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NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s name should be excluded from New York’s ballot in next year’s presidential primary and general election for his alleged incitement of the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, a group of state senators urged election officials on Thursday.
In a letter to the state Board of Elections shared exclusively with the New York Daily News, New York Sens. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, Liz Krueger, and others cited Trump’s efforts to overthrow democracy in violation of the Constitution’s "Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause" in outlining why he shouldn’t be featured on the ballot. The effort mirrors one already underway in a closely watched case before Colorado’s Supreme Court.
“The January 6 insurrection was a violent uprising against the United States that tragically resulted in loss of multiple lives. That dark day in our nation’s history was led, facilitated, and encouraged by Trump. The Board must not allow those who participated to run again for office against the mandate of the Constitution,” reads the letter.
“Therefore, with the urgency of an approaching primary election, we urge the Board to address this critical issue now and to ensure Trump’s name does not appear on the New York ballot.”
Asking BOE co-chairs Peter Kosinski and Douglas Kellner to fulfill their “weighty responsibility” and exclude the current Republican front-runner as they would a candidate who’s underage or isn’t a natural-born citizen, the senators said his role in the deadly storming of the nation’s capital renders him ineligible to hold public office until he’s relieved of the disqualification by two-thirds of both chambers of Congress.
The House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 insurrection last year found Trump incited the violent attack that led to seven deaths. Trump has pleaded not guilty to related criminal charges in D.C.
“Ineligible candidates who have engaged in insurrection in violation of the Constitution are not eligible for candidacy under New York law,” the senators wrote. “Donald Trump, as the leader of such an insurrection, should not be listed on New York ballots.”
The ex-president, 77, facing 91 felonies in four criminal cases and a slew of lawsuits, ignored a question from the Daily News at his civil fraud trial Thursday when asked to respond to the lawmakers’ effort. A campaign spokesperson did not respond to inquiries.
A spokesperson for the BOE, which determines candidates’ eligibility, did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.
Section three of the 14th Amendment says anyone sworn to uphold the Constitution — whether as an officer of the U.S., congress member, state lawmaker, executive or judicial leader — who engaged “in insurrection or rebellion” against it cannot hold public office.
On Wednesday, Colorado’s Supreme Court heard arguments about whether the Civil War-era provision should prohibit Trump from moving back into the Oval Office. The justices questioned whether the clause — which doesn’t specifically mention the presidency — can apply to Trump, The Associated Press reported.
The Colorado justices heard the case brought on behalf of the state’s Republican and unaffiliated voters by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, who appealed a November 17 decision by a district court judge who found Trump “engaged” in the insurrection but denied a request to keep him off the ballot, citing the provision in question’s unclear language. Similar bids to boot Trump from the ballot in states including Michigan and Arizona have failed.
Trump’s lawyer Scott Gessler, representing him in the Colorado case, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Hoylman-Sigal told the Daily News that the letter serves as a notice to state election officials and interested parties “that we’re watching.”
“Ideally the BOE would move to exclude Trump from the primary and general election ballots under the 14th Amendment,” he said.
“If they do let him, at that point, interested groups could file lawsuits.”