Colorado official hit with string of violent threats over Trump ballot lawsuit

Jena Griswold received 64 death threats and over 900 non-lethal threats of abuse within three weeks of filing the lawsuit last September

Namita Singh
Thursday 21 December 2023 15:37 GMT
Related: Donald Trump disqualified from Colorado’s 2024 ballot

Colorado’s secretary of state says she has received “hundreds if not thousands” of threats since a lawsuit was filed challenging Donald Trump’s eligibility to appear on the 2024 presidential election ballot in the state.

“I’ve been concerned about violence and threats of violence since Donald Trump incited the insurrection,” Jena Griswold told HuffPost on Wednesday. “Within three weeks of it being filed, I received 64 death threats and over 900 non-lethal threats of abuse. I stopped counting after that.”

On Tuesday, Colorado’s highest court issued a majority 4-3 ruling finding that the former president is disqualified from appearing on the state’s ballots in 2024 for his role in the violence on 6 January 2021, when a mob of his supporters stormed the seat of American democracy in a bid to overturn the 2020 election.

The case was brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) on behalf of six voters who argued that Mr Trump should be barred from ballots under the text of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits anyone who has sworn an oath to uphold the constitution and “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding public office.

Ms Griswold’s office was sued due to her role as Colorado’s chief elections official.

She told The Independent: “I did not file this case. I’m part of this case because I’m the secretary of state.

“So yes, I’m extremely concerned. It just underlines that Donald Trump is a major threat to American democracy, elections and stability,” she said. “He uses threats and intimidation against his political opponents. When he doesn’t win elections, he tries to steal them. He is a dangerous leader for this country.”

A review of social media threats from non-profit public interest research group Advance Democracy discovered “significant violent rhetoric” against the justices and Democratic officials, often in direct response to Mr Trump’s posts about the ruling on his Truth Social platform, according to NBC News.

“I will not be intimidated,” Ms Griswold told HuffPost. “We cannot allow these people trying to steal elections and using rhetoric to incite violence... to not be opposed with the truth. I’ll be as smart as possible with my security issues, but I am not going to be intimidated by Donald Trump or anybody else on the Maga right.”

In their majority ruling, the Colorado justices found that Mr Trump did incite and support the violent insurrection that day.

“President Trump did not merely incite the insurrection. Even when the siege on the Capitol was fully underway, he continued to support it by repeatedly demanding that Vice President (Mike) Pence refuse to perform his constitutional duty and by calling Senators to persuade them to stop the counting of electoral votes,” the opinion read.

“These actions constituted overt, voluntary, and direct participation in the insurrection.

“We conclude that the foregoing evidence, the great bulk of which was undisputed at trial, established that President Trump engaged in insurrection.

“President Trump’s direct and express efforts, over several months, exhorting his supporters to march to the Capitol to prevent what he falsely characterized as an alleged fraud on the people of this country were indisputably overt and voluntary.”

Mr Trump’s campaign plans to appeal to the US Supreme Court.

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