Republican lawmakers in Maine are preparing impeachment orders against Secretary of State Shenna Bellows following her decision to remove former President Donald J. Trump from the Maine GOP presidential primary ballot.
“I wish to impeach her 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 Party ballot in March,” Rep. John Andrews (R-Paris) said in a statement.
“This is raw partisanship and has no place in the office of our state’s Constitutional Officers,” Andrews said.
Bellows, a former legal activist with the left-wing Maine Civil Liberties Union and a former Democratic state senator, released a statement Thursday evening regarding her decision to block Trump from the ballot.
“I conclude,” Bellows wrote in her official decision, “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.”
This, Bellows asserted, renders him guilty of the crime of insurrection, in her opinion.
Trump, however, has never been convicted of any crimes related to insurrection in either a court of law or the U.S. Senate.
Shortly after publicizing her decision, Bellows appeared on CNN and MSNBC to address national television audiences.
Trump has five days to notify the Secretary of State’s office whether he will appeal the decision.
With Maine’s legislature solidly under the control of the Maine Democratic Party, the impeachment effort isn’t likely to gather much momentum.
However, any votes related to Trump or Bellows decision could become tricky for Democrats in Maine’s more conservative Second Congressional District, which Trump won in both 2016 and 2020.
Bellows decision to unilaterally remove President Joe Biden’s top GOP competitor also drew criticism from Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Jared Golden.
Golden’s two GOP opponents, who have both supported Trump, also condemned the decision.