On the fourth day of a legal proceeding initiated by a coalition of six Colorado voters, which seeks to prevent former President Donald Trump from appearing on the state’s 2024 presidential ballot, Congressman Ken Buck was called to testify by Trump’s defense team.
The plaintiffs are Norma Anderson, Michelle Priola, Claudine Cmarada, Krista Kafer, Kathi Wright, and Christopher Castilian and are represented by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Tierney Lawrence Stiles LLC, KBN Law LLC., and Olson Grimsley Kawanabe Hinchcliff & Murray LLC.
The case alleges that Trump violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment which disqualifies any individual from holding federal office if they have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States.
Congressman Ken Buck was charged with refuting the January 6 committee’s report which accused Trump of being involved in an insurrection.
On Thursday, he delivered his testimony remotely from his office in Washington, D.C. Buck highlighted various issues with the committee’s approach, such as their lack of cross-examination of witnesses, questioning evidence, and subpoenaing documents that could have disproved the allegations against Trump.
He argued that the committee was politically motivated and had a bias against Trump.
“It’s like going into a courtroom as a prosecutor, not having a defense counsel or a defendant. I think, in order to be able to judge someone’s culpability, you’ve got to be able to hear both sides of the story, and in this case, there was not another side,” Buck said.
Buck’s testimony primarily centered around his experiences from January 6 and his views on the report from the January 6 committee, as reported by 9 News.
“I voted to certify the election. I thought what happened on January 6 was obviously bad. It was a riot in the Capitol building. It was meant to disturb a proceeding, and I felt that the parts of the report that I saw described those things. It went beyond that in other areas and that’s where I think the cross-examination, in terms of the president’s culpability, would have been important,”
“A police officer came to the microphone and said that tear gas had been dispersed. And we were advised that there were gas masks under our seats, and we should deploy those gas masks. There was clear indication that there was a danger at that point.”
“I came back to my office rather than the secure committee room, and I saw on TV what was going on and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, there are a lot of people out there.”
Buck revealed that he had voiced his wish to be appointed to the committee to then-Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. However, McCarthy declined Buck’s request in his capacity.
“I actually called Kevin McCarthy because of my background as a prosecutor, and I asked Kevin if I could get his permission to seek to serve on that committee because I thought it was important that witnesses were cross-examined, and documents were challenged. And Kevin told me that he did not want me serving on that committee, and that he did not want anybody else, any other Republican, serving on that committee,” Buck said.
During cross-examination, Buck was asked whether the President’s remarks had provoked violence amongst his supporters.
“If President Trump says, ‘it’s your duty to vote, you need to go vote,’ I think that his supporters would listen to that and follow his instructions. I think if President Trump says, ‘you know, I want you to go kill somebody,’ I don’t think political supporters, being political supporters, and not otherwise engaged, would go and kill somebody. I think it depends on what the order is. And I think it depends on the legality of the order. And I think it depends on the context of the order,” Buck said.
Attorney Mario Nicolais, representing the petitioners aiming to prevent Trump’s qualification, sought to connect Buck’s recent video statement—where he announced his decision to refrain from seeking reelection—with his perceptions of the events of January 6.
Nicolais asked, “Did you also say, ‘These insidious narratives breed widespread cynicism and erode Americans confidence in the rule of law?’” To which Buck responded in the affirmative. Nicolais followed up with a query regarding what lies and insidious narratives he was referring to. Before Buck could answer however, Scott Gessler, Trump’s attorney, interjected.
Gessler raised a formal objection, asserting that the questions regarding Buck’s reelection video statement were beyond the scope of his direct testimony and not intended to be used for bias.
He urged that allowing this line of questioning would create an unnecessary distraction from the commission report centered around Buck’s January 6 experience.
The judge agreed with Gessler’s objection and did not find sufficient reason to continue in this direction.
Buck agreed that the Jan 6 Committee was incomplete and one-sided.
The Colorado congressman agreed with Trump attorney Scott Gessler’s sentiments that the report was “incomplete” with “one perspective,” saying that it was just an excuse to bolster Democratic efforts to impeach the former president.
“There was a political purpose to that report, as there is with almost everything in Congress, and the political purpose was ultimately to win elections and to paint the one side in as bad a light as possible,” Buck said. “And that’s why typically there is a minority report in an investigation like this.”
“It’s my view that the people that would have been most challenging to the evidence and testimony were not seated, either by [former] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi or Leader McCarthy, ultimately on the committee,” Buck added. “I think in order to be able to judge someone’s culpability you’ve got to be able to hear both sides of the story. And in this case, there was not another side.”
Ken Buck recently declared that he would not be seeking re-election to Congress.
In an official video statement released on Wednesday, Buck highlighted his dissatisfaction with the current direction of the Republican Party, citing dishonesty amongst its leaders in regard to the 2020 election and the Capitol riots of January 6th 2021.