GOP Candidate Asa Hutchinson Says Trump May Be Disqualified From Presidency

"I think it’s a serious jeopardy for Donald Trump under our Constitution, not being qualified," the former Arkansas governor said.

Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson said Donald Trump may be disqualified from becoming president due to a section of the Constitution that bars anyone who has engaged in insurrection from holding office.

Hutchinson, the former governor of Arkansas and a Trump critic, was asked by CNN’s Kasie Hunt on Sunday if he would support the former president should he become the Republican nominee.

Hutchinson said he would, but “I do not expect it to be Donald Trump.”

“I’m not even sure he’s qualified to be the next president United States,” he said. “And so you can’t be asking us to support somebody that’s not perhaps even qualified under our Constitution.”

Hutchinson pointed to arguments put forward by legal scholars that, under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, Trump is ineligible for office because of his actions on Jan. 6, 2021.

The provision states that any person who took an oath to support the U.S. Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof,” is prohibited from holding any government office.

Asked how he expected this to be enforced, Hutchinson, a former federal prosecutor, said a lawsuit would have to find that Trump engaged in an insurrection, thus disqualifying him.

“The other way would be that if a specific state made that determination on their own, then that would put the burden on someone else challenging that,” he continued. “Either way, it winds up in court for a specific finding, but I expect those lawsuits to be filed.”

“I expect some states to take that action, but I think it’s a serious jeopardy for Donald Trump under our Constitution, not being qualified,” he added.

Two conservative law professors ― William Baude of the University of Chicago and Michael Stokes Paulsen of the University of St. Thomas ― recently shared arguments about Trump’s eligibility in an article set to be published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, after studying the question for more than a year.

They concluded that Trump is disqualified from becoming president or holding any government office unless two-thirds of Congress votes to grant him amnesty for engaging in an insurrection.

Hutchinson is polling at just under 1%, according to RealClearPolitics, nearly 55 points behind Trump, who leads the GOP pack by miles.

He announced in Sunday’s State of the Union interview that he had qualified for this week’s first GOP primary debate in Milwaukee, which Trump is not expected to attend.

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