Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Colorado Republicans file misconduct complaint against Griswold over Trump ballot case

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold - public domain

Joe Mueller

(The Center Square) – A legal complaint filed against Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold by two Republicans alleges she violated the state’s rules of professional conduct for lawyers.

Thomas Bjorklund and Darcy Schoening filed a four-page document with the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel on Thursday alleging “numerous instances of misconduct” by Griswold, a licensed attorney in the state. All of the charges deal with Griswold’s comments and actions as the secretary of state during the last few months leading up to when the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Colorado Supreme Court's removal of former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 presidential primary ballot.

Hand inserting a piece of paper into a ballot box in front of the Colorado flag.

© iStock - Niyazz

Earlier this month, House Republicans requested a hearing for a resolution to impeach Griswold for her actions and comments regarding the case. U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert, who’s switching from the 3rd Congressional District to the 4th District after narrowly winning reelection in 2022, and state Republican officials also wrote a letter to Griswold threatening a recall after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The Republicans charge Griswold with violating several rules in the Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct.

In an appearance on MSNBC, the two allege Griswold made a statement that was false or reckless when she stated Justice Clarence Thomas lacked integrity because his wife received unreported gifts. They charge Griswold with being dishonest, fraudulent or deceitful when she stated Trump was an “oath-breaking insurrectionist.” They also state that characterization of Trump is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

“Since she assumed office, Secretary Griswold has engaged in calculated and malicious attacks on the rights of an entire class of Colorado voters,” according to the complaint. “Griswold has used her platform to make false statements about President Trump and disenfranchise those voters who support him.”

In an email announcing the complaint the Republicans stated they’ve received thousands of phone calls from across Colorado and the nation “since Griswold attempted to remove Trump from the ballot…”

“We heard you loud and clear: Coloradans want Jena Griswold to face the consequences of her actions,” the release stated. “We have had enough of Griswold’s deceitful tactics and we filed this official complaint in order to question and investigate her unethical behavior.”

In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to overrule the Colorado Supreme Court March 4, Griswold told ABC News she was upholding the law and the Constitution in her elected role and didn’t take any action in removing Trump from the ballot.

“A lawsuit was filed, actually, against me asking a court to stop me from putting Trump on the ballot,” Griswold told ABC News. “That then went to the Colorado Supreme Court, who said that Trump is disqualified because of his role in the insurrection and that the president or the former president is not above the law or the Constitution. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment applies to him.”

"I think the Colorado Supreme Court got it right," she added. "Ultimately, I will follow the United States Supreme Court decision. I do think that there is a dangerous concern from its decision."