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Colorado Supreme Court Ruling Challenges Trump’s Eligibility for 2024 Presidential Ballot

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In a divided decision, the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled 4-3, that former President Donald Trump is ineligible to appear on the state’s presidential primary ballot for the 2024 elections. The court invoked Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, marking the first time in history that this provision has been used to disqualify a presidential candidate.

The court’s majority, all justices appointed by Democratic governors, concluded that Trump is disqualified from holding the office of president under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. This section stipulates that individuals who have sworn an oath to “support” the Constitution and subsequently engaged in insurrection or rebellion against it are barred from holding office. Trump’s alleged role in inciting the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol formed the basis for the court’s decision.

Trump’s legal spokeswoman, Alina Habba, swiftly condemned the ruling, asserting that it attacks the core of the nation’s democracy. She expressed confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn what Trump’s team considers an unconstitutional order. The Republican National Committee chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, labeled the decision as “election interference,” signaling the RNC’s intention to assist Trump in challenging the ruling.

Notably, the court stayed its decision until January 4, or until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the case. Colorado officials emphasize the urgency of settling the matter by January 5, the deadline for the state to print its presidential primary ballots.

While Trump lost Colorado by 13 percentage points in 2020, the implications of this ruling extend beyond the state’s borders. The fear is that other courts and election officials may follow Colorado’s lead, potentially excluding Trump from must-win states in the 2024 presidential election.

This case marks a historical use of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to disqualify a presidential candidate. The court’s decision signals a potential turning point in the ongoing legal battles surrounding Trump’s eligibility, with his attorneys vowing to appeal any disqualification promptly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As the legal drama unfolds, questions linger about the broader impact on Trump’s candidacy and the potential precedent set by the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision. The constitutional interpretation of Section 3 and its application to presidential candidates may become a focal point in the upcoming legal battles, headed to the highest court.

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Elections

DOJ says FBI informant on Biden had ‘high-level’ contacts with Russian intelligence

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In a memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to support Alexander Smirnov’s continued pre-trial detention, the Department of Justice(DOJ) wrote that he claimed to have had “contacts with multiple foreign intelligence agencies…[who] could resettle Smirnov outside the United States if he were released.”

Smirnov, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was arrested and charged on Feb. 14 with making false statements to the FBI about Biden’s connections to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Limited, which employed his son Hunter Biden as a member of the board with a monthly salary of $50,000 during his term as vice president.

“During his custodial interview on February 14, Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about [Hunter Biden],” wrote special counsel David Weiss in the filing. “Smirnov apparently attended a separate meeting with Russian Official 1, [an] individual who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Smirnov was a confidential human source who provided information that was used to prepare a report, known as an FD-1023, about Joe Biden’s alleged connections to the Burisma business partners of Hunter Biden. That report has previously served as evidence contradictingJoe Biden’s claim that he knew nothing of his son’s business dealings; a notion at the center of an impeachment inquiry against him.

The FD-1023 detailing Smirnov’s claims was released by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on July 20, 2023, after it was provided to him by government whistleblowers. “[The] indictment confirms several points Senator Grassley has made repeatedly. The informant behind the FD-1023 was, indeed, a long-serving, trusted FBI source used by the agency for criminal investigations since the Obama administration. In fact, he was so trusted that the FBI provided him authorization ‘to engage in illegal activity for investigative purposes’,” a spokesperson for Grassley told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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