Top GOP lawmakers are coming to Trump's aid at the Supreme Court.
The group suggested Trump can't be held responsible as an insurrectionist for the January 6, 2021 riots.
Mitch McConnell, who after the Capitol riot blamed Trump, signed onto the brief.
What does "insurrection" even mean?
That's the question top Republican lawmakers — including Mitch McConnell, who previously held Donald Trump responsible for the riot on January 6, 2021 — are asking the Supreme Court in a brief defending him from being disqualified in the 2024 election.
In a legal brief filed Thursday, 179 Republican politicians urged the court to overturn a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that kicked Trump off the 2024 ballot because it found he violated the 14th Amendment's Section 3, which bans those who "engaged in" insurrection from running.
Trump appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, which agreed to take up the pivotal case in the coming weeks. Since then, Maine also threw Trump off the ballot.
In their legal brief, the lawmakers argued Congress should enforce the 14th Amendment and that loose definitions of "insurrection" would allow "widespread abuse of Section 3 against political opponents."
"Both Trump and Biden partisans could try to disqualify each other under Section 3, in tit-for-tat retaliation that has already been threatened," the Republicans wrote.
Among the Republicans who signed the brief are 42 Senators, including McConnell, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Tom Cotton, as well as top House GOP leaders like Speaker of the House Mike Johnson and Majority Leader Steve Scalise.
The brief to the Supreme Court argues the definition of "insurrection" used by the Colorado's court was too vague to throw Trump off the ballow.
"In large part, the court vaguely defined "insurrection" by what it isn't," the brief says.
The lawmakers also imply that Trump can't be held responsible for the riot, saying in the brief that Trump "urged the crowd to act 'peaceful[ly]' and respect law enforcement."
"It is hard to imagine an actual insurrectionist quickly asking for peace and encouraging disbandment," the brief reads. "But once 'engage in' is defined so broadly, even significant countervailing evidence can simply be labeled as a ruse, as insufficient, or even as an implied recognition and praise of ongoing violence."
Trump issued a statement telling his supporters to stop after they had breached the Capitol by smashing windows and attacking police to stop Joe Biden's victory from being certified.
A recent report by ABC News cited sources that claim Trump himself was reluctant to post the message and that one of his aides had to do it instead.
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