Republicans in Maine reportedly preparing for impeachment of state secretary who booted Trump from ballot

Republicans in Maine are reportedly prepping to impeach Secretary of State Shenna Bellows for booting former President Donald Trump off the 2024 GOP primary ballot.

“I wish to impeach Secretary Bellows on the grounds that she is barring an American citizen and 45th President of the United States, who is convicted of no crime or impeachment, their right to appear on a Maine Republican Primary ballot,” state Rep. John Andrews announced in a statement Friday.

“Donald J. Trump has met all qualifications for the March 2024 Republican Presidential Primary. He should be allowed on the ballot. This is raw partisanship and has no place in the offices of our state’s Constitutional Officers,” he added.

I wasn’t planning to impeach the Secretary of State tonight, but here we are…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

‘Rep. John…

Posted by Representative John Andrews on Thursday, December 28, 2023

Later speaking with Fox News, Andrews doubled down.

“In Maine, the people do not elect the Secretary of State, Attorney General or Treasurer,” he said. “They are chosen by elected Democrat Party insiders after deals are made in the back room of State House.”

“Shenna Bellows knows that the process that put her there is extremely partisan. She should know better and be going out of her way to be as neutral as possible to serve every citizen in Maine and not just registered Democrats. That’s why she swore an oath to the Constitution and not the Democrat Party. We are still a republic, but moves like this fracture that foundation, which ultimately is the point of all this,” he added.

Appearing on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Andrews went so far as to accuse Bellows of having “disenfranchised 300,060 Maine voters with this partisan move.”

He also gave a shout-out to Maine Rep. Jared Golden, a rare Democrat who’s also spoken out against Bellows, despite being someone who’d previously voted to impeach Trump:

“I voted to impeach Donald Trump for his role in the January 6th insurrection. I do not believe he should be re-elected as President of the United States,” Golden said in a statement Friday.

“However, 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,” he added.

Appearing on CNN later Friday, Bellows reportedly sought to defend herself from the mounting criticism.

“I reviewed Section Three of the 14th Amendment very carefully and determined that Section Three of the 14th Amendment does not say ‘conviction,’ it says ‘engage,'” she said.

“And, let’s go back and keep in mind that the events of January 6, 2021, were unprecedented and tragic. This was an attack, not only on the Capitol and the government officials, the former vice president, members of Congress, but an attack on the rule of law,” she added.

“And the weight of evidence that I reviewed indicated that it was, in fact, an insurrection. And Mr. Trump engaged in that insurrection under Section Three of the 14th Amendment,” she continued.

Listen:

All this comes days after Bellows announced on Thursday that Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s ballot as per the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection clause.”

“I conclude… that the record establishes that Mr. Trump, over the course of several months and culminating on January 6, 2021, used a false narrative of election fraud to inflame his supporters and direct them to the Capitol to prevent certification of the 2020 election and the peaceful transfer of power,” she wrote in the ruling. “I likewise conclude that Mr. Trump was aware of the likelihood for violence and at least initially supported its use given he both encouraged it with incendiary rhetoric and took no timely action to stop it.”

“Mr. Trump’s occasional requests that rioters be peaceful and support law enforcement do not immunize his actions. A brief call to obey the law does not erase conduct over the course of months, culminating in his speech on the Ellipse. The weight of the evidence makes clear that Mr. Trump was aware of the tinder laid by his multi-month effort to delegitimize a democratic election, and then chose to light a match,” she added.

Later that same evening, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed Bellows for this move, arguing that she’d opened up “Pandora’s box” with this foolishness.

Vivek Saxena

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