Trump loses final bid to stop Colorado case that could see him barred from ballot

Case filed on behalf of Republican and unaffiliated voters represented by advocacy group

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 25 October 2023 22:49 BST
Related video: Trump fined for violating gag order

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Louise Thomas

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Donald Trump has lost his final bid to stop a Colorado lawsuit that could see him kicked off the ballot for the 2024 presidential election.

A judge in the state has ruled that the lawsuit brought to block the one-term president from the ballot next year can go ahead next week.

Mr Trump had asked for the lawsuit, which was filed on 22 September by Republican and unaffiliated voters represented by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, to be dismissed.

Similar cases have been filed around the US, including in Michigan and Minnesota, where oral arguments will take place on 2 November.

In the lawsuit, the advocacy group states that Mr Trump incited an insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6 with their lawyers arguing that his actions on that day were a violation of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

That amendment was introduced after the US Civil War and states no one can run for public office if they “engaged in an insurrection or rebellion.”

Colorado District Judge Sarah Wallace called the legal questions surrounding the 14th Amendment “pivotal” in her ruling and stated that it is “best reserved for trial”, which is set to begin on 30 October.

Donald Trump speaks at his rally before the storming of the Capitol by a mob of his supporters
Donald Trump speaks at his rally before the storming of the Capitol by a mob of his supporters (Getty Images)

The lawsuit has been brought against Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold who has said she is “hopeful that this case will provide guidance to election officials on Trump’s eligibility as a candidate for office.”

It is yet another legal headache for Mr Trump who is the first and only former or sitting president to be criminally charged, faces a total of 91 felony counts across his four criminal indictments by state and federal prosecutors.

Special Counsel Jack Smith has charged him with four criminal counts over his efforts to stay in power after the 2020 election. These include a conspiracy to violate civil rights, a conspiracy to defraud the government, the corrupt obstruction of an official proceeding and a conspiracy to carry out such obstruction.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan has set a 4 March trial date, the day before the Super Tuesday primaries.

Mr Trump also faces 40 federal felony charges with Mr Smith accusing him of illegally hoarding classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida after leaving the White House. That case is expected to go to trial in May 2024.

In Fulton County, Georgia, Mr Trump and 18 associates have been charged with trying to subvert the 2020 election results in the state in a sprawling Rico case. Mr Trump faces 13 felony charges.

Three defendants, Kenneth Chesebro, Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell, have entered guilty pleas in return for helping prosecutors. No trial date has yet been set for the remaining 16 defendants.

Mr Trump has also been accused in New York City of falsifying business records in connection with a $130,000 hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election. Mr Trump was indicted in March and is expected to go to trial on 25 March 2024.

He has pleaded not guilty to every charge in each case and has accused prosecutors of “election interference” and an attempt to derail his 2024 run for a second term in the Oval Office.

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