The suit, the third amended version filed in federal court, asserts that ‘a substantial portion of the approximately 1.5 million absentee and mail votes’ in certain counties ‘should not have been counted’ and that the ‘vast majority of them’ favored Biden, ‘thus resulting in returns indicating Biden won Pennsylvania.’
The suit even proposes some remedies: Among them, that the court should enter an injunction ‘that the results of the 2020 presidential general election are defective and providing for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to choose Pennsylvania’s electors.’
Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is overseeing a federal suit in Pennsylvania where the Trump campaign is asking the court to declare the vote ‘defective’ provide for the state General Assembly to disregard the vote and choose Pennsylvania’s electors
It codified a plan first reported weeks before the election amid pre-election statements by President Trump predicting fraud: that the state legislature, controlled by Republicans, might seek to send its own slate of pro-Trump electors despite the popular vote.
Alternatively the suit suggestions the court should enter an order injunction that prohibits county election boards and the state from certifying the results of the election – which would also create a deadlock that the legislature could seek to solve.
The suit does not provide evidence of the massive fraud it suggests, but claims observers were not in a position to verify the counting of absentee ballots.
Yet another filing clarifies what the Trump campaign is seeking: ‘Ultimately, Plaintiffs will seek the remedy of Trump being declared the winner of the legal votes cast in Pennsylvania in the 2020 General Election, and, thus, the recipient of Pennsylvania’s electors,’ lawyers write in a motion for leave to file their second amended complaint.
The filings state information and belief that ‘a substantial portion of the approximately 1.5 million absentee and mail votes in Defendant Counties should not have been counted, and the vast majority favored Biden, thus resulting in returns indicating Biden won Pennsylvania.’
The amended complaint comes a day after Giuliani appeared in federal court on Trump’s behalf, in an appearance an array of publications termed ‘rusty.’
President Donald Trump is seeking to have a federal judge toss out 1.5 million votes in Pennsylvania and declare him the winner of the state he lost to President-elect Joe Biden by more than 80,000 votes
Lawyers amended it after dropping off portions of their complaint, then reinserting them.
It also updated the filing to blast a 5-2 ruling by the state Supreme Court against the Trump campaign’s suit on election observers.
The court ‘declared that meaningful observers are not part of verification and votes may be counted without any review by political campaigns and parties,’ in the terminology of the filing.
‘Incredibly the Pennsylvania Supreme Court1 ruled, in a five to two November 17, 2020 Opinion that the Commonwealth’s current definition of “observer” under the state election code is hereby re-defined as “present in the same building,’ according to the amended complaint.
It claims the Trump campaign ‘has been injured in a way that concretely impacted its rights under the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause; the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause; the Elections Clause of Article I, § 4; and the Electors Clause of Article II, § 1 of the Constitution of the United States.’
It is not at all clear how a court would declare an election operated by state and county officials invalid and trigger another branch of state government, the legislature, to intervene.
The move comes as President Trump repeated claims Wednesday that he ‘won’ the election, in an event he called ‘rigged’ without providing evidence of massive fraud. His campaign is also seeking a recount in two Democratic counties in Wisconsin, while suing in other states Joe Biden got more votes than Trump.
The suit claims Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and county election officials violated the Constitution and state election laws.
The filing was the campaign’s second amended complaint.
Another filing, in opposition to dismiss the first complaint, cites ‘confusion’ among Trump’s new legal team as the reason it left out key allegations.
‘Due to confusion caused by the withdrawal of Plaintiffs’ lead counsel on Friday, November 13, the Amended Complaint filed on November 15 inadvertently withdrew numerous allegations contained in the original Complaint regarding the preclusion of observers at the canvassing of mail votes and the subsequent improper counting of mail votes in the seven Defendant County Boards of Election,’ according to the separate new filing.
‘Moreover, with the appearance of new counsel, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the Scaringi Firm, and new factual developments, the Campaign intends to file a second amended complaint to make clear that there was intentional misconduct by the Defendant Boards of Election, which deliberately excluded Republican/Trump observers from the canvassing in order to facilitate counting mail ballots which did not comport with the signature, date, and other requirements of Pennsylvania law,’ according to the filing.
A footnote cites apparent threats against one of the campaign lawyers, who on Wednesday withdrew from the case.
‘As reported in the media, former counsel suffered threats of violence as well as economic reprisal for representing President Trump. Other counsel remaining in this case also received threats and is under the protection of U.S. Marshalls. Needless to say, this proved disruptive.
Another passage in Trump camp filings pleads a lack of ‘clear communication’ between lawyers.
‘Because of the lack of clear communication over the weekend of Case, certain counts were improperly withdrawn from the Amended Complaint. A reasonable period of time was needed for the newly constituted legal team to cohere, which occurred under great time pressure,’ it says.
The filings come as former White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said he was a ‘little concerned’ with Giuliani, saying ‘this is not a television program.’
IN one bizarre proposal, plaintiffs seek to personal examine a ‘significant random sample’ of ballots to determine if they were illegal – and have the results be used for the judge to deduct an appropriate number of votes from Biden.
According to a footnote in the filing: ‘For example, if 10% of the 1.5 million mail ballots were improperly counted because they lacked signatures, dates, or inside security envelopes, 75% x 150,000 votes should be deducted from Biden, and 25% x 150,000 votes should be deducted from Trump, a margin of 75,000 votes for Biden which would be sufficient to overturn reported results.’
STATE-BY-STATE: WHERE TRUMP IS SUING AND HOW IT’S GOING
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 82,092
The Trump campaign has made Pennsylvania a centerpiece of its legal efforts in hopes of prying its 20 Electoral Votes away from Joe Biden. The state was a focus of pre-election concern amid its vastly expanded mail-in ballots, court rulings about the state accepting mailed ballots after Election Day, and predictions voters would mishandle mail votes or fail to put their ballots inside a security sleeve before returning it.
The Trump campaign has raised broad public allegations of fraud and irregularities, while filing suits focused on restrictions placed on election observers – without immediate success.
Amid a series of chaotic moves among Trump’s legal team, the president tasked personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani with overseeing his efforts. The former New York mayor appeared in federal court Tuesday, Nov. 17. He wove together a sweeping claim of a fraud conspiracy allegedly carried out by Democrats, saying there was a ‘widespread nationwide voter fraud.’ He added: ‘They stole an election.’ But Giuliani also acknowledged to the federal judge Matthew Brann that, ‘This is not a fraud case.’ The Trump campaign had shaved numerous allegations from its initial filing, now arguing that there had been constitutional violations because some counties allowed voters to ‘cure’ their mail-in ballots while others did not. ‘This is just disgraceful,’ said Mark Aronchick, representing the Allegheny County Board of Elections, in the county that includes Pittsburgh.
Even as Giuliani was in court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against the Trump campaign, 5-2, after the Trump camp argued that election observers weren’t allowed close enough to observe the electoral count and did not get ‘meaningful access.’ The 5-2 decision ruled that Pennsylvania counties could determine the particulars of election observers, and that state law only required they be ‘in the room’ when votes are counted. Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis blasted the ruling and said ‘We are keeping all legal options open to fight for election integrity and the rule of law.’
Even the two dissenting justices in the state’s highest court wrote that the idea of tossing out ‘presumptively valid’ ballots based on ‘isolated irregularities’ was ‘misguided.’
On Monday after Election Day, the Trump campaign filed their big shot at overturning all mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, claiming that Democratic and Republican counties did not administer them in the same way; instances of fraud; and that poll watchers could not see them being counted. On that basis, they say, the results should not be certified on November 23.
The case faces an uphill struggle. The largest law firm involved in it, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, quit.
The Supreme Court has already allowed mail-in ballots to be issued in Pennsylvania, and the claim of poll watchers not seeing them being counted had failed before when a Trump agreed that a ‘non-zero number’ of Republicans had observed the count in Philadelphia.
The new suit provided no actual evidence of fraud. It did include a claim by an Erie mailman that he had heard his supervisors talking about illegally backdating ballots; he was said to have recanted that claim when questioned by U.S. Postal Inspectors.
Trump’s campaign then filed a motion to intervene in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a decision from the state’s highest court that allowed election officials to count mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday’s Election Day that were delivered through Friday after Election Day.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on the Friday night before Election Day ordered county election boards in the state to separate mail-in ballots received after 8 p.m. EST on Election Day.
Pennsylvania election officials have said those ballots were already being separated.
The justices previously ruled there was not enough time to decide the merits of the case before Election Day but indicated they might revisit it afterwards.
Alito, joined by fellow conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, said in a written opinion that there was a ‘strong likelihood’ the Pennsylvania court’s decision violated the U.S. Constitution.
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar has said late-arriving ballots are a tiny proportion of the overall vote in the state.
Rudy Giuliani unveiled a ‘witness’ to his claims – a Republican poll watcher – at his infamous press conference outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping. But the man, Daryl Brooks, has not been included in any legal papers. He was previously convicted of exposing himself to underage girls.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 9,543. RECOUNT IS LEGALLY IMPOSSIBLE
Trump’s campaign said the Saturday after Election Day it had sued in Arizona, alleging that the state’s most populous county incorrectly rejected votes cast on Election Day by some voters.
The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Maricopa County, said poll workers told some voters to press a button after a machine had detected an ‘overvote.’
The campaign said that decision disregarded voters’ choices in those races, and the lawsuit suggested those votes could prove ‘determinative’ in the outcome of the presidential race.
It is a modification of an earlier suit which was submitted and then withdrawn claiming that Trump voters were given sharpies to mark their ballots and claiming this made them more prone to error. The ‘sharpie-gate’ claims have no basis in fact, Arizona’s secretary of state says.
On Thursday Nov. 12, a judge savaged the affidavits produced to back the case as ‘spam’ and a Trump lawyer said they were not alleging fraud in any form.
On Nov. 13th, lawyers for the Trump campaign dropped a lawsuit seeking a review of all ballots cast on Election Day amid the daunting vote margin. The Biden camp had called the suit ‘frivolous’ and a ‘waste of time.’
Amid the setbacks, the state GOP asked a judge to bar Maricopa County from certifying the election results. A judge was scheduled to hear the motion Wednesday, Nov. 18, with a looming Nov. 23 deadline for state certification of election results. An audit in the vote-rich county found not ballot discrepancies there.
One claim that President Trump blasted out to his Twitter followers alleging that Dominion voting machines and software were part of a nationwide scheme to ‘delete’ Trump votes and ‘switch’ votes from Trump to Biden never made it into legal filings by his campaign lawyers.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 33,596
A voter, a member of the media and two candidate campaigns sued Nevada’s secretary of state and other officials to prevent the use of a signature-verification system in populous Clark County and to provide public access to vote counting.
A federal judge rejected the request, saying there was no evidence the county was doing anything unlawful.
Trump campaign officials have also claimed evidence that thousands of non-residents have voted but have not sued.
The Trump campaign filed a new lawsuit Tuesday Nov. 17, two weeks after Election Day, claiming irregularities, suing on behalf of Trump electors in Carson City. The campaign claimed 15,000 people voted despite moving out of state. Following earlier claims some people labeled ‘out of state’ were found to be military voters stationed outside of Nevada. It revisited allegations that a machine used to verify signatures was not reliable. The suit asks a judge to either declare Trump the winner or nullify the results and prohibit the appointment of state electors. It also states that 500 provisional ballots got included in totals without being resolved.
One suit targets a Democratic elector who says she is a homeless veteran, seeking to avoid the state’s electors to Trump and disregard the vote.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 14,028
The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in state court in Chatham County that alleged late-arriving ballots were improperly mingled with valid ballots, and asked a judge to order late-arriving ballots be separated and not be counted.
The case was dismissed on November 5, finding there was ‘no evidence’ ballots referenced in the suit came in after the state’s deadline, and no evidence Chatham County failed to comply with the law.
The two Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, called for the GOP Secretary of State to quit claiming there were election irregularities Monday. They offered no evidence and he scoffed: ‘That’s not going to happen.’
A suit by Atlanta attorney Lin Wood, who supports Trump and who represented Richard Jewell in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bomb case, is seeking a court order to prevent Georgia from certifying its results, and calling for mail-in ballots not to be included in totals. He is seeking to throw out a March 6, 2020 consent agreement reached by the Georgia secretary of state and the Democratic Party. The decree put in place procedures for verifying ballot signatures.
A group of four voters voluntarily withdrew their suit after arguing in a complaint to exclude votes from eight counties, saying ballots were cast illegally.
Three Trump campaign claims of dead people ‘voting’ in Georgia turned out not to be true.
Georgia undertook an automatic recount due to the closeness of the margin, and conducted a hand count as part of an audit. Officials were expecting to announce the result Nov. 18. Although the count uncovered additional tranches of ballots, it was not expected to change the result.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 148, 152
On Monday Nov. 9 Trump filed a federal case alleging fraud and then later a separate demand that the votes are not certified on November 23.
In the first case, one witness – possibly misgendered by the Trump lawyers – claimed that they had been told by another person that mysterious ballots arrived late on vehicles with out of state plates and all were for Biden; that they had seen voters coached to vote for Biden; and that they were told to process ballots without any checks.
It also included poll watchers and ‘challengers’ who said they could not get close enough to see what was happening.
A federal judge has yet to issue any response on when and how it will be looked into. The Trump campaign also filed the same case again to the wrong federal court on Thursday Nov. 12 for no apparent reason.
Trump’s campaign last Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Michigan to halt the vote count in the state. The lawsuit alleged that campaign poll watchers were denied ‘meaningful access’ to counting of ballots, plus access to surveillance video footage of ballot drop boxes.
On Thursday 6, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens dismissed the case, saying there was no legal basis or evidence to halt the vote and grant requests.
The Trump campaing also asked a court to stop canvassing boards in Michigan and in Wayne County, which includes Detroit, from certifying the results.
A week after filing its federal case, the Trump campaign had yet to serve Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson with a copy of its complaint.
U.S. District Judge Janet Neff gave the campaign a Nov. 17 deadline or face dismissal ‘for failure to diligently prosecute this case.’
There was drama the evening of Nov. 17 when two Republican officials refused for a time refused to certify the results from Detroit. They backtracked hours later in the face of outrage and accusations of racism. President Trump hailed them online for their ‘courage’ Tuesday night, but they flip-flopped minutes later and agreed to certify the result. The initial refusal had been seen as a first step towards Trump having the Republican-held Michigan legislature ignore the election results and seat its own Electoral College electors who back Trump, in a bid to force a contested election into the Congress.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 20,565
On Nov. 18th, the Trump campaign paid $3 million to get a partial recount in two Wisconsin counties, Milwaukee and Dane, that went heavily for Joe Biden. The request came hours before a deadline Wednesday.
The race was close enough, with a difference of more than 20,000, that Trump could request a recount, but was required to pay. Counties must complete their work by December 1.
Past recounts have had only marginal impacts on the final count. A recount of the 2016 presidential election netted Trump just 131 additional votes, with a victory margin of 23,000. That recount was requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and opposed by Trump.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
The U.S. Postal Service said about 1,700 ballots had been identified in Pennsylvania at processing facilities during two sweeps on Thursday after Election Day and were being delivered to election officials, according to a court filing early Friday.
The Postal Service said 1,076 ballots, had been found at its Philadelphia Processing and Distribution Center. About 300 were found at the Pittsburgh processing center, 266 at a Lehigh Valley facility and others at other Pennsylvania processing centers.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington is overseeing a lawsuit by Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates.
Sullivan on Thursday ordered twice-daily sweeps at Postal Service facilities serving states with extended ballot receipt deadlines.