The Disqualification Damage Has Already Been Done To Donald Trump
It doesn't matter whether Donald Trump stays disqualified or not, the general election damage has already been done.
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The Maine Disqualification Is Politically Devastating For Trump
The Colorado Supreme Court decision that Trump is disqualified from the ballot was a vital legal ruling for the protection of democracy, but it was a court ruling, which means that it was not written in the most clear and accessible language. The Colorado ruling was written as a legal document.
The ruling by Maine’s Secretary of State that disqualified Trump was also written based on the law of the state, but it makes the argument for why Trump is constitutionally disqualified in a much easier-to-understand way.
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. 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.
There appears to be no dispute between any of the parties that President Biden prevailed over Mr. Trump. Therefore, given Mr. Trump has only won a single election for President, he is not barred from being elected to the same office again under the Twenty-Second Amendment.
I do not reach this conclusion lightly. Democracy is sacred… I am mindful that no Secretary of State has ever deprived a presidential candidate of ballot access based on Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. I am also mindful, however, that no presidential candidate has ever before engaged in insurrection. The oath I swore to uphold the Constitution comes first above all, and my duty under Maine’s election laws, when presented with a Section 336 challenge, is to ensure that candidates who appear on the primary ballot are qualified for the office they seek.
The events of January 6, 2021 were unprecedented and tragic. They were an attack not only upon the Capitol and government officials, but also an attack on the rule of law. The evidence here demonstrates that they occurred at the behest of, and with the knowledge and support of, the outgoing President. The U.S. Constitution does not tolerate an assault on the foundations of our government, and Section 336 requires me to act in response.
Trump incited an attack against his own country. The former president tried to use an insurrection to illegally stay in power after losing an election. Sec. of State Bellows laid out the argument clearly.
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