Trump Attorneys Demand Maine Official’s Recusal Over ‘Personal Bias’

The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision that former President Donald Trump’s name should be excluded from the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot has emboldened activists elsewhere across the country to pursue similar efforts to derail his bid for a second term in the White House.

In Maine, for example, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows is considering a trio of complaints asserting that Trump is somehow ineligible to be included on the state’s ballot. The state Constitution provides Bellows with the authority to hand down a preliminary decision on such a matter.

Based on her prior public statements preemptively condemning Trump of perceived misdeeds, however, the former president’s legal team is demanding that she recuse herself from the case entirely.

“Because the Secretary has exhibited a personal bias in this matter, she should disqualify herself from further proceedings,” a letter released on Wednesday asserted.

Among the three statements included as evidence in the letter was a social media post Bellows published in February 2021 that described the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Hill protest as an “insurrection” and an “unlawful attempt to overthrow the results of a free and fair election.”

She went on to cite the partisan congressional vote condemning Trump’s actions ahead of the protest, writing: “That’s short of an impeachment but nevertheless an indictment. The insurrectionists failed, and democracy prevailed.”

Shortly thereafter, she wrote that Trump “should have been impeached” and claimed that “history will not treat him or those who voted against impeachment kindly.”

That was not Bellows’ only use of such loaded anti-Trump rhetoric. On Jan. 6, 2022, she commemorated the anniversary of what she called a “violent insurrection” by reiterating her perceived mission to “safeguard our elections.”

Nearly two years later, she is now in a position to uproot the electoral system for Republican voters across her state and, by extension, throughout the country.

“President Trump deserves a fair and impartial hearing,” his attorneys wrote. “Both the Maine legislature and Maine courts demand that state administrative proceedings must be conducted fairly and with integrity.”

The letter called on Bellows to “designate an impartial hearing officer, withdraw from considering the matter, and turn over final adjudication to that impartial hearing officer.”