A Republican lawmaker is seeking to impeach Maine’s Secretary of State after Donald Trump was barred from that state’s primary ballot
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The latest move to bar the former President from a state primary ballot is “hyper-partisanship on full display,” an official said
A Republican representative has filed impeachment proceedings against Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows after she ruled that Donald Trump is ineligible to stand in that state’s 2024 Republican primary ballot.
Bellows, a Democrat, determined late on Thursday that the former US President had violated the terms of a little-known clause in the United States Constitution by fomenting an insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
The move, Bellows said, was not reached “lightly,” and followed a similar ruling by Colorado’s Supreme Court to prevent Trump from appearing on that state’s Republican-primary ballot.
The mounting challenges to Trump’s candidacy – and legal eligibility – to stand once more for the highest office in the US potentially sets up explosive political theater ahead of November’s election; the latest salvo of which has been fired by the Maine state representative, John Andrews.
“This is hyper-partisanship on full display,” Andrews wrote early Friday on social media, announcing that he had filed impeachment proceedings against Bellows due to her decision.
“A Secretary of State APPOINTED by legislative Democrats bans President Trump from the 2024 ballot so that she can jockey for position in the 2026 Democratic Primary for Governor,” Andrews added. “Banana Republic isn’t just a store at the mall.”
Andrews explained that his filing of impeachment proceedings is on the grounds of Bellows “barring an American citizen and 45th President of the United States, who is convicted of no crime or impeachment, their right to appear on the Maine primary ballot.”
Andrews’ efforts are unlikely to succeed, given that the Democrats hold strong majorities in the state House and Senate.
In Maine law, the secretary of state is empowered to prevent any candidate from running if they are deemed to be constitutionally ineligible. Bellows is also entitled to prevent a candidate from seeking office if their declaration to run – which includes an oath in which they say they are eligible for office – is considered to be false.
Trump’s campaign has said that Bellows’ decision amounts to “election interference.” While the former president’s next move remains unclear, one avenue is a possible challenge in Maine’s Superior Court.
However, John Dean, a legal expert who was US President Richard Nixon’s White House attorney, told CNN on Thursday that the Maine decision will be difficult to appeal. “Trump’s in trouble,” he said.