Trump removed from Maine’s primary ballot by Secretary of State: Live updates

Donald Trump doubles down on anti-immigrant rhetoric after Supreme Court decision

Maine’s top elections official has removed Donald Trump from 2024 primary election ballots, marking the second state to disqualify the former president in his bid for the White House for his involvement in the January 6 Capitol riots.

Shenna Bellows, the Maine Secretary of State, said in a filing on Thursday that the former president contributed to riots at the Capitol by using false claims of election fraud and then directing supporters there when Congress was set to certify the 2020 election results.

Hours later, California’s Secretary of State Dr Shirley Weber declined to block Mr Trump from the state’s ballot, including his name on a list of certified 2024 candidates to county election officials.

This comes as Colorado Republicans are asking the US Supreme Court to reverse an historic state Supreme Court ruling that removed him from that state’s 2024 ballots.

That request from the state GOP to the nation’s highest court followed the unprecedented ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court that found the former president is constitutionally ineligible from holding office for his role engaging with the Capitol riot in 2021.

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Report: Trump team flew fake elector ballots to DC ahead of Jan 6

Donald Trump’s campaign team physically flew “fake elector” ballots across the country to Washington DC in a last-ditch effort to overturn the 2020 election, a new report claims.

According to CNN, leaked witness testimony from a Michigan state investigation shows how Mr Trump’s aides scrambled to deliver the allegedly fraudulent paperwork to vice president Mike Pence before he could certify the election results.

The so-called “fake electors” plot hinged on the fact that American presidents are not directly elected by the people, but rather by 538 “electors” who are selected by their states based on the outcome of the vote.

Mr Trump’s team allegedly pressured state legislators to ignore the vote and choose their electors by fiat. When that did not work, they assembled their own group of electors with no legal standing and pushed vice president Mike Pence to accept it instead of the real ones.

Io Dodds reports on the details of the plot…

Oliver O’Connell29 December 2023 15:45

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Trump fundraising off Maine ballot decision

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is fundraising off the decision to remove him from the ballot in Maine over his role in the January 6 insurrection.

An email from Trump Save America with the subject line “Removed from the ballot in another state”, reads:

A Democrat Secretary of State and fierce ally of Crooked Joe Biden just REMOVED my name from the ballot in Maine.

There wasn’t even a TRIAL! She unilaterally ruled like a dictator to deprive citizens of their right to vote.

MY LAWYERS WILL IMMEDIATELY FIGHT THIS TYRANNICAL ASSAULT ON YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE. THIS CANNOT STAND.

WITH YOUR EMERGENCY SUPPORT, WE WILL WIN THIS FIGHT AND REMAIN ON THE BALLOT IN ALL 50 STATES.

Please make a contribution to join the fight to keep my name on the 2024 ballot and peacefully defend YOUR right to vote.

Maine has been a critical part in our path to 270 electoral votes.

So, Crooked Joe’s advisors are now systematically trying to disqualify me in the states that would get us to the 270 electoral votes needed to win back the White House.

The Democrats are trying to STEAL the 2024 election in broad daylight.

If we let them get away with it, the America you and I know and love will cease to exist.

In its place will be a Third World Dictatorship where your president is decided for you.

You have my word: I will not let left-wing judges STEAL the votes of a MAJORITY of Americans.

We will win this battle, we will win the 2024 election, and we will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

If you’re doing poorly due to the very corrupt Democrats who would rather try and eliminate my name from the ballot than actually lift a finger to help our country, then please do not donate at this time. I mean it! We will win this epic battle for America and this time next year, we will be celebrating as our nation makes its glorious comeback.

Please make a contribution to join the fight to keep my name on the 2024 ballot and peacefully defend YOUR right to vote.

Oliver O’Connell29 December 2023 15:35

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Maine senator Susan Collins opposes decision to block Trump from ballot

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) opposes the decision to exclude Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot.

In a statement posted to X, she said: “Maine voters should decide who wins the election – not a Secretary of State chosen by the Legislature.

“The Secretary of State’s decision would deny thousands of Mainers the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice, and it should be overturned.”

Ms Collins was one of the few Republican senators who voted to impeach then-president Trump after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Given that the former president is being removed from the ballot for his role in the January 6 insurrection, the senator’s statement is not exactly consistent with what she said after she voted to remove him from office.

She said in early 2021: “This impeachment trial is not about any single word uttered by President Trump on January 6, 2021. It is instead about President Trump’s failure to obey the oath he swore on January 20, 2017. His actions to interfere with the peaceful transition of power — the hallmark of our Constitution and our American democracy — were an abuse of power and constitute grounds for conviction.”

Notably, after Mr Trump’s first impeachment in which Ms Collins voted to acquit him, she said that he had learned his lesson.

Oliver O’Connell29 December 2023 15:25

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What do Trump’s GOP rivals think about Maine removing him from 2024 ballot?

Rachel Sharp reports on how the rest of the GOP primary field reacted:

Oliver O’Connell29 December 2023 15:15

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Ex-GOP lawmaker doubles down on claim Trump smells – ‘of armpits, ketchup and butt’

Former GOP lawmaker Adam Kinzinger has revealed new details about Donald Trump’s alleged bad odour, claiming that he reeks of a combination of several unsavoury scents including “armpits, ketchup, a butt”.

Speaking on The MeidasTouch Network on Thursday, Mr Kinzinger reignited the claims around the former president’s “not good” smell and launched into a lengthy description of it.

“It’s not good. The best way to describe it… take armpits, ketchup, a butt and makeup and put that all in a blender and bottle that as a cologne,” he said.

“That’s kind of that. I’ve been amazed that everybody is just kind of learning about this now,” he added.

Rachel Sharp29 December 2023 14:50

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Watch: Maine’s secretary of state explains why she disqualified Trump

In an interview with CNN after disqualifying Trump from appearing on 2024 ballots, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows explained why she came to the decision that not only did Trump engage with the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, he is ineligible for public office under the 14th Amendment because of it.

“The weight of the evidence brought forward under Maine law … made it clear that Mr Trump was aware of the tinder he laid in a multi-month effort to challenge the legitimacy of the 2020 election,” she said.

“And then, in an unprecedented and tragic series of events, chose to light a match.”

The former president hasn’t been charged with or convicted of insurrection, but “the applicablity of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment does not turn on whether or not [he] has been found guilty of a crime,” she said.

“I laid out that the record demonstrates that the events of January 6, 2021 … were insurrection, in the meaning of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment,” she told MSNBC. “In reviewing the facts presented, the evidence, the law, the history, we determined under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment that Mr Trump engaged in insurrection, and therefore was disqualified.”

Alex Woodward29 December 2023 14:30

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Black GOP lawmaker slams Nikki Haley’s Civil War flub

Oliver O’Connell29 December 2023 14:10

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Adam Kinzinger reveals new details about Trump’s apparent smell

Rachel Sharp29 December 2023 13:50

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Biden reacts to Trump’s festive ‘rot in hell’ Christmas message

President Joe Biden has reacted to Donald Trump’s angry Christmas Truth Social post in which the former president expressed a desire that his opponents “rot in hell”.

In the midst of ostensibly wishing a Merry Christmas to all, the former president ranted about “Crooked Joe Biden”, “Deranged Jack Smith”, “World leaders, both good and bad”, and the “sick…THUGS” within the country who are looking “destroy our once great USA”.

In response to reporting on the post, President Biden — a practicing Catholic and regular church-goer — took the opportunity to highlight the deep contrasts in character between him and his expected 2024 opponent.

Oliver O’Connell29 December 2023 13:30

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How the Supreme Court could upend Trump’s campaign

Two major constitutional questions before the nation’s highest court – where three of the nine justices were appointed by the former president – arrive in the middle of the 2024 race for the presidency, and could have resounding impacts beyond his campaign.

The stakes in the nation’s highest court have underscored the massive role that courtrooms have played in a campaign that frames the 91 criminal charges, fraud lawsuits and sexual abuse and defamation claims against him as evidence of a conspiracy to keep him away from the presidency.

The Supreme Court has declined to fast-track a decision to hear Trump’s “presidential immunity” defence in his election subversion case, which is still playing out in an appeals court, but the justices could ultimately be faced with that decision in a matter of weeks.

Meanwhile, the court is expected to decide what to do with a question of whether he is disqualified from Colorado’s 2024 ballot under the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection” clause, an argument raised in more than a dozen lawsuits across the country.

Alex Woodward29 December 2023 13:10


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