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Legal battle over Trump’s eligibility for presidency heats up

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A courtroom in Colorado became the focal point of a legal showdown as lawyers argued that Donald Trump should be barred from seeking the US presidency once more, citing an insurrection clause in the Constitution.

The former president, who currently leads in the race to become the Republican candidate for the 2024 election, is under scrutiny for his alleged role in inciting the 2021 assault on the US Capitol.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington advocacy group initiated a lawsuit, invoking a Civil War-era provision of the US Constitution that prohibits individuals who have engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” from holding federal office. Their aim is to prevent Trump from appearing on Colorado’s ballot, with hopes that this test case might have broader implications for his candidacy in other states.

Eric Olson, a lawyer representing the group, argued, “Trump incited a violent mob to attack our Capitol, to stop the peaceful transition of power,” as the trial commenced in a Colorado District Court.

Leading up to the Capitol riot, Trump had spent weeks disseminating false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden. He encouraged his supporters to gather in Washington, DC, and directed them to the US Capitol, where Congress was in the process of certifying Biden’s victory. It was only after hours of chaos that he eventually urged the rioters to disperse.

Trump’s legal team refuted the allegations, contending that he did not incite violence and cautioning against disqualifying him based on “legal theories that have never been embraced by a state or federal court.” Similar lawsuits against Trump are pending in Michigan and Minnesota, but the Colorado case was the first to go to trial.

Legal experts have expressed skepticism about the likelihood of success in this endeavor, especially given the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, which includes three Trump appointees, and their role in the final decision.

Despite facing four separate criminal indictments, Trump continues to maintain a substantial lead in the Republican candidate race, as indicated by polls.

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