Georgia Secretary of State Slams Donald Trump Over ‘Deafening’ Silence – Ahead of a landmark hearing over whether Donald Trump should be kept off the ballot in Colorado, Secretary of State Jena Griswold claimed the former president’s silence is “deafening.”
Griswold is the subject of a week-long bench trial – i.e. without a jury – as six petitioners look to keep Republican frontrunner Trump off the ballot in the state. The lawsuit relates to Section Three of the 14th Amendment, which bars anyone who’s taken the Oath of Office from standing as a candidate in any future election (or remove them from office if they already hold a position).
While the “disqualification clause” was designed to keep Confederates from public office in the aftermath of the Civil War, it has only been successfully used once in the past 100 years. A Capitol rioter was removed from his office in New Mexico last year; however, an attempt to remove Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from the ballot was unsuccessful as, while judges acknowledged her rhetoric may have spurred on rioters, she did not enter the Capitol building herself.
This mixed interpretation as to whether Trump himself “incited an insurrection” is why Secretaries of State, including Griswold, have been reluctant to remove Trump from the ballot. Instead, many have waited for their respective courts to decide.
Griswold Scolds Trump
In an interview with MSNBC at the beginning of the Colorado hearing, Griswold said she had “not taken any action” given the state’s January 5 deadline to certify the ballots. She said the six petitioners were challenging Trump’s qualifications to run, given his alleged involvement in the Capitol riots for which he is facing a criminal trial.
Despite the Democrat’s opposition to the former president, Griswold is technically being sued by voters who are of a similar mindset. Trump himself is also a party to the case, although has no plans to testify himself.
“I think something really noteworthy about this case is, look, it’s going to the foundational question: did Donald Trump disqualify himself by engaging in the insurrection?” she told MSNBC. “You would think, with such a big case, that the potential candidate would want to come and give their side of the story. He’s not planning to testify, he’s not giving deposition, and for someone who just loves to grandstand about the cases against him, his silence, compared to what his testimony would be under oath, is deafening.”
“Trump’s counsel will be there representing him. So will the Colorado GOP. And I think one of the big takeaways of this case is it’s a novel situation, because we’ve never had a president try to steal the presidency. And then on top of that, we’ve never had a president who has tried to steal the presidency run for office again,” she added.
“So at the end of the day, Donald Trump has proven himself a liar. Maybe he’s unwilling to lie under oath. I don’t know. I can’t get into his reasoning about why he is choosing to not show up. But this is a really big case. And we’ll see how the proceedings develop next week.”
Griswold added that she expected Judge Sarah Wallace to make a decision before Thanksgiving Day. It’s likely to be the first case of its kind across the United States, although similar lawsuits are expected from liberals and anti-Trump conservatives over the coming months.
Any decision will have huge ramifications for the nation and its democracy. A decision against Trump will undoubtedly be appealed through to the Supreme Court, composed of six conservatives and three appointees. While that may benefit the Republican frontrunner, the court voted against his unevidenced claims of election fraud in 2020.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
From the Vault