Rep. John Andrews (R-Paris) has filed a resolution that, if approved, would initiate an impeachment inquiry against Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows on account of her ruling last week to bar former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot.
Sponsored by Rep. Andrews, the resolution states that impeachment action is being brought against Secretary Bellows due to “grave and serious allegations” concerning her conduct.
The resolution orders that a House Special Investigative Committee be “established to investigate allegations of misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance and other misconduct” by Bellows.
“The committee shall conduct a comprehensive review of allegations of misconduct by [Bellows] regarding her actions in and after the adjudicatory proceeding in disqualifying [former President Trump] from inclusion on the State’s primary election ballot, including the failure to recuse herself for bias from that adjudicatory proceeding as required by the Maine Administrative Procedure Act,” the resolution states. “This bias is evidenced by her serving as a Maine presidential elector for [President Joe Biden] in the 2020 election.”
Following its “review and investigation,” the committee would be required to submit its “findings and recommendations” — including any potential articles of impeachment — to the House no later than January 31, 2024.
The resolution would, however, permit the committee to request “extensions of time” if necessary to complete its work.
“Shenna Bellows was an Elector in the Electoral College for Joe Biden in 2020,” Andrews told the Maine Wire. “She cannot be considered impartial by any rational standard with Joe Biden on the ballot.”
“She needs to be Impeached or resign,” Andrews said. “One of her qualified Deputies should be running the 2024 Presidential election in Maine.”
MAINE WIRE EXCLUSIVE:— The Maine Wire (@TheMaineWire) January 3, 2024
Here is the letter of impeachment brought against @shennabellows by Representative John Andrews.
Impeachment is expected to be on the calendar either Tuesday or Thursday. pic.twitter.com/NcBCQOvTAS
In the decision released late last week, Bellows argued that the “unprecedented and tragic” events of January 6, 2021 “occurred at the behest of, and with the knowledge and support of, the outgoing President,” thereby disqualifying him from the ballot under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment — a Civil War era provision originally aimed at preventing former confederates from holding office.
“The oath I swore to uphold the Constitution comes first above all, and my duty under Maine’s election laws, when presented with a [challenge], is to ensure that candidates who appear on the primary ballot are qualified for the office they seek,” Bellows said in her December ruling.
Earlier this week, Bellows publicly denounced the efforts to bring articles of impeachment against her.
“It’s absurd, and I don’t think it’s lawful under Maine’s constitution to bring impeachment of an elected official for doing their job and upholding the constitution and the rule of law,” Bellows said Sunday on WGME. “But honestly, I think it’s a gambit to distract from disagreement over an issue and this process.”
The resolution calling for an impeachment inquiry into the Secretary is expected to be on the House calendar either Tuesday or Thursday of next week.