April 18, 2024 9:44 am

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Judge declines case to remove Trump from Washington state ballot

KITSAP COUNTY—Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Bassett has decline to hear a case Tuesday, January 16, that would consider removing 45th United States President, Donald J Trump, from Washington’s presidential primary ballot this upcoming March, stating Kitsap County was simply the “wrong venue.”

The case is still open, however, with the Judge plans to move it to a State Court in Thurston County at a later date. Applauds erupted in the courtroom following Judge Bassett’s decision, Bainbridge Island Review reports.

The challenge was filed by 8 registered voters in Kitsap County on January 10, and contests the eligibility of Donald J. Trump for the office of President under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, citing his involvement in the insurrection on January 6, 2021, according to court documents.

On January 6, 2021, just two months after the presidential election results named President Joe Biden 46th President of the United States, alleged Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C., to interrupt a Congressional joint session from counting Electoral College votes.

Nearly 200 people were arrested and charged for attacking the Capitol. The breach left one person dead, alleged Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, 35, of San Diego, and, according to a Government Accountability Office report released in March 2022, 114 Capitol Police officers reported injuries and approximately $1.5 million in damages were reported—figures that came from Department of Justice and the Capitol Police according to the report.

The House’s January 6 Committee’s final report ruled that the former president criminally engaged in a multi-part conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 General Election and failed to stop his supporters from attacking the U.S. Capitol, which led to an 18-month long investigation. President Donald J Trump refuted the committee’s findings.

“The unselect committee did not produce a single shred of evidence that I in any way intended or wanted violence at our Capitol,” Trump said in a video posted to Truth Social. “The evidence does not exist because the claim is baseless and a monstrous lie.”

Trump ballot
The 45th President Donald J Trump speaking at his campaign’s post-caucus election party in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 15, 2024. Snapshot from Right Side Broadcasting Network live feed.

According to documents obtained by the Lynnwood Times the filers of the Kitsap County case are residents Stefanie Shelton, Shayna Hartley, Robert Brem, Nicholas Roberts, Michelle Howald, Gwyn Johnson, Connor Shelton, and Frankie Ithaka. Involved parties include the Kitsap County Auditor, Washington Secretary of State, and the Washington State Republican Party.

Under the process outlined in RCW 29A.68, Kitsap County Superior Court scheduled the hearing for Tuesday, Jan. 16, for a court filing contesting ballot placement for the March 12 Presidential Primary.

“I am committed to presenting Washingtonians with the opportunity to make their voices heard in the Presidential Primary March 12, which requires printing ballots and sending them to registered voters weeks ahead of Election Day,” Secretary of State Steve Hobbs wrote in a press release. “Our state’s process gives the courts an important role in answering questions about eligibility. I look forward to having this question resolved in a timely fashion.”

Former Q13FOX Reporter and Emmy-Award Winning Journalist, now political podcaster, Brandi Kruse, took to her show [un]Divided on Tuesday calling the petition a “waste of time” because “the votes that go toward Donald Trump in Washington State don’t matter at all,” and calling the move a “slippery slope” because it “gives people too much power and authority to remove an option from the people.”

“If eight voters in Kitsap, again where Donald Trump has no relevancy here, want to spend their time trying to push a court case to get him removed from the ballot based on their, wrong – in my opinion, interpretation of the constitution, knock yourselves out,” said Kruse.

Trump was disqualified from the primary ballots in Colorado and Maine but challenges to these rulings still leave his name on those ballots. On Jan. 5, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling to disqualify the 45th President of the United States from the state’s primary ballot.

A total of 19 states nationwide has unresolved cases to do the same. These cases are based on an uncontested clause of a constitutional amendment enacted after the Civil War which disqualifies government officials for inciting insurrection or rebellion, relating to Trump’s involvement in the January 6 Capitol breach.

States with unresolved cases to remove Trump from the ballot, in addition to Washington, include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wyoming have all either dismissed or rejected similar challenges.

With 99% of the precincts counted, the 45th President of the United States, Donald J Trump, overwhelmingly won the Iowa Caucus on January 15 with 51%, 29.8 points from the nearest contender, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The margin of victory is the largest Republican Iowa Caucus win in its history.

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