Hochul on Trump Colorado ruling: ‘The American people ought to hold him accountable’

The New York governor said she’s watching the case “very closely.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul, left, and former President Donald Trump, right

Gov. Kathy Hochul, left, and former President Donald Trump, right Michael M. Santiago, KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul seemed to endorse a Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to bar former President Donald Trump from appearing on Republican primary ballots next year due to his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot – which the court ruled amounts to an insurrection or rebellion. 

“A Capitol that I used to proudly walk in as a member of Congress was literally under siege,” the Democratic governor said. “People died, people were injured and if he doesn't take responsibility for that, then the American people ought to hold him accountable.”

The Colorado court voted 4-3 on Tuesday to make Trump ineligible for a nomination due to his role in the Capitol insurrection, which left five people dead, including one police officer. Democrats and even some Republicans argued in the aftermath that Trump’s call to his supporters to appear at the Capitol was what led to the violence. His parroted belief that the election had been stolen incensed supporters who appeared en masse to stop the 2020 presidential election from being certified. 

Trump vowed to appeal the ruling, likely leaving his fate in the hands of the Supreme Court and its six-person conservative majority, including three Trump appointees. 

There is a similar push in New York to have Trump made illegible for next year’s Republican primary, which some have argued would backfire due to backlash from conservative voters. Spearheaded by state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal and other New York lawmakers, Democrats requested that the New York State Board of Elections remove Trump on the same constitutional grounds as the Colorado case. 

In response to the Colorado decision, Hoylman-Sigal said, “I hope New York will be next,” in a statement.

The measure was designed to stop members of the Confederacy from reclaiming power within the U.S. Democrats have argued that because of Trump's actions that day, for which he has not been convicted, the Board of Elections is obligated to remove him. 

Hochul said the decision was an important first step, but ultimately a higher court would be called upon to decide if Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 disqualify him from holding office.

“I'll be very intrigued to see whether similar to Colorado, a group of citizens who are aggrieved want to point out the fact that their state has been successful,” Hochul said. “We’ll see what the Supreme Court does, but it’s not something that we do.”