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

Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenMemphis congressman asks Tennessee, neighboring states to issue shelter-in-place orders Centrist Democrats insist Sanders would need delegate majority to win Clinton advises checking your voter registration during Trump's State of the Union 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 TrumpTwitter says coronavirus disinformation spread by Chinese officials does not violate rules Former lawyer for trophy hunting group joins Trump administration A rarely used fine could limit the spread of the coronavirus to the United States MORE, and his son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerOvernight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill Trump spars with reporter over Kushner's 'our stockpile' remark Democratic senators want probe into change of national stockpile description MORE will both be indicted by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 ClintonFormer Obama adviser Plouffe predicts 'historical level' of turnout by Trump supporters Poll: More Republican voters think party is more united than Democratic voters Whoopi Goldberg presses Sanders: 'Why are you still in the race?' 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 GoreAl Gore blasts Trump: 'You can't gaslight a virus' Who should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes unexpected step to stem coronavirus MORE in the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote by a little more than 500,000 votes.