President Donald Trump’s desperate bid to overturn the results of the November 3 election was dealt another blow yesterday when a high-ranking Georgia official announced president-elect Joe Biden was the winner after a recount in the US state.
Biden, a Democrat, is preparing to take office on January 20, but Trump, a Republican, has refused to concede and is searching for a way to invalidate or overturn the results in a number of states, claiming widespread voter fraud.
Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger poured more cold water on the Trump campaign’s effort when he confirmed that a manual recount and audit of all ballots cast in the southern state had determined that Biden was the winner.
“The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office or courts, or of either campaigns,” Raffensperger, a Republican and Trump supporter, told reporters.
With the door seemingly slammed shut in Georgia and having been stung by a series of court defeats, the Trump team is resting its hopes on a bid to get Republican-controlled legislatures in other battleground states won by Biden to set aside the results and declare Trump the winner, according to three people familiar with the plan.
It is focusing on Michigan and Pennsylvania for now, but even if both those states flipped to the president he would need to overturn the vote in another state to vault ahead of Biden in the Electoral College.
Such an extraordinary event would be unprecedented in modern US history.
Trump not only would need three state legislatures to intervene against vote counts as they stand now, but then also have those actions upheld by Congress and, almost certainly, the Supreme Court.
Trump’s lawyers are seeking to take the power of appointing electors away from state governors and secretaries of state, and give it to friendly state lawmakers from his party, saying the US Constitution gives legislatures the ultimate authority.
“The entire election frankly in all the swing states should be overturned and the legislatures should make sure that the electors are selected for Trump,” Sidney Powell, one of Trump’s lawyers, told Fox Business Network.
Legal experts have sounded the alarm at the notion of a sitting president seeking to undermine the will of the voters, though they have expressed scepticism that a state legislature could lawfully substitute its own electors.
Biden campaign legal adviser Bob Bauer told reporters yesterday that Trump was in a hopeless legal position. So far, Trump’s attempts to reverse the outcome via lawsuits and recounts have met with little success.
Despite the setbacks, his campaign has not abandoned its legal efforts and has vowed to file more lawsuits.
Trump was to meet with Michigan’s state legislative leaders, senate majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House of Representatives Speaker Lee Chatfield, both Republicans, at the White House yesterday, according to a source in Michigan.
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