Maine Says Trump is Guilty of Things He Wasn’t Charged With

 January 1, 2024

On Friday's "Situation Room" on CNN, Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D) addressed concerns about witnesses who she asserts lack firsthand knowledge at the hearing.

She explained her concerns that the proceedings differed from a criminal court, emphasizing the standard of "preponderance of the evidence" in her ruling to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot.

The secretary of state's move comes despite there being no insurrection charges by Special Counsel Jack Smith, as Breitbart News reported.

From The Interview

Host Kaitlan Collins asked, “You’ve cited that hearing a bunch. And we looked into it. At that hearing, there was only testimony from three witnesses.

"Two of them were complainants, one was a law professor, none of them have firsthand factual knowledge of the events that are at issue.

"So, how did you decide that what you heard in that hearing was enough to draw the conclusion that you did here, that Trump should not be on the ballot because of your determination that he engaged in the insurrection? That’s not even something Jack Smith has charged him with.”

Bellows responded, “It’s important to understand that an administrative hearing under Maine’s Administrative Procedure Act and in terms of implementing election law is different than a criminal proceeding in a criminal court.

"The standard is preponderance of the evidence. And furthermore, part of the hearing record — and my decision was based exclusively on the record before me — is not only live testimony that is subject to cross-examination, but also exhibits that are produced and submitted by the parties.

More Justification

The state official went on to explain the justification, saying "In fact, in this situation, there were thousands of pages of exhibits, which I reviewed, including the bipartisan January 6 report, a bipartisan Senate report, a GAO report, a Defense Department report.

"So, there was substantial evidence that complied with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act submitted in this proceeding that was subject to my review.

"And my decision was based solely on the facts before me at the hearing and on the Constitution and the rule of law.

"And it’s part of a process here in our state that now goes to Superior Court and then potentially to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and then potentially to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The Maine Secretary of State's decision comes on the heels of a number of states making headlines for highly contentious cases brought to keep the former president off the ballot in each state.

The most noteworthy of which is Colorado where the case of whether the former president was guilty of leading an insurrection made it's way to the state Supreme Court.

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