Professor says little-known provision in 14th Amendment could spell trouble for Trump

ATLANTA — The U.S. Senate will start the impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump on Feb. 8.

Trump is accused of inciting the deadly Capitol building riots on Jan. 6.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington sat down with a constitutional law professor to find out what to expect from the trial.

Eric Segall teaches at Georgia State University College of Law. Segall broke down how one section of the 14th amendment could spell trouble for Trump.

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“The next step is a trial in the Senate,” Segall said. “What’s kind of funny about that is we don’t know who Trump’s lawyers are going to be. He’s having a hard time getting a lawyer.”

Segall said the process will be tough, even though Democrats now hold the majority in the Senate.

Democrats Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock of Georgia were sworn into office last week, creating a 50-50 split in the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker.

In order to convict Trump, Democrats will need all 50 Democrats and a two-thirds majority -- or 17 Republicans -- willing to vote to convict Trump.

“If they convict him, then there will be another vote to disqualify Trump from ever holding office again,” Segall said. “But there is another alternative that doesn’t require two thirds of the senate.”


Segall said Trump could be convicted under a little-known provision found in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

“What it says is, if you’ve taken an oath to uphold the constitution and you engage in insurrection, then you are disqualified from holding office again, unless two-thirds of Congress vote that you are not in insurrection,” Segall said.

If Trump were convicted, it could not only affect his ability to run for office again, it could also affect his pardons, according to Segall.

During his final days in office, Trump issued a number of pardons.

“There is a realistic argument that once the Congress finds that on Jan. 6th, Trump engaged in insurrection or in rebellion against the country, that anything he does after that, including pardons might be null and void,” Segall said. “That is the only way those pardons could be undone.”

Several people from Georgia face federal charges for their participation in the deadly riots at the Capitol.

A Georgia mother and son are accused of breaching the Capitol carrying zip ties and stashing weapons outside. An Americus lawyer who was one of the first through the doors as the attack started was denied bond earlier this week.

Another Georgia man faces charges after authorities say he threatened to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the head on live TV. He was taken into custody in Washington, where agents found he had an arsenal of weapons in his vehicle.

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