July 18, 2024

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Maine state official who removed Trump from ballot was targeted in swatting call at her home

2 min read

A fake emergency call to police resulted in officers responding Friday night to the home of Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows just a day after she removed former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot under the Constitution’s insurrection clause.

She becomes the latest elected politician to become a target of swatting, which involves making a prank phone call to emergency services with the intent that a large first responder presence, including SWAT teams, will show up at a residence.

Bellows was not home when the swatting call was made, and responding officers found nothing suspicious.

While no motive for the swatting attempt was released by the Maine Department of Public Safety, Bellows said she had no doubts it stemmed from her decision to remove Trump from the ballot.

The swatting attempt came after her home address was posted on social media by a conservative activist. “And it was posted in anger and with violent intent by those who have been extending threatening communications toward me, my family and my office,” she told The Associated Press in a phone call Saturday.

According to the Maine Department of Public Safety, a call was made to emergency services from an unknown man saying he had broken into a house in Manchester.

The address the man gave was Bellows’ home. Bellows and her husband were away for the holiday weekend. Maine State Police responded to what the public safety department said ultimately turned out to be a swatting call.

Police conducted an exterior sweep of the house and then checked inside at Bellows’ request. Nothing suspicious was found, and police continue to investigate.

“The Maine State Police is working with our law enforcement partners to provide special attention to any and all appropriate locations,” the public safety statement said.

Bellows said the intimidation factors won’t work. “Here’s what I’m not doing differently. I’m doing my job to uphold the Constitution, the rule of law.”

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2023-12-30 18:53:00

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