Colorado Secretary of State ‘Extremely Concerned’ About Pro-Trump Violence

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said Wednesday she is “extremely concerned” about fanatical supporters of Donald Trump becoming violent in response to the state Supreme Court ruling that Trump is ineligible to appear on Colorado’s 2024 presidential primary ballot.

“I’ve been concerned about violence and threats of violence since Donald Trump incited the insurrection,” Griswold, who has been Colorado’s Democratic secretary of state since 2019, said in an interview. “I’ve received hundreds if not thousands of threats at this point.”

She’s faced an astounding uptick in threats amid the lawsuit over Trump’s eligibility to appear on the state ballot, even though she has nothing to do with it. The case, which was brought in September by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, was filed by six unaffiliated and Republican voters in Colorado.

“I filed it because I’m the secretary of state. I did not bring this case,” Griswold said. “Within three weeks of it being filed, I received 64 death threats and over 900 non-lethal threats of abuse. I stopped counting after that.”

“So yes, I’m extremely concerned,” she added. “It just underlines that Donald Trump is a major threat to American democracy, elections and stability. He uses threats and intimidation against his political opponents. When he doesn’t win elections, he tries to steal them. He is a dangerous leader for this country.”

"I stopped counting,” Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said of the death threats she's gotten related to the lawsuit over whether Donald Trump is disqualified from being on the state's 2024 presidential primary ballot.
“I stopped counting,” Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said of the death threats she’s gotten related to the lawsuit over whether Donald Trump is disqualified from being on the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot.

Griswold is waiting to see what happens next in the lawsuit before proceeding with certifying the state’s ballots. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Trump is disqualified from appearing on the state ballot because he incited an insurrection and violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. Trump’s campaign has vowed to appeal the decision with the U.S. Supreme Court, which has until Jan. 4 to weigh in, per the Colorado court’s ruling.

Griswold emphasized that she’ll follow whatever court decision is in place when it is time to certify ballots. Her statutory deadline is Jan. 5, but there are other steps that happen before the ballots are printed, she said, so there is a little wiggle room to accommodate for more court decisions. Regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court does or doesn’t do, she said Colorado voters can rest assured their elections will be on track and play out fine.

“I think we’ll have a good election, just like normal,” Griswold said.

For the moment, though, Trump is disqualified from being on the ballot, and Griswold says she agrees with the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision.

“The provision in the Constitution to stop insurrectionists from holding office is there for a reason,” she said. “Trump incited the insurrection. There shouldn’t be a loophole that allows a president to violate the oath of office and be on the ballot again.”

Asked if she worries about her safety as she openly condemns Trump, the Colorado secretary of state conceded that the hardest part of her job has been the “threat atmosphere.” She noted that two men have been arrested and found guilty of threatening her in the past two years.

Still, Griswold said she refuses to give in to extremists.

“I will not be intimidated,” she said. “We cannot allow these people trying to steal elections and using rhetoric to incite violence… to not be opposed with the truth. I’ll be as smart as possible with my security issues, but I am not going to be intimidated by Donald Trump or anybody else on the MAGA right.”

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