Trump attorneys demand Maine secretary of state disqualify herself from ruling on Trump ballot eligibility

Unlike other states where suits have been filed alleging that Trump is not eligible to be on the primary ballot in their respective state, Like Colorado or Michigan, Maine allows the secretary of state to first weigh in on the issue

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Attorneys for Donald Trump put out a letter on Wednesday calling for Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows to disqualify herself from deciding on whether Trump can remain on the ballot in the state.

The letter requests that Bellows disqualify herself "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."

According to The Hill, unlike other states where suits have been filed alleging that Trump is not eligible to be on the primary ballot in their respective state, Like Colorado or Michigan, Maine allows the secretary of state to first weigh in on the issue. Challengers can then appeal the decision in a state court.

The letter notes three specific instances of Bellows’ personal bias in public statements she made.

In one post on X, then known as Twitter, made on February 13, 2021, Bellows wrote, "The Jan 6 insurrection was an unlawful attempt to overthrow the results of a free and fair election. Today 57 Senators including King & Collins found Trump guilty. That's short of impeachment but nevertheless an indictment. The insurrectionists failed, and democracy prevailed."

A second post on February 13, 2021 referring to the impeachment vote read, "Not saying not disappointed. He should have been impeached. But history will not treat him or those who voted against impeachment kindly."

A third post, made on January 6, 2022, one year after the events of January 6, 2021, Bellows wrote in response to a news story about her efforts to protect election officials, ballots, and voting machine integrity, "One year after the violent insurrection, it’s important to do all we can to safeguard our elections."

The letter states that "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."

Bellows, the letter stated, has "exhibited a personal bias" against Trump, and has "bluntly stated that President Trump should have been impeached, and later called him an 'insurrectionist' who 'failed.'"

"President Trump deserves a fair and impartial hearing. Both the Maine legislature and Maine courts demand that state administrative proceedings must be conducted fairly and with integrity. 'In an agency proceeding, parties have a right to an impartial presiding officer.’"

The letter notes that the attorneys only learned of this information at the end of the day on December 23, and urged that Bellows "designate an impartial hearing officer, withdraw from considering the matter, and turn over final adjudication to that impartial hearing officer."

"This is a far better course of action than rendering judgment after it has become evident."

Three petitions have been filed in the state challenging Trump’s eligibility to be on the ballot, and Bellows is set to decide on the issue in the coming days.

Other states have faced similar challenges to Trump’s eligibility, with Colorado’s Supreme Court ultimately ruling after an appeal that Trump was not eligible, but Miuchigan’s counterpart, in contrast, ruling on Wednesday that Trump could stay on the ballot.

Request to Disqualify Maine Secretary of State by Hannah Nightingale on Scribd

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