Top Wyoming official slams brakes on court labeling Trump ‘insurrectionist’: ‘outrageous’

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Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray is working to rectify a Colorado judge’s ruling that called former President Trump an “insurrectionist” in an election case that the Wyoming Republican says should have been dismissed from the beginning.

“As our states’ chief election officials, [Secretaries of State] “We have to defend the electoral process in our republic, and this is critical to ensuring the integrity of our elections,” Gray told News21USA News Digital in a telephone interview.

“I ran on electoral integrity, and that’s why the people of Wyoming voted me into office. And I’m living up to that, standing up for the truth here and making sure that these outrageous and frivolous lawsuits that the radical left are filing and trying to get President Trump off the ballot, they can’t.”

Gray last week filed an amicus brief, also known as a friend-of-the-court brief, with the Colorado Supreme Court arguing that a Colorado District Court erred by labeling Trump an “insurrectionist” in a legal case he worked on to remove Trump’s name of the state’s primary vote. Gray was joined by Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to present the brief.

Headshot of Wyoming Secretary of State

Wyoming Republican Secretary of State Chuck Gray. (Wyoming Secretary of State)

The amicus curiae brief asks the Colorado Supreme Court to vacate the district court’s order and “direct the District Court to dismiss the petition for failure to present a claim upon which relief may be granted.”

“It really should have been dismissed immediately, the case is frivolous. And instead, we got this 95-page ruling from this local judge there in Colorado and, with the issue preclusion principle, this really could be used against the president Trump,” Gray said. “So it’s very important that this be dismissed in its entirety. And that’s what we’re really trying to dig into with this amicus curiae brief… and we’re very proud that Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and the Ohio Secretary of State LaRose have signed.”

A group of Colorado voters filed a lawsuit earlier this year arguing that Trump should be deemed ineligible to hold political office under a Civil War-era insurrection clause and therefore his name should be not appear on the 2024 ballot. The group claimed that Trump’s actions on January 6, 2021, when his supporters stormed the US Capitol, violated a clause of the 14th Amendment that prevents anyone who “participates in an insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution holds political office.

Former President Donald Trump

Former President Trump waves to the crowd on the field during halftime of the Palmetto Bowl between Clemson and South Carolina at Williams Brice Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Colorado District Court Judge Sarah B. Wallace rejected the group’s calls last month to remove Trump’s name from the state’s primary ballot, but ruled that Trump participated in an insurrection on January 6, 2021, when he was still president. The judge argued that there was a lack of evidence showing that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment applies to presidential candidates.

“The Court holds that there is little direct evidence as to whether the Presidency is one of the positions subject to disqualification,” he wrote.

Gray told News21USA News Digital that the case should have been dismissed from the beginning, much less have the judge proceed with the lawsuit and rule that Trump participated in an insurrection.

“Frivolous lawsuits are happening across the country, and it is imperative that voters in one state not be affected by rulings in other states. And if you think about it, preventing an eligible candidate in one state from obtaining electoral results.” votes affect all other states. And artificially preventing a candidate from being on the ballot, primary or caucus, will disrupt momentum,” Gray said.

Gray explained to News21USA News Digital that the Colorado judge admitted into evidence during the proceedings the House Select Committee on the January 6 attack report, which he said was a congressional committee steeped in bias despite being categorized as “bipartisan.”

“The Republican leadership, which was the minority party at the time, had no appointments for the January 6 Committee report. And that was a big part of the 95 pages that the local judge considered…so that’s the Another thing we challenge in this is: the inclusion of the Commission’s report from January 6. I think it was biased from the beginning,” Gray said.

The brief describes in a footnote that the two Republicans who served on the committee, Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, no longer serve in Congress.

Cheney and Kinzinger January 6 Committee

Then-Vice President Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., delivers her opening remarks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of an investigation year-long event at the Capitol in Washington. Thursday June 9, 2022. (News21USA Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“It should be noted that while the January 6 Committee originally had two House Republicans among its members, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming, neither has remained in the House of Representatives, as Kinzinger decided not to run for re-election, and Cheney was overwhelmingly ousted by the people of Wyoming,” the footnote states.

The text of the brief argued that the Republicans, the minority party at the time of the committee’s creation, “had no appointees” to the committee, and argued that the report has increasingly shown its bias “as it continues to be published more images from security cameras from January 6″. released to the general public.”

Protesters outside the Capitol

Supporters of then-President Trump occupy the west front of the Capitol and the inauguration on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Gray argued that the Colorado case, and similar ones in other states like Minnesota, are “weaponizing” the 14th Amendment to silence conservatives.

“That is a very concerning trend in our country and it is something that, as Secretary of State of Wyoming, a public official, it is very important that we weigh in on the use of American law as a weapon, the use of the 14th Amendment as a weapon against political opponents of the left. And “That’s what they’re doing, the left is attacking their political opponents with the way they’ve weaponized the law. We have seen it with these accusations and also in the way that they have weaponized the 14th Amendment. It is truly outrageous and unprecedented. “The radical left has pushed across the court to weaponize the law in this country and this is another example of it,” he said.

Vote here sign

According to the Pew Research Center, 64% of Jewish voters in the United States identify as Democrats or left-wing, while only 26% consider themselves Republicans or right-wing. (Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Image)

Gray said he hopes Democrats, regardless of whether they dislike Trump’s policy positions, understand that weaponizing U.S. law sets a precedent that “could be used against anyone in the United States.”

“The radical left has become so consumed by this Trump derangement syndrome. And this is just another example of it. But I certainly hope and pray deep down, that they see why this is wrong. And today it’s conservative Republicans and President Trump, “But this is a precedent that could be used against anyone in America, and we as conservatives must stand up for the truth. And that’s what we’re doing with this amicus curiae brief,” he said.

Former President Donald Trump applauding

Former President Trump speaks to supporters at a rally to support local candidates on September 3, 2022 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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The Wyoming Republican’s amicus brief is not the first time he has taken action to denounce what he describes as a “disgusting strategy of election interference,” providing News21USA News Digital with a letter he sent to New Hampshire Republican Secretary of State David Scanlan, in September. There were similar efforts in New Hampshire to invoke the 14th Amendment to prevent Trump’s name from appearing on the ballot, which Scanlan ultimately rejected.

“Weaponizing the 14th Amendment with frivolous lawsuits like the one in Colorado simply undermines the entire electoral process. And that’s why we’re doing this,” Gray said.

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