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


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

“As chief election officials of our states, [Secretaries of State] have to stand up for the electoral process in our republic, and this is pivotal to ensuring the integrity of our elections,” Gray told Fox News Digital in a phone interview. 

“I ran on election integrity, and that’s why the people of Wyoming voted me into office. And I’m following through on that, and defending the truth here, and making sure that these outrageous, frivolous lawsuits that the radical left is bringing and trying to remove President Trump from the ballot, that they don’t succeed.” 

Gray filed an amicus curiae brief, otherwise known as a friend of the court brief, with the Colorado Supreme Court last week that argues a Colorado District Court made a mistake when labeling Trump an “insurrectionist” in a legal case that worked to remove Trump’s name from the state’s primary ballot. Gray was joined by Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose in filing the brief. 

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Headshot of Wyoming Secretary of State

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

The amicus brief calls on the Colorado Supreme Court to vacate the district court’s order and “direct the District Court to dismiss the petition for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” 

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

A group of Colorado voters brought forth a lawsuit earlier this year arguing Trump should be deemed ineligible from holding political office under a Civil War-era insurrection clause, and his name should thus be barred from appearing on the 2024 ballot. The group claimed that Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021, when supporters breached the U.S. Capitol, violated a clause in the 14th Amendment that prevents anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution from holding political office.

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Former President Donald Trump

Former President Trump waves to the crowd on the field during halftime in the Palmetto Bowl between Clemson and South Carolina at Williams Brice Stadium on Nov. 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 engaged in an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, when he was still president. The judge argued that there was a dearth of evidence showing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment applies to presidential candidates. 

“The Court holds there is scant direct evidence regarding whether the Presidency is one of the positions subject to disqualification,” she wrote.

Gray told Fox News Digital the case should have been dismissed from the get-go, let alone the judge proceeding with the suit and ruling Trump engaged in an insurrection. 

“The frivolous lawsuits, they’re happening around the country, and it’s imperative that voters in one state not be affected by judgments in other states. And if you think about it, preventing an eligible candidate in one state for being able to attain electoral votes affects every other state. And preventing a candidate from being on the ballot, primary or caucus, artificially will alter momentum,” Gray said. 

Gray explained to Fox News Digital that the Colorado judge admitted the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack’s report into evidence during proceedings, which he says was a congressional committee mired in bias despite being categorized as “bipartisan.”

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“Republican leadership, which was the minority party at the time, had no appointments to the January 6 Committee report. And that was a large part of the 95 pages that the local judge there considered … so that’s the other thing that we contest in this is: the inclusion of the January 6 Commission report. I believe it was biased from the start,” Gray said. 

The brief outlines 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 Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., gives 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 a yearlong investigation at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“It should be noted that while the January 6th Committee originally boasted two House republicans among its membership, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, and Liz Cheney of Wyoming, neither have remained in the House of Representatives, Kinzinger having chosen not to run for reelection, and Cheney having been overwhelmingly voted out of office by the people of Wyoming,” the footnote states. 

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The brief’s text argued that Republicans, the minority party at the time of the committee’s inception, “did not have any appointees” to the committee, and argued the report has increasingly shown its bias “as more security camera footage of January 6th continues to be released to the general public.” 

Protesters outside of the Capitol

Then-President Trump supporters occupy the West Front of the Capitol and the inauguration stands on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

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

“That is a very troubling trend in our country and it’s something as Wyoming Secretary of State, a public official, it’s very important that we weigh in on the weaponization of American law, the weaponization of the 14th Amendment against the left’s political opponents. And that’s what they’re doing, the left is targeting their political opponents with the way they’ve weaponized law. We’ve seen that with these indictments and then also the way they’ve weaponized the 14th Amendment. It’s really an outrageous, unprecedented full court press by the radical left to weaponize 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 U.S. identify themselves as Democrats or left leaning, while only 26% consider themselves to be Republicans or right leaning. (Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Image)

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

“The radical left has just 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 the United States, and we as conservatives must stand up for the truth. And that’s what we’re doing with this amicus brief,” he said. 

Former President Donald Trump clapping

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

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

“The weaponization of the 14th Amendment with frivolous lawsuits like the one in Colorado, it just undermines the entire election process. And that’s why we’re doing this,” Gray said.



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