A retired Republican judge determined there is “absolutely damning” evidence that should keep Donald Trump off the ballot in the state of Illinois.
Acting as a hearing officer, Clark Erickson held a hearing on Friday to consider whether Trump should be removed from the ballot because he participated in an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.
Although Erickson did not make the final decision, WBEZ obtained a copy of his written recommendation to the Illinois state elections board on Sunday.
The retired judge told the board that a court should make the decision to remove Trump from the ballot.
Erickson also found that Trump participated in the insurrection.
“[Trump] does not dispute that he knew violence was occurring at the capitol. He understood that people were there to support him,” Erickson wrote, according to WBEZ. “Which makes one single piece of evidence, in this context, absolutely damning to his denial of his participation: the tweet regarding [Vice President] Mike Pence’s lack of courage while [Trump] knew the attacks were going on is inexplicable.”
“[Trump] knew the attacks were occurring because the attackers believed the election was stolen, and this tweet could not possibly have had any other intended purpose besides to fan the flames,” the retired judge added.
But Erickson said the elections board had no power to remove Trump from the ballot.
“It is impossible to imagine the Board deciding whether Candidate Trump is disqualified by Section 3 [of the 14th Amendment] without the Board engaging in significant and sophisticated constitutional analysis,” he wrote.