Joe Manchin says Senate should ‘look into’ forcing Cruz out: ‘These people should be held accountable’

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) still has a target on his back after he objected to the certification of the Electoral College votes by Congress on Jan. 6, the same day a group of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent siege.

The latest leftist to take aim at Cruz was Sen. Joe Manchin, a typically moderate West Virginia Democrat who said forcibly removing Cruz from his seat in the upper chamber should at least be a “consideration,” Breitbart reported Saturday.

“People should be held accountable”

According to Breitbart, Manchin’s remarks came Friday during an appearance on PBS’s Firing Line. There, host Margaret Hoover asked Manchin whether he would support “the removal of Senator [Josh] Hawley and Senator Cruz” via Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

Hawley, a Missouri Republican, has also faced criticism for his objections to Joe Biden’s electoral win.

“Well, they should look, absolutely,” Manchin told Hoover of the prospect of removing Cruz and Hawley from office, according to a transcript from RealClearPolitics. “I mean, basically, that should be a consideration,” the senator added.

“And he should you know, he understands that, Ted’s a very bright individual and I get along fine with Ted,” Manchin added of Cruz. “But what he did was totally outside of the realm of our responsibilities.”

The Democrat explained:

These people should be held accountable, because it’s sedition. You know, there was a reason that we went that we went to war. [There] was a reason that we said, King George, we’re not going to live under your present form of government for the United States or for our colonies. And they broke and they gave up everything for that. They didn’t…put a constitution together that swore allegiance to the monarchy or to a dictator or tyrant.

And the Republic, basically, the definition of a republic, it’s ruled by the people, not by an individual. So they’re going to have to make a decision. Is this the government you want? Do you really owe your allegiance to one person, more so than the freedoms that we have, the democracy and all that?

“Part of the insurrection”

Apparently unsatisfied with that response, Hoover pressed Manchin to confirm whether he believes Congress should consider removing members “who were part of the insurrection.”

“They should look at applying Amendment 14, Section 3 for just exactly what you explained and what it says, and the reason…that that was put into place…after the Civil War,” Manchin said, according to RealClearPolitics. “And that’s exactly where we are. Our country is divided as much now as even then. And it’s going to be more divided if we don’t pull together. And that’s why I say give us some time so that people can see the facts.”

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment referenced by Manchin and Hoover says, “No person shall be a senator or representative in Congress who, having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.”

It’s quite a stretch to say that Cruz’s objection to a state’s electoral count amounts to “rebellion” against the United States, however — and Cruz hasn’t been shy about defending himself against such attacks.

“Leading a debate in the Senate on ensuring election integrity is doing our jobs,” he said the day after the Capitol riot, according to Breitbart, “and it’s in no way responsible for the despicable terrorists who attacked the Capitol yesterday.”

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