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Trump demands recusal of Maine secretary of state in 14th Amendment determination

Former President Trump on Wednesday asked Maine’s secretary of state to recuse herself from her upcoming decision on the former president’s 14th Amendment ballot eligibility, citing her past statements about the June 6 riot. January at the Capitol.

Unlike other states, where plaintiffs have sued to challenge Trump’s electability, Maine’s system first allows the secretary of state to provide input. Respondents can then appeal to state court.

In response to three petitions challenging Trump’s election eligibility, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, is expected to issue a ruling in the coming days.

On Wednesday, Trump’s lawyers wrote Bellows a letter demanding that she disqualify herself over three tweets she previously posted referencing Jan. 6, including those in which she described the attack as an insurrection.

The 14th Amendment prohibits someone from holding “any office…under the United States” if they “have engaged in insurrection” after taking an oath to support the Constitution.

“Using similar language, the Challengers claimed that the events of January 6, 2021, constituted a violent insurrection and that President Trump somehow represented a danger from which Maine voters needed to be protected. Thus, the Secretary of State has already rendered judgment on the Challengers’ core claims,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the letter.

Bellows’ spokesperson said the secretary would not comment while the matter was ongoing.

The letter cites two social media posts Bellows made the day Trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial, which concerned the Capitol riot.

“The January 6 insurrection was an illegal attempt to overturn the results of a free and fair election. Today, 57 senators, including King and Collins, found Trump guilty. This is far from an indictment, but an indictment nonetheless. The insurgents failed and democracy prevailed,” Bellows wrote on Twitterthe platform now known as X.

The letter also takes aim at an article Bellows published on the one-year anniversary of Jan. 6, in which she republished a story highlighting Bellows’ efforts to protect election workers.

“One year after the violent insurrection, it is important to do everything we can to safeguard our elections. » Bellows wrote:.

Challenges to Trump’s election eligibility have been launched in states across the country. Earlier Wednesday, Michigan’s highest court rejected a challenge to the 14th Amendment, and similar suits have been dismissed in places like Minnesota.

In Colorado, however, the state’s highest court was the first to rule Trump ineligible in the state’s primary election, in a case expected to go to the U.S. Supreme Court within days .

This story was updated at 2:54 p.m.

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