Republican Maine state representatives are fighting back against Democrat Maine Secretary of State Jenna Bellows’ decision to unilaterally remove Donald Trump from the primary ballot, even though the former president has met all requirements and has not been convicted of, or even charged, with a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
On Thursday, Bellows announced that, because she had determined that Trump had violated a section of the 14th Amendment, Trump would be removed from the state’s ballot, a ruling that has been put on hold, pending the result of appeals.
Later that day, Republican state Rep. John Andrews announced that he had filed a “request with the Maine Revisor’s Office for a Joint Order to impeach” the blatantly partisan secretary of state:
“I wish to impeach Secretary Bellows on the grounds that she is barring an American citizen and 45th President of the United States, who is convicted of no crime or impeachment, their right to appear on a Maine Republican Primary ballot.”
“Banana Republic isn't just a store at the mall. We have become a post rule of law society," Rep. Andrews warned in a Facebook post, denouncing Bellows’ politically-motivated ruling:
"This is hyper-partisanship on full display. 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 Democrat Primary for Governor.”
Bellows’ extra-legal use and interpretation of Section 3, Article 14 of the Constitution, if allowed to stand, would set a dangerous precedent that could backfire on Democrats, Rep. Andrews said in a Fox News Channel interview.
It could even be used to impeach President Joe Biden, Andrews explained:
“Under Shenna Bellows’ new standard, you could argue that Pres. Biden be barred due to Section 3, the statement of giving aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.
“I would argue that releasing billions to Iran and selling our strategic oil reserves to Chinese interests could qualify that, if no convictions are required under Shenna Bellows’ new rules.
“And that’s why this is such a dangerous game that she’s created.”
Maine's Republican Party has vowed to take its effort to restore Trump to the ballot all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.
Rep. Andrews’ effort to impeach Bellows is unlikely to succeed, given Democrats’ control the state House and Senate. But, it’s important to try, Republican state Rep. Mike Soboleski says:
"It needs to go down that road. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. I started the petition to make sure that we got as much involvement from hardworking Mainers.”
“We can't have this happen in our state. This is not who we are. We're not a one-sided government and we've been dealing with this too long."
“2024 will go down as the year of election interference,” Andrews declared in a New Year’s Eve post.