Trump petitions to defend himself in Wyoming ballot case

 December 14, 2023

Former President Donald Trump filed a motion to intervene Tuesday in a Laramie, Wyoming case intended to keep him off the ballot in that state, asking for the case to be dropped.

The motion asks permission for Trump to defend himself against the lawsuit, while also asking for a dismissal in the case, which involves retired Laramie attorney Tim Newcomb’s request to block Secretary of State Chuck Gray from ever allowing Trump or U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis on the state’s ballots again.

Trump called the lawsuit “a frivolous claim based on a hodgepodge of irrelevant ‘facts’” as well as an “incoherent, sprawling morass” of “hundreds of alleged factoids, quotes and sentence fragments that range across a wide expanse of irrelevant topics with little or no narrative thread to show how they relate to anything, let alone Plaintiff’s purposed claim.”

He's asking Albany County District Court Judge Misha Westby to agree that the lawsuit is frivolous and to throw it out.

Political, not judicial

Trump also argued that the constitutional amendment Newcomb cites in the lawsuit is not a state matter and that the criteria for serving as president are not "judicial" but "political."

Cheyenne attorney Caleb Wilkins of Coal Creek Law is representing Trump in the case.

Newcomb said he doesn't oppose Trump getting involved, and that he also doesn't oppose planned intervention by the Wyoming Republican Party either.

Gray has also filed a motion to dismiss the case, saying that Newcomb lacks standing as a complainant and did not state an injustice that Westby can correct.

Newcomb answered that he wanted Westby to declare “the U.S. and Wyoming constitutions bar, from ever again holding office, those who swore an oath to the Constitution, only to adhere to its enemies.”

"I am Groot"

Trump and Gray both criticized Newcomb's filings as "disjointed" and bizarre.

In one filing, Newcomb provided a video of Groot from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies with the caption, "I am Groot."

Newcomb compared the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment prohibition on serving in office after participating in an insurrection, as he argues Trump did on January 6, 2021, to Groot because Groot rescued everyone from disaster with his protective limbs.

Westby must first decide whether Trump can intervene in the case before deciding on the petitions to dismiss.

“President Trump’s rights and actions are the core issues in this case,” reads the filing. “If this court were to deny President Trump’s application to intervene, it would impede his ability to protect his interests.”

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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