On Wednesday, President Joe Biden stated unequivocally that former President Donald Trump was accountable for waging an insurgency. However, he refrained from weighing in on the legal debate sparked by the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to remove Trump from the state’s ballot, emphasizing that such things should be left to the courts.
“It goes without saying. You witnessed everything. “I’ll let the court decide whether the 14th Amendment applies,” the president stated during a visit to Wisconsin. “However, he was clearly in favor of an insurgency.” There is no doubt about that. None. Zero.”
Biden’s remarks come only hours after the state Supreme Court declared on Tuesday evening that Trump’s membership in the Jan. 6 insurgency violated the 14th Amendment and rendered him ineligible to run for office. They emphasized the delicate balance that Democrats have attempted to strike in the aftermath of the verdict.
Many members of the party saw little benefit in speaking on a legal matter that was almost certain to be heard by the Supreme Court — and almost certainly to be overturned by the justices. Their reserved reaction was motivated, in part, by fears that apparent celebration would play into Trump’s hands, inflaming his fans and providing ammunition for him to claim that the legal system was stacked against him.
“It just adds to the pile of wood he throws on the fire,” a senior Democratic strategist said candidly on the condition of anonymity. “And I just don’t think it’s helpful.”
However, it was also motivated by concerns that applauding the verdict would cause people to discount the seriousness of the sentence, portraying Biden as believing the court system would do his political work for him.
“I would not engage in a discussion about this,” said longtime party operative David Axelrod. “I’d be preparing to confront Trump.” The way they’re treating it is correct. You don’t want to tell the American people that you don’t have my trust in making the decision.”
Few Democrats questioned the Colorado court’s decision on Wednesday. In fact, numerous Biden supporters stated they thought the 4-3 verdict by the Democratic-appointed judges was accurate.
“I believe it is correct. “I think they’re doing the right thing,” former Sen. Ted Kaufman, Biden’s former chief of staff, said. “The Constitution states that.” It says insurrection, and what they did was certainly an uprising. Isn’t it rather straightforward?”
Party officials also ridiculed the notion that the court had set the country on a downward spiral, allowing a conservative state legal body to respond by barring Democrats from voting, no matter how implausible the justification.
“If you’re concerned about that, you’re buying into a Republican premise, which is that courts are hopelessly politicized,” said Pat Dennis, head of American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic super PAC.
“And I believe that is a fundamental premise that they require in order to delegitimize the former president’s legitimate prosecution.” “I don’t believe that premise.”
Republicans, meanwhile, were quick to condemn Tuesday night’s verdict, claiming that the four judges’ findings amounted to political meddling in the election. They claimed that they had overstepped their authority and warned that the decision would only help Trump.
Trump’s primary opponents backed him as well, emphasizing that they preferred to defeat him at the polls – a stance ultimately echoed by the Biden campaign.
“We’re not going to comment on ongoing litigation,” said Brooke Goren, deputy communications director for the Biden campaign. “What I will say is that the president is looking forward to defeating Donald Trump or whoever else emerges from the Republican primary in November 2024.” So I’ll leave it there.”
Those who openly rejoiced were the lifelong conservative lawyers who helped drive the case, as well as a segment of the legal and political left who had joined their efforts.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) claimed that even if the Supreme Court overturned the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling, it would have the unintended consequence of bolstering the popular view of the high court’s loyalty to the former president.
“It’s going to feed into how partisan and beholden the U.S. Supreme Court is to Donald Trump,” he warned. “It relates to the entire Roe v Wade decision, and how he appointed ultra-religious justices to overturn Roe v Wade.” And do you really want Trump, who would appoint even more?”
According to Ian Bassin, executive director of the nonprofit Protect Democracy, the ruling meant that, at the very least, a state Supreme Court “found that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection” before the election. He also observed “an almost Shakespearean irony” caused by the decision.
“Trump’s MO has always been to accuse others of the transgressions of which he himself is guilty, largely to obfuscate his own guilt,” Bassin added. “So it’s fitting that after rising to political power by falsely accusing Barack Obama of not being eligible to be president, it’s Trump who it turns out has now been found by a court to be the actually ineligible one.”