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Judge rejects Trump team bid to end Colorado 14th Amendment trial, Kash Patel testifies

The plaintiffs argue that Trump is ineligible to seek reelection because of the 14th Amendment's "insurrection" clause.

Published: November 1, 2023 4:38pm

A Colorado judge on Wednesday rejected a bid from former President Donald Trump's legal team to end the trial to determine his eligibility to appear on the state 2024 GOP primary ballot, before his counsel brought Kash Patel as their first witness.

The Trump team had asked Denver District Court Judge Sarah B. Wallace for a directed verdict, in which she would issue a decision prior to the end of the trial, effectively ending the case, though she denied their request.

Following the denial, Trump's legal counsel brought Patel, former National Security Council Senior Director, to testify as a witness. Patel discussed the events surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The trial began on Monday.

The plaintiffs argue that Trump is ineligible to seek reelection because of the 14th Amendment's "insurrection" clause. The trial is expected to last a week, with the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, on behalf of six voters, suing the Colorado secretary of state and Trump. The Colorado GOP has also intervened in the case.

On Wednesday, Gerard Magliocca, a law professor at Indiana University, was the plaintiffs' expert witness regarding the 14th Amendment's "insurrection" clause in Section 3. Magliocca testified about the history of the clause in the amendment and how the term 'insurrection' was defined and interpreted around the time that the amendment was ratified to the U.S. Constitution.

Based upon Magliocca's review of the history of the definition of "insurrection" and the historical interpretations of the "insurrection" clause in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, he said that the clause doesn't just apply to the Civil War and that words can incite insurrection. However, during cross-examination by Trump's lawyer, Scott Gessler, Magliocca said that he couldn't define 'incitement' because he's not a First Amendment expert.

Following Magliocca's testimony, the plaintiffs brought to the witness stand the Colorado secretary of state's deputy director of the Elections Division, Hilary Rudy, to discuss the requirements of a candidate to appear on the state primary ballot. Former Trump aide Kash Patel later took the stand for the defense, recalling discussions about the potential deployment of the National Guard as a "proactive, preventive measure."

Monday with petitioner lawyers saying Trump told the crowd 20 times to "fight" before they went to the Capitol Hill to riot.

On Tuesday, plaintiffs' expert witness Dr. Peter Simi, a sociology professor at Chapman University, testified that Trump has called for violence and that he hadn’t seen another American political figure endorse violence the way Trump has done.