New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan has reversed course amid a huge backlash after suggesting last week he would attempt to remove Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot in the state due to charges being filed against the former president.

On Friday, Scanlan said he was consulting with the New Hampshire attorney general, John Formella, also a Republican, to see if it is possible to keep Trump off the ballot under a provision of the 14th Amendment.

“As secretary of state, Scanlan oversees New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary that will take place at the beginning of 2024. However, Scanlan has caught wind of scholars’ recent arguments that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Disqualification Clause prohibits Trump from being on the presidential ballot,” Breitbart News reported.

“Not being a lawyer and not wanting to make a decision in a vacuum, I will be soliciting some legal opinions on what is appropriate or not before I make any decision,” Scanlan told the Boston Globe. “I have some in-house staff attorneys that are election experts. I will be asking the attorney general’s office for their input. And ultimately, whatever is decided is probably going to require some judicial input.”

But on Friday, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk instructed supporters to inundate Scanlan’s office with protest phone calls, Breitbart News noted.

“I don’t care if you live in New Hampshire or not. It should be a nationwide movement of people contacting because this impacts everybody,” Kirk said on his show. “We’re gonna break the phone lines and say, ‘Who do you think you are for even entertaining this?’”

New Hampshire attorney Bryant “Corky” Messner, whom Trump previously endorsed in New Hampshire’s 2020 U.S. Senate race, appears to be the one who put the issue on Scanlan’s radar.

“I really don’t view myself as turning on Trump, as odd as that sounds,” Messner told ABC News. “I love this country. I’ve served this country. I’ve taken an oath to this country. My sons are serving right now and I believe someone’s got to step up to defend the Constitution.”

“Someone needs to take some action legally so this thing can get in front of the Supreme Court sooner rather than later to interpret this section,” he added.

Later on Friday, Scanlan told NBC News he is “not seeking to remove any names from the presidential primary ballot, and I have not said that I am seeking to remove any names from the presidential primary ballot.”


“I listened, just as I would listen to anybody that wants to come in with issues related to any candidate’s qualifications one way or the other,” Scanlan added. “I intend to be prepared by seeking appropriate legal input so that when the time comes to make a decision on those challenges to qualifications, I can respond appropriately with the facts.”

Scanlan’s office previously verified that he met with Messner earlier Friday to deliberate over Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, it was reported that the secretary of state intends to confer with the state attorney general before reaching any conclusions.

“Secretary Scanlan will be conferring with the New Hampshire Attorney General and other legal counsel on this issue; however, he believes any action taken under this Constitutional provision will have to be based on Judicial guidance,” Scanlan’s communications director Anna Sventek told ABC News.

According to ABC7:

That disqualification argument boils down to Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which says that a public official is not eligible to assume public office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States, or had “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof,” unless they are granted amnesty by a two-thirds vote of Congress.

Trump hasn’t even been charged with “insurrection,” much less convicted of it. But the effort to disqualify him from the ballot under the 14th Amendment was launched by left-wing organizations, so the GOP effort to use that argument to keep him off the New Hampshire ballot likely won’t sit well with Republican voters, especially since Trump has pulled out to such a large lead in most polls — a lead that has only grown after his indictments.

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