New Dem Bills Aim to Eliminate Electoral College, Prevent Trump From Pardoning Himself, His Family and His Administration

U.S. President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump talks to journalists during a meeting of his Cabinet at the White House on January 2. A partial federal government shutdown entered its 12th day as Trump and House Democrats are at an impasse over funding for border security, including the president’s demand for $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A bill to eliminate the Electoral College was introduced by a member of the Democratic Party on Thursday night.

Representative Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, put forward the proposal on the first night of the 116th Congress after his party took official control of the House.

A number of high-profile Democrats have been highly critical of the Electoral College, which cost Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.

Read more: Nancy Pelosi fires warning at Trump

Clinton won 65.8 million votes but President Donald Trump won the race for the White House as he bagged 304 electoral votes to Clinton's 227, despite losing the popular vote.

"In two presidential elections since 2000, including the most recent one in which Hillary Clinton 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than her opponent, the winner of the popular vote did not win the election because of the distorting effect of the outdated Electoral College," Cohen said in his statement, as reported by The Hill.

"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. It is past time to directly elect our president and vice president."

Cohen, who has been a vocal critic of President Trump, also tabled a second constitutional amendment, aimed at preventing the president from pardoning himself or any of his family members.

In June, Trump argued it was within his rights to pardon himself, though he insisted he had no reasons to do so as he had never broken the law.

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? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018

"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?" he tweeted.

A month later, Cohen told CNN that he believed Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner would both be indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

"I think they're getting closer to knowing that the truth is going to come out that there were activities with the Trump campaign and Russia in releasing those hacks and guiding them to the states and the localities where they came from," he said.

Cohen, however, did not offer any evidence for his assertion as to why Mueller would be close to indicting Trump and Kushner.

Upon presenting the bill on Thursday, the Democrat insisted presidents should not be allowed to pardon themselves.

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

Neither bill is likely to pass, as they would have to win support in two-thirds of both houses of Congress, before being ratified 75 percent of the states.

Read more: House Democrats approve measure to end government shutdown, do not allot funding for Donald Trump's border wall