WASHINGTON (Gray DC) – Former President Donald Trump is disqualified from Maine’s 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot after Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows removed him, citing the Constitution’s insurrection clause.
Maine’s Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows made the decision after voters brought a series of challenges over his qualifications for office. Under state law, voters can challenge a candidate’s qualifications for office, leading to a public hearing to make a determination.
Bellows said she found he violated his oath of office because he engaged in an insurrection.
“My sole obligation is to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law,” Bellows said. “The weight of evidence presented in the hearing made it clear that Mr. Trump was aware of the tinder laid by a multi-month effort to date legitimize the election of 2020, and then on January 6, chose to light the match.”
Secretary Bellows said Trump violated section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which does not allow anyone who swore an oath to support the Constitution, and then “engaged in insurrection” against it, from holding office.
“The weight of evidence presented to me at the hearing demonstrated that the insurrection on January 6, 2021, happened at the behest of, and with the knowledge and support of the former outgoing president, Mr. Trump,” Bellows said.
Some officials say the state is getting ahead of legal proceedings that are already under way. Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) said in part, “We are a nation of laws, therefore until he is actually found guilty of the crime of insurrection, he should be allowed on the ballot.”
The Trump campaign said in a statement it will appeal Bellows’ decision to Maine’s courts.
Bellows has suspended her decision until the courts rule.
For the second time this month, former President Donald Trump has been removed from a state’s primary presidential election ballot. Colorado’s Supreme Court voted unanimously to remove him from the primary ballot on December 19.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule whether Trump appears on ballots in Maine and elsewhere, as other states consider whether to keep the former president on their ballots.
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