President Donald Trump and his allies are taking increasingly frantic steps to overturn the 2020 election results, including summoning state lawmakers to the White House as part of a long-term attempt to reverse the victory of Joe Biden.
Among other tactics of last resort: personally calling local election officials trying to overturn their certification votes in Michigan, suggesting in a court challenge that Pennsylvania overturned the popular vote there, and lobbying county officials. Arizona to delay certification of the vote counts.
Election law experts see him as the latest dying gasp of the Trump campaign and say Biden is certain to enter the Oval Office in January. But there is great concern that Trump’s efforts are actually damaging public confidence in the integrity of the U.S. election.
Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, one of Trump’s most vocal critics of the GOP, accused Trump of using “overt pressure on national and local authorities to overthrow the will of the people and overturn the elections.”
Romney added, “It’s hard to imagine worse, more undemocratic action from a sitting US president.” Trump’s own election security agency said the 2020 presidential election was the safest in history. Days after the statement was released, Trump sacked the agency chief.
The increasingly desperate and erratic moves have no reasonable chance of changing the outcome of the 2020 election, in which Biden has now received more votes than any other presidential candidate in history and won the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win.
But the Republican president’s constant barrage of groundless claims, his work to personally influence local officials who certify the votes, and his allies’ refusal to admit he lost is likely to have a lasting negative impact on the country. . The legions of his supporters do not believe he lost.
“It’s about trying to create the conditions in which half the country believes there are only two possibilities, either winning or stealing the elections,” said Justin Levitt, constitutional law specialist and professor at Loyola Law School. “And it’s not a democracy.” The two GOP canvassers in Wayne County, Mich., Said in a statement Wednesday that they did not believe the election was fair and impartial.
“There has been a glaring lack of transparency throughout the process,” they said. But there was no evidence of impropriety or fraud in Michigan, election officials said.
Trump’s allies have drawn closer to how the president’s early advance in Michigan and some other states on election night slipped away as subsequent votes rolled in, presenting it as proof of something harmful.
But a massive influx of mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic leaned heavily on Biden, who encouraged his supporters to vote by mail, and those votes were the last to be counted. So it seemed like Trump had an advantage when he didn’t really have it.
In fact, Biden crushed Trump in Wayne County, a Democratic stronghold that includes Detroit, by a ratio of more than 2-1 on the verge of winning Michigan by 154,000 votes, unofficial results show.
Earlier this week, the two Republican county canvassers blocked the certification of votes there. They then gave in and the results were certified. But a person familiar with the matter said Trump reached out to canvassers Monica Palmer and William Hartmann on Tuesday night after the revised vote to express his gratitude for their support.
Then on Wednesday Palmer and Hartmann signed affidavits saying they believed the county’s vote “shouldn’t be certified.” They cannot overturn their votes, according to the Michigan secretary of state. The four-member state prospecting council is expected to meet on Monday and is also split with two Democrats and two Republicans.
Trump appears determined to move the issue forward. He invited Michigan Republican legislative leaders, Senate Majority Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield to the White House, according to two officials familiar with the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly.
The two agreed to leave, according to an official, but they have not commented publicly, and it is unclear what the purpose of the meeting is.
The Michigan legislature would be called upon to select voters if Trump was able to convince the state solicitors council not to certify Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in the state. But the two legislative leaders have indicated they will not try to undo Biden’s victory.
“Michigan law does not include a provision allowing the Legislature to directly select voters or assign voters to anyone other than the person who received the most votes,” said the spokesperson for Shirkey last week.
At a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware on Thursday, Biden said Americans were “witnessing incredible irresponsibility, incredibly damaging messages being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy works.” He added: “I just think it’s totally irresponsible. “
Earlier, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others held a press conference to allege a widespread Democratic election conspiracy involving multiple states and suspecting voting machines. But election officials across the country have said repeatedly that there has been no widespread fraud.
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