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

Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenMissouri man indicted for allegedly threatening two congressmen Tim Ryan: Prosecutors reviewing video of Capitol tours given by lawmakers before riot House subcommittee debates reparations bill for Black Americans 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.Don TrumpTrump: 'I can't imagine' any Republican would beat me in 2024 primary if I run Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged Donald Trump Jr. attacks Cheney at CPAC: 'Lincoln Project Liz' MORE, and his son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerBiden to speak with Saudi king 'soon' as pressure builds for Khashoggi report Biden to speak with Saudi king ahead of Khashoggi report: report Former Trump officials eye bids for political office MORE will both be indicted by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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 ClintonHere's who Biden is now considering for budget chief Clinton praises Dolly Parton's cold shoulder top from vaccination: 'Shall we make this a trend?' Trump was unhinged and unchanged at CPAC 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 Jazeera launching conservative media platform Exclusive 'Lucky' excerpt: Vow of Black woman on Supreme Court was Biden turning point Paris Agreement: Biden's chance to restore international standing MORE in the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote by a little more than 500,000 votes.