he wrote in all caps on TruthSocial. “Without complete immunity, a president of the United States would not be able to properly function!”
The Trump campaign released a statement shortly after the ruling.
“If immunity is not granted to a President, every future President who leaves office will be immediately indicted by the opposing party. Without complete immunity, a President of the United States would not be able to properly function,” stated spokesperson Steven Cheung.
“Prosecuting a President for official acts violates the Constitution and threatens the bedrock of our Republic. President Trump respectfully disagrees with the DC Circuit’s decision and will appeal it in order to safeguard the Presidency and the Constitution.”