Trump campaign demands Maine Sec. of State Bellows disqualify self from decision on Trump ballot eligibility over past displays of anti-Trump bias

 December 28, 2023

Democratic Maine Secretary of State Sheena Bellows will reportedly soon issue a determination on whether or not former President Donald Trump can appear on the state's 2024 primary election ballot amid claims that he is ineligible under Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.

Trump's campaign, citing past statements from Bellows that display her bias on the matter, is now demanding that she recuse and disqualify herself from making that final decision about the former president's ballot eligibility, according to The Hill.

In addition to a campaign statement calling for Bellows' disqualification, Trump's attorneys also sent the secretary a letter to formally remind her of her obligation under Maine law to recuse herself from the matter that, per her own past statements, has already been prejudged.

Maine secretary to decide matter of Trump's ballot eligibility

The Hill reported that Maine is among the latest of multiple states to face challenges over former President Trump's ballot eligibility under the theory that he incited the Jan. 6 Capitol riot "insurrection" in 2021 and was therefore disqualified from ever holding public office again under the 14th Amendment's "insurrection and rebellion" clause.

Unlike in most other states where such challenges are being addressed in the courts, Maine's secretary of State is first allowed to decide on such claims before they can then be appealed and handled in court.

The Trump campaign does not trust Sec. Bellows in that regard, however, given that she has previously referred to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as an "insurrection" and has made her bias against the former president abundantly clear on social media.

Campaign calls out Bellows in statement

"Today, President Trump’s legal team issued a request to the Maine Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, to disqualify herself from ruling on his ballot eligibility," the Trump campaign said in a statement. "The Secretary is a completely biased Democrat partisan and a Biden supporter who is incapable of making a fair decision and allowing the people of Maine the right to vote for the candidate of their choosing."

"Any attempt to remove President Trump’s name from the ballot is blatant election interference," the statement continued. "It is unConstitutional, unAmerican, and wrong."

"Sec. Bellows’s social media history displays a deep disdain for President Trump and betrays a level of personal animus and bias so deep that she is rendered incapable of allowing a fair hearing of this pressing matter," the campaign added. "Partisan, Biden-supporting Democrats cannot be allowed to erase his name from the ballot, as doing so would be a disgrace to the Constitution and a complete and total disregard for the civil rights of millions of American voters."

Letter from Trump's attorneys urges Bellows to disqualify herself from ballot eligibility decision

In the letter to Sec. Bellows, Trump's attorney wrote, "President Trump requests that the Secretary disqualify herself from this matter because she has already concluded that President Trump engaged in insurrection -- a determination that she made well before the submission of evidence or argument in this current matter. Because the Secretary has exhibited a personal bias in this matter, she should disqualify herself from further proceedings."

The letter highlighted three particular statements from Bellows, the first two of which were issued on the day Trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial and the third statement on the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, in which she referenced the "insurrection" and expressed her belief that Trump should have been punished for his purported role in the incident.

"Using similar language, the Challengers have claimed that the events of January 6, 2021, constituted a violent insurrection and that President Trump somehow poses a danger from which Maine voters must be protected. Thus, the Secretary has already passed judgment on the Challengers’ core assertions," the attorneys wrote.

"Furthermore, by calling the impeachment proceedings and Senate vote an 'indictment' of President Trump, the Secretary has exhibited a personal bias against him," they continued. "The Secretary has bluntly stated that President Trump should have been impeached, and later called him an 'insurrectionist' who 'failed.' These statements address the very claims at issue in this case; indeed, the Secretary has already agreed with the Challengers’ factual claims."

After citing the relevant Maine laws that seemingly require Bellows' recusal, the letter concluded, "For these reasons, President Trump asks that the Secretary: (1) disqualify herself from rendering judgment in this matter; (2) appoint an unbiased, impartial hearing officer; and (3) transfer the matter to the appointed hearing officer."

Latest News

© 2024 - Patriot News Alerts