President Donald Trump continued to tweet Monday morning that he had ‘won the election,’ as allies refuted reporting that the Trump campaign had dropped a key part of a lawsuit in Pennsylvania, which would prevent the election result from being overturned.
‘I won the Election!’ Trump tweeted for the second time in an eight-hour span.
Trump retweeted his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who had snapped at a Politico reporter for writing that, ‘Pennsylvania’s lawyers say there’s now so little left of a Trump campaign’s federal lawsuit over election results there that there’s no need to an argument session a judge has scheduled for Tuesday.’
‘I imagine this guy has a reading deficit. He didn’t read paragraphs 132 to 150 of the amended complaint. I guess 680,770 uninspected, unlawful mail in votes isn’t enough. Well we will find more before trial,’ Giuliani said.
The Trump campaign’s communications director, Tim Murtaugh, also refuted that the Pennsylvania complaint had been watered down.
‘This story is completely erroneous,’ he said, linking to a Washington Post report that said the campaign had ‘scrap[ped] major parts of its lawsuit.’ ‘Our lawsuit in Pennsylvania absolutely still makes an issue of the 682,479 mail-in and absentee ballots that were counted in secret,’ Murtaugh tweeted.
Piggy-backing on that, Trump wrote, ‘Poll Watchers, and the way they were treated, are a very big deal in the complaint!’
The Trump campaign’s lawsuit still complains about how poll watchers were treated.
For example, in Philadelphia County, the Trump campaign alleges that ‘watchers were allowed to be within 6 feet, but within 6 feet of the first row of counters only.’
But it doesn’t specifically ask the judge to do anything about it.
President Donald Trump refuses to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden and has been boasting on Twitter that he ‘won’ Sunday night and Monday morning. He’s also pushed back on reports that say his Pennsylvania lawsuit has been slimmed down
President Donald Trump continues to say, falsely, that he won the election. Trump and his allies refuted reporting that his campaign’s lawsuit in Pennsylvania has been watered down
Trump retweeted his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Monday. Giuliani took issue with Politico reporting that the Pennsylvania lawsuit had been pared back
Trump and his campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh also refuted The Washington Post’s reporting on the lawsuit. The Trump campaign says the lawsuit was restructured ‘strategically’
In the original lawsuit, the Trump campaign says the main goal is to prohibit the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results.
That aim remains the same.
However, the updated version no longer asks the court to strike ballots where ‘Trump Campaign’s watchers were prevented from observing.’
Instead, it makes the key issue ballots that some Democratic-led counties allowed voters to ‘cure,’ which the campaign argues created a disparity between Trump and President-elect Joe Biden’s voters.
The campaign said mid-morning Monday that ‘the campaign strategically decided to restructure its lawsuit.’
‘It’s routine for attorneys to file amended complaints to tighten the claims. We simplified the suit so it is more focused and narrowed. This is part of the process,’ Giuliani said.
Multiple major news outlets including the Associated Press, CNN and Fox News called the presidential contest for former Vice President Joe Biden on November 7, after determining that the remaining ballots left to be counted in Pennsylvania would not allow Trump to catch up.
Trump has refused to concede and insisted that Democrats stole the election from him as his campaign mounts tenuous legal battles in several key states that he lost.
On Sunday night he tweeted, ‘I WON THE ELECTION!’ He left off the cap-locks when he repeated that message Monday morning.
Trump pushed his message that the election was rigged once again in a tweet on Sunday night
Multiple major news outlets including the Associated Press, CNN and Fox News called the presidential contest for Biden on November 7. Biden is seen leaving church in Delaware on Sunday
President Donald Trump plays golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, on Sunday
Trump approaches the green at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, on Sunday
Trump leans on his putter while wearing a jacket with the US presidential seal emblazoned on his chest
Trump holds a fist up to his supporters cheering from off the course on Sunday
US President-elect Joe Biden waves while leaving the St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church after attending Mass in Wilmington, Delaware, on Sunday
Biden wearing his mask in the open air as he leaves church on Sunday
Biden waves to photographers after mass on Sunday at the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church
Biden is flanked by a security detail as he leaves church in Delaware on Sunday
The remaining claim in the Pennsylvania lawsuit centers on disqualifying ballots cast by voters who were given an opportunity to fix mail-in ballots that were going to be disqualified for a technicality.
The lawsuit charges that ‘Democratic-heavy counties’ violated the law by identifying mail-in ballots before Election Day that had defects – such as lacking an inner ‘secrecy envelope’ or lacking a voter’s signature on the outside envelope – so that the voter could fix it and ensure that their vote would count, called ‘curing’.
Republican-heavy counties ‘followed the law and did not provide a notice and cure process, disenfranchising many’, the lawsuit said.
Cliff Levine, a lawyer representing the Democratic National Committee, which is seeking to intervene, said it isn’t clear how many voters were given the chance to fix their ballot.
But, he said, it is minimal and certainly fewer than the margin – almost 70,000 – that separates Biden and Trump.
‘The numbers aren’t even close to the margin between the two candidates, not even close,’ Levine said.
In any case, there is no provision in state law preventing counties from helping voters to fix a ballot that contains a technical deficiency. Levine said the lawsuit does not contain any allegation that somebody voted illegally.
‘They really should be suing the counties that didn’t allow (voters) to make corrections,’ Levine said. ‘The goal should be making sure every vote counts.’
Pennsylvania’s top election official, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, responded in court on Sunday, asking the judge to dismiss the case.
State courts are the proper jurisdiction for the subject, and the lawsuit contains no ‘plausible claim for relief on any legal theory’, the state’s lawyers wrote.
More than 2.6 million mail-in ballots were reported received by counties, and there has been no report by state or county election officials or a prosecutor of fraud or any other problem with the accuracy of the count.
The Trump campaign’s slimmed-down lawsuit maintains the aim of blocking Pennsylvania from certifying a victory for Biden in the state and its claim that Democratic voters were treated more favorably than Republican voters. Pictured: Election Bureau Director Albert L. Gricoski (left) opens provisional ballots while poll watchers observe from behind at the Schuylkill County Election Bureau in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, on November 10
Pennsylvania is due to certify election results next week. Pictured: Uncounted provisional ballots sit in boxes at the Schuylkill County Election Bureau in Pottsville on November 10
A key theme of Trump and his supporters has been their claim that Philadelphia – a Democratic bastion where Trump lost badly – had not allowed Trump’s campaign representatives to watch mail-in and absentee ballots processed and tabulated.
However, Republican lawyers have acknowledged in a separate federal court proceeding that they had certified observers watching mail-in ballots being processed in Philadelphia.
Governor Tom Wolf’s administration has said that ballot watchers from all parties had observers throughout the process and that ‘any insinuation otherwise is a lie’.
Pennsylvania is due to certify its election results next week on November 23.
Trump appeared to admit for the first time that Biden won the election in a tweet on Sunday morning – but quickly clarified that he still believes he is the rightful winner.
‘He won because the Election was Rigged,’ he wrote. ‘NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more!’
He also claimed that many of the suits involving election results were not being filed by his campaign.
‘Our big cases showing the unconstitutionality of the 2020 Election, & the outrage of things that were done to change the outcome, will soon be filed!’ he wrote.
Legal experts say the lawsuits are a long-shot, with little chance of changing the outcome of the election.
A senior Biden legal adviser dismissed the litigation as ‘theatrics, not really lawsuits’.
President Trump tweeted for the first time Sunday that Biden won the election more than week after it was called for the Democrat by most major media outlets
GOP leaders in Pennsylvania and three other battleground states – Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan – have said they will not participate in Trump’s legally suspicious schemes to flip their electors for the incumbent.
The lawmakers noted that choosing electors to cast their vote for a candidate not selected by the people would violate state law and voters’ trust in election integrity.
‘I do not see, short of finding some type of fraud, which I haven’t heard of anything – I don’t see us in any serious way addressing a change in electors,’ Rusty Bowers, Arizona’s Republican House speaker, said.
‘I do not see, short of finding some type of fraud, which I haven’t heard of anything – I don’t see us in any serious way addressing a change in electors,’ Rusty Bowers (pictured), Arizona’s Republican House speaker, said
Bowers says he has been inundated with emails pleading for the legislature to intervene in the election.
‘They are mandated by statute to choose according to the vote of the people,’ he added.
The Republican leader of Wisconsin’s Assembly, Robin Vos, has also long dismissed the idea. His spokesperson, Kit Beyer, said he stood by that position on Thursday.
In Michigan, legislative leaders say any intervention would be against state law.
Even though the GOP-controlled legislature is investigating the election, state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey told radio station WJR on Friday, ‘It is not the expectation that our analysis will result in any change in the outcome.’
The idea of having electors vote against the people loosely involves GOP-controlled legislatures dismissing Biden’s popular vote wins in their states and opting to select Trump electors instead.
While the endgame was unclear, it appeared to hinge on the expectation that a conservative-leaning Supreme Court would settle any dispute over the move.
Still, it has been promoted by Trump allies, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and is an example of misleading information and false claims fueling skepticism among Trump supporters about the integrity of the vote.
The theory is rooted in the fact that the US Constitution grants state legislatures the power to decide how electors are chosen.
Each state already has passed laws that delegate this power to voters and appoint electors for whichever candidate wins the state on Election Day.
The only opportunity for a state legislature to then get involved with electors is a provision in federal law allowing it if the actual election ‘fails.’
If the result of the election was unclear in mid-December, at the deadline for naming electors, Republican-controlled legislatures in those states could declare that Trump won and appoint electors supporting him. Or so the theory goes.
The problem, legal experts note, is that the result of the election is not in any way unclear. Biden won all the states at issue.
It’s hard to argue the election ‘failed’ when Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security reported it was not tampered with and was ‘the most secure in American history’.
Tens of thousands of Trump fans marched through Washington DC to show support for the president’s unsubstantiated claims of election fraud on Saturday (pictured)
There has been no finding of widespread fraud or problems in the vote count, which shows Biden leading Trump by more than five million votes nationally.
But so far, Trump and Republicans have had meager success – at least 10 of the lawsuits have been rejected by the courts in the 12 days since the election.
The most significant that remain ask courts to prevent Michigan and Pennsylvania from certifying Biden as the winner of their elections.
But legal experts say it’s impossible for courts to ultimately stop those states from appointing electors by the December deadline.
‘It would take the most unjustified and bizarre intervention by courts that this country has ever seen,’ said Danielle Lang of the Campaign Legal Center.
‘I haven’t seen anything in any of those lawsuits that has any kind of merit – let alone enough to delay appointing electors.’
Even if Trump won a single court fight, there’s another potential roadblock: Congress could be the final arbiter of whether to accept disputed slates of electors, according to the Electoral Count Act of 1887, the law outlining the process.
In the end, if the Democratic-controlled House and GOP-controlled Senate could not agree on which electors to accept, and there is no vote and no winner, the presidency would pass to the next person in the line of succession at the end of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s term on January 20. That would be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat.
‘If this is a strategy, I don’t think it will be successful,’ said Edward Foley, a constitutional law professor at Ohio State University. ‘I think we’re in the realm of fantasy here.’