Senator Joe Manchin is what many call a moderate Democrat. He’s mostly progressive with just a smidge of moderate in the mix.
The West Virginia lawmaker has openly accused President Trump of incitement over the Capitol riot and he wants Congress to give “consideration” to expelling fellow Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) for allegedly violating the 14th Amendment’s rule against inciting an insurrection. Why? Because they wanted an audit of the electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election which many Americans believe was corrupted by voter fraud.
Manchin believes Trump “absolutely” incited an insurrection by telling a crowd of his supporters to “fight like hell” shortly before the riot occurred.
On PBS’ Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, Manchin discussed the events of January 6th. He voiced his disapproval of both Cruz and Hawley’s insistence on objecting to the certification of Joe Biden’s victory after the Capitol had just been stormed by rioters. He also insinuated that a conspiracy would be uncovered in the coming days showing who was really behind the alleged attempted coup.
Manchin called the attack an attempted insurrection, then recounted how the 14th Amendment was adopted after the Civil War to ban seditionists from holding office. Both Hawley and Cruz have come under intense criticism and have been called on to resign for support of Trump and his followers not long before the riot occurred. Manchin is falsely lumping all of the thousands of people who attended the rally into the category of insurrectionists and is then accusing Cruz and Hawley of supporting them in an uprising.
That’s not even close to what happened.
“Since you mentioned it, Senator,” Hoover then quoted from the relevant portion of the Constitution while addressing Manchin.
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, 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.”
“Would you support, Senator, the removal of Senator Hawley and Senator Cruz through the 14th Amendment, Section 3?” Hoover asked.
“Well, they should look, absolutely, basically that should be a consideration,” Manchin said. “He understands that. Ted’s a very bright individual and I get along fine with him. But what he did was totally outside the realm of our responsibilities or our privileges that we have.”
He also told CNN: “Whether they should resign or not, I don’t know [but] how they can live with themselves knowing that people have died because of their words and actions?” He told Jake Tapper that “there is no way they cannot be complicit in this.”
Hawley was the first senator to say he would object to election results. He has condemned the Capitol violence.
Cruz also condemned the violence. He has pushed back on calls for his resignation, including from the Houston Chronicle, saying he has no regrets.
“What I was working to do is find a way to re-establish widespread trust in the system,” he claimed to his hometown paper. That trust has been forever breached thanks to those like Joe Manchin.
Democrats are not hiding why they are doing this. All of these machinations are likely to keep Trump, Cruz, and Hawley from running for the presidency in 2024.