Ken Buck Tries To Get Trump Disqualified From Ballot

In a high-profile case aiming to disqualify former President Trump from appearing on the 2024 ballot in Colorado, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) took the stand as a witness on behalf of Trump campaign attorneys. The case revolves around whether Trump’s actions and speeches during and before the January 6, 2021, riots could be considered participation or assistance in insurrection, which would violate the 14th Amendment’s clause banning individuals from federal office.

The plaintiffs argue that Trump’s actions supported the rioters who stormed the Capitol during Congress’s official Electoral College count, which confirmed Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Buck described the chaotic scene on January 6, recounting how Capitol Police tried to barricade the House chamber from the approaching rioters. He recalled a police officer announcing the dispersal of tear gas and instructing lawmakers to deploy gas masks, indicating the imminent danger.

Buck admitted that he was initially unaware of the riots due to the lack of phone reception. Believing only a few protesters entered the Capital, he returned to his office instead of seeking shelter in the secure committee room. However, seeing the events unfold on TV, he realized the severity of the situation, stating, “Oh my goodness, there are a lot of people out there.”

Buck’s testimony followed Rep. Eric Swalwell’s (D-Calif.) account of his own experience on January 6. Trump’s campaign attorneys utilized Buck’s testimony to challenge the credibility of the House Select Committee on January 6, whose report serves as crucial evidence in the Colorado case—notably, only two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) were part of the committee, as then-Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) prevented other GOP members from joining due to disputes over committee membership.

Buck revealed that he had sought permission from McCarthy to serve on the committee but was declined. He expressed his belief that witnesses should be cross-examined and documents challenged, emphasizing the importance of presenting both sides of the story. Buck aligned with Trump attorney Scott Gessler’s critique of the committee’s final report, describing it as “incomplete” and biased towards Democratic efforts to impeach Trump. He noted that the report served a political purpose and lacked a minority report, typically included in investigations like this.

While McCarthy pledged to investigate the committee’s findings, Buck argued that the absence of challenging committee voices hindered a fair assessment of guilt. He highlighted the need to hear both sides of the story to judge someone’s culpability accurately. Attorney Sean Grimsley, representing the plaintiffs, contended that Buck’s testimony served little purpose.