Donald Trump: Stop the fraud, Stop the Count.
Ahead of the announcement of the winner, President Donald Trump early yesterday morning launched a furious tweet demanding that the count be stopped, then said his campaign would sue in any state where former Vice President Joe Biden had already been declared a winner.
As at press time, the election outcome hinged on four battleground states: Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Trump expressed confidence he will win the election but said his campaign will sue in the battleground states Joe Biden won, a sign his team is not confident the vote tallies will come out in his favour.
Additionally, Trump has demanded the nation stop counting votes in the presidential election as his campaign launched a lawsuit in Nevada, which could hand Biden the presidency should he win its six electoral votes.
The Nevada lawsuit matches legal action the Trump campaign has launched in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia as Biden approaches the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. In Wisconsin, a state called for Biden, the campaign has requested a recount.
‘All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud. Plenty of proof – just check out the Media. WE WILL WIN! America First!,’ Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning.
The Trump campaign had a brief legal victory in Pennsylvania on Thursday when a judge ruled ballot observers can watch officials count ballots within six feet. Representatives of both campaigns were in the room to watch the counts but at a further distance because of the coronavirus. A county judge agreed with the Trump campaign, but the state Supreme Court rejected it.
Meanwhile, American legal experts have said though Trump wants the United States Supreme Court to weigh in on a presidential race, it may not be the final arbiter in this election,.
Legal experts said that while there could be objections to particular ballots or voting and counting procedures, it was unclear if such disputes would determine the final outcome.
Ned Foley, an election law expert at Ohio State University, said the current election does not have the ingredients that would create a situation like in the 2000 presidential race, when the Supreme Court ended a recount in George W. Bush’s favor against Democrat Al Gore.
“It’s extremely early on but at the moment it doesn’t seem apparent how this would end up where the U.S. Supreme Court would be decisive,” Foley said.
If Biden secures 270 electoral votes without needing Pennsylvania, the likelihood of a legal fight in that state diminishes in any case, legal experts said. And any challenge would also need to make its way through the usual court hierarchy.
“I think the Court would summarily turn away any effort by the President or his campaign to short-circuit the ordinary legal process,” said Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. “Even Bush v. Gore went through the Florida state courts first.”
Both Republicans and Democrats have amassed armies of lawyers ready to go to the mat in a close race. Biden’s team includes Marc Elias, a top election attorney at the firm Perkins Coie, and former Solicitors General Donald Verrilli and Walter Dellinger. Trump’s lawyers include Matt Morgan, the president’s campaign general counsel, Supreme Court litigator William Consovoy, and Justin Clark, senior counsel to the campaign.
Trump attorney Jenna Ellis has defended Trump’s bid to challenge the vote count and evaluate his legal options. “If we have to go through these legal challenges, that’s not unprecedented,” Ellis told Fox Business Network in an interview. “He wants to make sure that the election is not stolen.”
Meanwhile, some of Trump’s aides yesterday privately acknowledged the chances of the President winning are now slim and were contemplating their next career steps. In public, the team remains insistent his path to victory is possible and even likely. “Donald Trump is alive and well,” campaign manager Bill Stepien told reporters on a morning conference call.
But that reality hasn’t appeared to have set in for the candidate himself. Trump made a series of phone calls overnight, stung that his lead in some states had vanished and convinced Biden is stealing the presidency. As at press time, Trump does retain a chance of winning, though has fewer roads to 270 electoral votes than his rival Biden.