Dem introduces bills to eliminate Electoral College, stop presidents from pardoning themselves

Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenImpeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Boeing CEO gives up bonus over 737 Max crashes Democrat says he voted to recognize Armenian genocide because 'Turkey doesn't seem to respect' US MORE (D-Tenn.), a vocal critic of President Trump, on Thursday introduced two bills to eliminate the Electoral College and prevent presidents from pardoning themselves or their family members.

Cohen introduced the constitutional amendments on the first night of the 116th Congress, both digs at Trump. 

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“Presidents should not pardon themselves, their families, their administration or campaign staff," Cohen said in a statement. "This constitutional amendment would expressly prohibit this and any future president, from abusing the pardon power.”

The amendments are unlikely to pass since they require a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress and then must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.

Cohen has previously predicted that Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump Jr. visit to 'The View' boosts ratings to highest in six months Sean Spicer eliminated from 'Dancing with the Stars' Trump Jr.: How can Dems beat Trump if they can't boot Sean Spicer from DWTS? MORE, and his son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerOvernight Defense: Families sue over safety hazards at Army base | Lawmakers, NBA's Enes Kanter speak out ahead of Erdoğan visit | Washington braces for public impeachment hearings Bolton suggests Trump's Turkey policy motivated by personal, financial interest: NBC In new North Korea talks, 'achievable' is the watchword MORE will both be indicted by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE. He did not offer evidence for his assertion.

Mueller is reportedly working on the final report in the Russia probe, which has reportedly included an investigation of Trump Jr.'s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower. 

Trump in June of last year said he has the right to pardon himself, but insisted he has no reason to do so because he has not committed a crime. 

"As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” the president wrote in a tweet.

Some Democrats have also increasingly criticized the Electoral College since 2016, when Trump lost the popular vote to his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, but won the presidency because he won the Electoral College. 

Trump won 304 electoral votes compared to 227 for Clinton. 

"In two presidential elections since 2000, including the most recent one in which Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Krystal Ball credits Gabbard's upswing in 2020 race to 'feckless' Democratic establishment Outsider candidates outpoll insider candidates MORE won 2.8 million more votes than her opponent, the winner of the popular vote did not win the election because of the distorting effect of the outdated Electoral College," Cohen said in his statement announcing the constitutional amendment. "Americans expect and deserve the winner of the popular vote to win office."

"More than a century ago, we amended our Constitution to provide for the direct election of U.S. Senators," he added. "It is past time to directly elect our President and Vice President.”

In the 2000 presidential election, then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush defeated Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreKrystal Ball hits media over questions on Sanders's electability Democratic handwringing hits new highs over 2020 2020 general election debates announced MORE in the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote by a little more than 500,000 votes.