President Donald Trump's post-election legal strategy has been to file lawsuits wherever his team believes votes can be found or blocked, and where Joe Biden is moving forward – even if their advance in one state contradicts what they did in another search.
The strategy presents Trump's attorneys with multiple opportunities for challenge, with votes in multiple battlefield states that could ultimately transfer the presidency to Joe Biden – although Democratic officials say it is supposed to be promoting a "false narrative" to undermine the results.
The allegations even come after election observers and media organizations reported an electoral process with no major incident.
Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi reveals a court order granting President Donald Trump's campaign more access to vote counting operations at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Thursday, November 5, 2020. The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Michigan and is seeking a recount in Wisconsin
State judges ruled Thursday against the Trump campaigns in Michigan and Georgia – and exposed the limits of the strategy of rushing to court.
In Georgia, Supreme Court Justice James Bass said there was "no evidence" to support the Trump suit's claims that 53 ballot papers were late and mixed with other ballot papers. In Michigan Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled against the Trump campaign's push to stop counting in order to gain additional access for her observers. "I have no basis to determine that there is a significant chance of success in the matter," she said.
"All of the states recently claimed by Biden are being challenged by us for election fraud and electoral fraud," Trump tweeted on Thursday amid the nationwide flash of legal challenges. “Lots of evidence – just look at the media. WE WILL WIN! America first! & # 39;
Trump's team scored a victory in a Pennsylvania court, but not on a point likely to affect a race with thousands of ballots. The Trump campaign called it a "great victory," but state officials appealed, saying it jeopardized both the security of the city's accused acquisition and the privacy of voters.
Even if Trump's legal efforts ultimately fail, they are already managing to slow the voting process, and Trump's allies claim that Trump won an "overwhelming victory" on the "verifiable" ballot.
Trump's legal team has filed lawsuits on several fronts – to try to curb the flow of presumably pro-Biden postal ballot papers into the system and to enforce better access for observers to presumably dispute more single ballot papers.
They scored a first victory Thursday morning, which former Florida Secretary of State Pam Bondi, a Trump supporter, wielded at a press conference.
The judgment of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania overturns a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. It allows Trump watchers "to observe all aspects of the acquisition process within 6 feet while complying with all COVID-19 protocols, including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing."
Trump extolled the "great legal victory in Pennsylvania!" on twitter.
But then the Pennsylvania Supreme Court knocked it down almost instantly when the Democrats appealed.
The reason for the appeal wasn't because of concern about the observation itself, experts said, but because Democrats said Republicans accepted the rules for observation before they went into effect.
The argument that the rules could be changed once they were agreed would pave the way for further changes to the rules, they argue.
That is not the end of the road for the Trump campaign. The big battle with a greater potential to affect the count could result in a challenge to an earlier Supreme Court decision allowing the state to count postal ballots received three days after polling day.
Conservative judges had indicated that there might be another hearing if these later-counted ballots prove decisive.
But a decisive victory for Biden with votes received before election day would undermine the need for the lawsuit – and Biden was with Trump's leadership with hundreds of thousands of ballots outstanding.
The Pennsylvania Democrats, aware of potential challenges and alarmed by reports that Republican-controlled lawmakers may seek to intervene, have later segregated postal ballots received to prevent the entire state outcome from being discarded.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General blew up the move on Thursday.
"This question is a matter of constitutional law," he said, noting that it was decided by the State Supreme Court. "It was decided that these ballots and be counted," he told CNN.
“We obey the law here in Pennsylvania. We count these legal votes, ”he said.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, U.S. President Donald Trump's personal attorney, speaks near Eric Trump and his wife Lara Trump during a press conference at the Atlantic Aviation PHL private air terminal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Giuliani supports Trump's legal efforts
In Michigan, where Biden's lead has grown to more than 140,000 votes, Trump's team filed a lawsuit to stop the count. That margin has increased since election night, when Trump got a head start on a count that began with voting in person on election day.
The lawsuit alleges that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson allowed the counting of postal ballot papers without bipartisan observer groups, as provided by state law to ensure the integrity of the count.
The lawsuit alleges that Benson, a Democrat, undermined the constitutional right of all Michigan voters to vote in fair and lawful elections.
The lawsuit pertains to the huge TCF center in Detroit, where votes are sorted and tabulated.
But media monitors from CNN and the Associated Press who were there witnessed the monitoring teams during the census, and they could be seen walking between tables where workers and volunteers went through ballot papers.
Trump's campaign accuses election officials of denying them the "reasonable" opportunity to witness the Count. After protesters showed up at the TCF center and knocked on windows, officials installed materials to block the windows.
"President Trump's campaign has not been given meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law," campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement Wednesday.
& # 39; We filed a lawsuit with the Michigan Court of Claims today to stop counting pending meaningful access. We also ask for a review of the ballot papers that have been opened and counted even though we did not have significant access. President Trump is campaigning for all legal votes in Michigan and everywhere else to be counted, ”he said.
Michigan State Secretary Jocelyn Benson blew up the suit.
& # 39; It has no value. It's a frivolous lawsuit and truly an example of the kind of misinformation that our voters are supposed to use to cast doubt on the integrity of our electoral process, "she told CBS.
"They meticulously followed every rule … meticulously with people from both sides of the aisle watching and working on the process," she told the network. "It's really designed to spread a false narrative that the process is far from open and completely secure," she said.
Previously, Benson explained why Michigan's postal ballot papers were late.
"You may be thinking, why are we still waiting to hear from Michigan, and why are they still counting our ballots," Michigan state secretary Jocelyn Benson told CNN. "Well, for about 18 months now the electoral officials and I have been asking lawmakers to update our laws to allow time to preprocess ballots … Now our lawmakers have decided not to make this change to our laws, and here we are in Michigan, where our counting process continues long after the polls are complete. & # 39;
She noticed that in nearby Ohio, postal ballot papers were counting early. This helped create a mirror image of what was happening in Michigan. Joe Biden took an early lead on the first count only to see Donald Trump take a 53-45 health win.
The Trump campaign is filing a lawsuit in Nevada alleging thousands of "illegal votes" were cast by non-residents.
The lawsuit comes when Biden's leadership there was less than 8,000 votes on Thursday morning.
The Trump team claims Nevada voted "tens of thousands" who are no longer resident in the state, Fox News reported.
If so, it would constitute massive fraud on a scale not seen in recent history – and tear away Biden's leadership if the charges were found to be well founded.
Former director of the National Intelligence Service, Ric Grenell, announced the lawsuit at a press conference.
Grenell is a Trump loyalist and shared information from the final days of the Obama administration that benefited Trump during his role as DNI.
"We are confident that President Trump will win the state of Nevada if all legal votes are counted – and only the legal votes are counted," Grenell said.
Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt attended his event. Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union; and Michael McDonald, chairman of the State Party.
It wasn't immediately clear what happened when Trump's team gathered evidence of out-of-state voting. In fact, it is up to the county to provide evidence.
"We're asking Clark County for answers," Grenell said. "We have to have a system in which legal votes are cast."
A suit also tries to challenge the software used to verify signature identification on postal ballot papers.
“People bring up to 18 ballots into their homes. To date, we haven't seen these signatures, ”Laxalt said, according to a local Fox partner.
Again, there was no direct evidence.
Team Trump filed a challenge in Georgia with just 53 ballots, despite Trump's lead being under 20,000 – with a new count in favor of Joe Biden. The lawsuit said the ballot papers were received after the deadline but did not provide any evidence.
According to a legal action, a Republican election observer, witnessed postal ballot papers that hadn't been processed properly, apparently mixed up in a pile of postal ballot papers that had already been tabulated. The proper chain of custody for the ballot papers was not followed. & # 39;
But the judge in the case threw it away.
The challenger said he saw postal ballot papers mixed with other ballot papers at a counting machine in Chatham, Georgia.
He said he, a worker, brought "a pile of ballots" and put them on a table in a processing plant. He interviewed a manager who said the ballot papers were "not in the manifest" and were put in a box with previously identified ballot papers.
A Trump campaign lawsuit alleged that the proper chain of custody for the voting group was not followed.
"Failure to ensure that postal ballot papers received after the deadline are stored in such a way that it is ensured that such ballot papers are not accidentally or intentionally counted, as required under Georgian law, harms the interests of the Trump campaign and the president "says the file.
The lawsuit claims that this could lead to a “dilution” of the legal votes cast for Trump.
The lawsuit alleges "possible counting of postal ballots arriving after 7:00 pm" – the state deadline – but the observer did not say that the ballots he was watching were received after the deadline.
Chatham County Supreme Court Justice James Bass dismissed the case after a hearing Thursday morning in the county that includes Savannah. But Trump's lawyers could try to appeal.
Winning in a courtroom is only part of the strategy. The suits add a touch of mayhem, leaving time for further arguments and delaying the time for Joe Biden to declare victory should he win it.
"If in federal courts now in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona – if we can get a fair number of verifiable certifiable legal votes, President Trump will win them," Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, told Fox Business Network Personality Maria Bartiromo Thursday.
Conservatives who interpret the Constitution strictly control the courts, including the Supreme Court. We control state legislation. We control the party delegations of the House of Representatives in Nancy Pelosi's house, ”he said, indicating the hope of forcing the decision on the race by extraordinary means.