Maine secretary of state targeted with ‘swatting call’ after ruling Trump ineligible for ballot

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Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows was the target of a “swatting call” on Friday night, state police said.

The incident happened just a day after Bellows, a Democrat, ruled former President Donald Trump is constitutionally ineligible to appear on the state’s primary ballot next year.

State police said they received a call at about 8:15 p.m. from a man who said he had broken into Bellows’ home. When officers arrived, they found no one at the house, and they checked the exterior of the property as well as the interior at the request of Bellows, who was not at home at the time.

The state police said they found nothing suspicious inside the home, and the caller has not been identified. They added that the incident remains under investigation, and they are working with law enforcement partners “to provide special attention to any and all appropriate locations.”

“Swatting” is a false report of a crime or emergency that is intended to draw a police presence to a location.

Bellows did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.

In a statement she posted on her Facebook profile page on Saturday, Bellows said, “We were not home yesterday when threats escalated, and our home address was posted online. It was a good thing because our home was swatted last night. That’s when someone calls in a fake emergency to evoke a strong law enforcement response to scare the target. Swatting incidents have resulted in casualties although thankfully this one did not.

“This behavior is unacceptable,” she continued. “The non-stop threatening communications the people who work for me endured all day yesterday is unacceptable. It’s designed to scare not only me but also others into silence, to send a message.”

In her statement, Bellows expressed gratitude to law enforcement for their support as well as to the employees at her department. She also made a plea for those reading her message to “encourage those whom you influence to de-escalate the rhetoric.”

“We should be able to agree to disagree on important issues without threats and violence,” she added.

Bellows’ decision followed a first-of-its-kind ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court last week that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution bars Trump from holding office again because of his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Bellows’ office said her decision would not be enforced until the courts weigh in, “given the compressed timeframe, the novel constitutional questions involved, the importance of this case, and impending ballot preparation deadlines.”

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement after the decision, “We will quickly file a legal objection in state court to prevent this atrocious decision in Maine from taking effect.”

He also called Bellows “a former ACLU attorney, a virulent leftist and a hyper-partisan Biden-supporting Democrat who has decided to interfere in the presidential election on behalf of Crooked Joe Biden.”

Trump had demanded Bellows, a former state senator, recuse herself from the case, arguing she was too partisan and prejudiced because she had called the Jan. 6 attack an “insurrection.”

Trump is expected to appeal the Colorado high court decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Courts in MichiganArizona and Minnesota have ruled against petitions to disqualify Trump from the ballots in those states.

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Maine secretary of state targeted with ‘swatting call’ after ruling Trump ineligible for ballot

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