Last week a group of Coloradans filed a lawsuit to prevent Donald Trump from running for President in the state.
Subsequently, the state GOP hired Jay Sukelow, a well-known Trump lawyer to argue that the party should be permitted to intervene in the lawsuit and join the former president in his effort to appear on the Colorado Republican primary ballot next year.
Today Colorado GOP Chair Dave Williams emailed his party to celebrate the judge’s ruling granting the GOP’s request to intervene.
“Great news! A judge has granted our motion to intervene and be a party to the lawsuit,” writes Williams. “The judge also set a trial date. Colorado Republicans can now file briefs, produce evidence, and challenge the other side in this case and at trial.”
However, in a previous email sent last Friday just to the 400+ members of his party’s Central Committee, Williams shared new party documents that reveal the GOP only plans to comply if it wins.
“If President Trump is forcibly removed from our primary ballot, the Colorado Republican Party will not comply and inform the Secretary of State that we do not wish to participate in a rigged presidential primary that disenfranchises voters and limits options.“
That language appears in the party’s National Delegate Selection Plan, which Williams says was crafted in collaboration with the Republican National Committee.
Williams did not respond to an email request for comment as to how refusing to participate in a primary election that is administered by the Colorado Secretary of State would work, or why the party is bothering to participate in the legal process if it isn’t going to abide by a judge’s ruling it doesn’t like. This article will be updated with any response received.
Reached for comment via email, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold offered the following statement:
“The Colorado Republican Party leadership has repeatedly indicated their willingness to close the presidential primary, disenfranchising Colorado republican and unaffiliated voters in order to handpick the candidate of their choice. Every voter should be able to cast a ballot in the primary election, and I will always fight so they can make their voices heard.”
Colorado GOP’s Central Committee will meet Sept. 30 to vote on adopting this new National Delegate Selection Plan, as well as other party business, such as whether to opt out of the primary process altogether. That proposal, also supported by Williams, already failed by a wide margin at the last meeting.
Yesterday, another supporter of the opt-out plan made her argument in favor of abandoning open primaries. Failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake who is also a prominent election denier, sent a letter to the Colorado GOP pushing Williams’ opt-out plan. Party Secretary Anna Ferguson, a QAnon follower, shared Lake’s with Colorado Republicans.
The half dozen Republicans and unaffiliated voters who filed the lawsuit argue that the Fourteenth Amendment, which disallows those who have engaged in insurrection against the Constitution from running for office.
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”