Ultimate Resource On How Trump Lost His 2nd Term Re-Election
President Trump on Sunday tweeted that President-elect Joe Biden had “won” the 2020 race for the White House — before backtracking, saying that he concedes “nothing.” Ultimate Resource On How Trump Lost His 2nd Term Re-Election
“He won because the Election was Rigged,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
But around an hour later, Trump clarified that he’s not giving up his fight to challenge the election results.
“He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA,” he tweeted.
“I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”
Trump, in his initial tweet, rattled off a series of reasons why he claimed the victory was handed to the Democratic presidential candidate.
“NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more!” he continued.
Trump had previously accused the company, Dominion Voting — which supplies voting machines throughout the US — of deleting 2.7 million votes for him across the country and changing 221,000 votes cast in Pennsylvania for him to favor Biden.
The company said in a statement that it “denies claims about any vote switching or alleged software issues with our voting systems.”
He won because the Election was Rigged. NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more! https://t.co/Exb3C1mAPg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020
Trump References Biden Win In Sunday Tweet Flurry
President Donald Trump appeared to acknowledge that President-elect Joe Biden won the election on Sunday morning, although he continued to repeat unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and did not concede defeat. That could boost the market’s mood Monday, if investors interpret it as another step toward a normal transition of power.
Trump, in a morning tweet, stated that “He [Biden] won because the Election was Rigged.” He went on to claim that observers were not allowed and argued that voting tabulation was biased.
A broad collation of government officials has declared that the Nov. 3 election was “the most secure in American history,” and so far the vast majority of the Trump campaign’s legal challenges have been dismissed.
That said, while it was the first direct reference to Biden’s victory, Trump doesn’t appear any closer to accepting his defeat: He also tweeted “I will concede NOTHING,” and reiterated that his campaign will win.
Trump is the first presidential candidate in modern history not to concede.
Markets were jittery heading into the polls, as Wall Street abhors uncertainty, and Trump cried foul long before Nov. 3, declining to say that he would accept the results. Yet the S&P 500 is up 6.2% since the election. The 10-calendar-day performance is the best 10-day performance since Ronald Reagan’s victory in 1980.
On Monday, Nov. 9, the first trading day after Biden was the projected as the winner, global markets soared, as investors cheered a long-awaited outcome and the news of Pfizer’s (ticker: PFE) potential Covid-19 vaccine success.
This isn’t the first time Trump appeared to be aware of his defeat. Although he hasn’t conceded, on Friday he did say that his administration would not issue a Covid lockdown but “whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be.”
With no evidence of widespread fraud, and narrowing legal options, Trump’s chances for legally overturning Biden’s legitimate victory are slim. The rest of the rhetoric in his Sunday tweet spree was familiar, but markets could decide that this acknowledgment of Biden’s win—however resentful—marks a shift in his mind-set toward the inevitable end of his term.
That might potentially spur more gains, as Wall Street prefers the status quo, and is therefore hoping for a peaceful, uneventful start of the Biden administration.
Still, while the election results may have delivered markets exactly what they like, it’s worth remembering that many other factors go into economic success than who sits in the Oval Office. Which is why the stock market doesn’t necessarily care who is president.
Trump’s Gambit To Overturn States’ Election Results Is Running Out of Time
Joe Biden is moving closer to formally claiming the White House as states push ahead with certifying election results despite Donald Trump’s efforts to challenge the vote.
Although Trump’s campaign and his supporters have mounted legal challenges, Georgia is on track to certify its election results on Friday, with Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada expected to follow next week, Arizona by Nov. 30 and Wisconsin by Dec. 1. Unless courts intervene, validation by those states would make it difficult for Trump to continue to claim that he, and not Biden, won the presidential election.
“This is going to be a series of dominoes that fall sort of ineluctably toward the conclusion that we already know is true, which is that Biden is the winner of these states and is the president-elect,” said Richard Pildes, a New York University professor of constitutional law. “This will be the formal legal step that cements that.”
States make their election results official through a certification after what’s known as a canvass to account for every ballot cast and to confirm that every valid vote was counted, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Procedures and deadlines for certifying votes vary by state.
Certified totals can change if a state allows recounts after certification, which Georgia, Michigan and Nevada do, or if there is a challenge to the election. But certification amounts to a declaration of a winner, and the winning candidate will assume office unless a court intervenes, said Michael Morley, an assistant law professor at Florida State University who’s worked on election emergencies and post-election litigation.
Certification is also important because it triggers the appointment of state electors to the Electoral College. Votes for a presidential candidate are actually for that candidate’s slate of electors, and certified results allow the state’s executive — typically the governor — to send “certificates of ascertainment” to the archivist of the United States listing the names of the electors appointed and the number of votes cast, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Six key presidential battleground states are facing deadlines to certify their election results by Dec. 1
Trump’s campaign or his Republican supporters have sued to stop certification in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Arizona citing election irregularities but without evidence of widespread fraud. The two Republicans on a board in the Michigan county that includes Detroit also initially refused to certify results on Tuesday before reversing their decision amid public outrage.
If a state fails to certify its results by Dec. 14, when the electors to the Electoral College meet in each state, there’s a risk some those votes might not be counted when Congress meets on Jan. 6 to tally the results from each state, said Edward Foley, a professor and director of an election-law program at Ohio State University who has studied disputed elections.
Foley said Biden electors could still meet on Dec. 14 and cast their votes even if results haven’t been certified, but the certification provides more certainty — especially if results are certified and all recounts and legal challenges resolved before Dec. 8, the so-called “Safe Harbor” deadline when Congress must presume them to be valid.
Delaying certification could also open the door to Republican legislatures in Pennsylvania and other battleground states appointing their own slate of electors for Trump on grounds the election failed, as some Republicans and conservative commentators are advocating. But state Republican leaders have said they’re not doing that, and legal experts doubt it’s a realistic option.
Trump filed for a recount of two largely Democratic counties in Wisconsin on Wednesday, and Wednesday night is the deadline for Georgia to finish a hand recount of its results. Trump’s campaign could also still ask for recounts in Georgia, Nevada and Michigan after the results there are certified. But Biden holds leads of about 13,000 in Georgia, 20,500 in Wisconsin, 33,500 in Nevada and almost 146,000 in Michigan — margins that are too wide for recounts to overcome.
There could also be contests of the election, depending on state statutes. The electors pledged to Trump in Nevada filed an election contest on Tuesday to have Trump declared the winner in the state.
In Pennsylvania, an election contest must be filed by Monday by getting 100 voters to sign a court petition with five voters providing affidavits that the election was illegal. But that wouldn’t go anywhere without evidence, said attorney Lawrence Otter, who represented Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in 2016 when she filed a contest petition but withdrew it when the court set the cost at $1 million.
“Based on what they’ve done in other court proceedings, they have no evidence,” Otter said of the Trump campaign. “They’ve got grand tales of conspiracy.”
Trump Election Lawsuits Have Mostly Failed. Here’s What They Tried
Despite calls from many for a concession this weekend, President Trump and his campaign say they are pushing on to fight the election results tooth-and-nail.
Practically speaking, that means lawsuits.
“Our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated,” Trump said in a statement Saturday. “The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots.”
The problem is, Trump’s campaign has spent much of the past week in court with little success and without presenting anything close to evidence that points to a fraudulent result.
“You can’t go to court just because you don’t like the vote totals,” Ohio State election law professor Ned Foley said on MSNBC over the weekend. “You have to have a legal claim, and you have to have evidence to back it up. And that’s just not there.”
Here’s A Run-Through Of The Litigation The Trump Campaign Has Filed So Far:
Pennsylvania: Extended Deadlines, Observers
Philadelphia may be the central location in President Trump’s quest to prove the 2020 election was stolen from him.
As expected, Republican voters voted more heavily on Election Day in Pennsylvania, a critical swing state, and Democrats voted in significantly larger numbers by mail.
Because laws around the vote counting process did not adjust to that reality, it took days before it was clear that former Vice President Joe Biden had won the state.
The Trump campaign and many Republicans, however, have seized on the time it has taken for officials to count ballots as a sign of something fraudulent happening. But the lawsuits they have filed have not borne that narrative out.
Thus far, the campaign has scored a few wins in court but none that will have an effect on the result of the state. A state court, and separately the U.S. Supreme Court, ruled that local officials must segregate some ballots in case deadlines that were extended by the secretary of state are found to be unconstitutional.
It’s unclear how many ballots that will be at this point, but experts are extremely skeptical it will be anywhere close to enough to overturn Biden’s current 45,000-vote lead in the state.
Separately, a state judge ruled that election observers could stand slightly closer to election officials than they were previously allowed to, but a request to stop vote counting over the issue was dismissed.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro told NPR that despite Trump’s rhetoric about “big” legal wins in the state, the lawsuits thus far have yielded no material changes to election processes.
“I’m not going to get into a rhetorical battle with the president … but it’s hardly a big win,” Shapiro said after the court decision that allowed observers in Philadelphia to stand a few feet closer to election workers. “It has no effect on the outcome of this election.”
At a press conference Monday afternoon at the Republican National Committee headquarters, a number of top Republicans announced a fresh lawsuit in Pennsylvania over what it claimed was unfair and unequal treatment of Republicans in the state’s election. That litigation is ongoing.
Michigan: Unfounded Claims Of Lack Of Transparency
Similarly, in Michigan the Trump campaign has tried to allude to improprieties in a major city in a state it won in 2016, but lost this year. In Michigan’s case: Detroit.
The campaign’s claims have focused on an alleged lack of transparency in the vote-counting process, but in two cases, judges have not been swayed.
“This court finds that while there are assertions made by the plaintiffs that there is no evidence in support of those assertions,” said Judge Timothy Kenny in denying a request to delay certification of election results.
“On this factual record, I have no basis to find that there’s a substantial likelihood of success on the merits as relates to this defendant, nor am I convinced that there is a clear legal duty on behalf of anyone who is properly before this court to manage this issue,” said Judge Cynthia Stephens in denying a separate request to stop the state’s vote counting.
Still, the Trump campaign says it has more evidence to come regarding the elections process in Detroit. Two voters filed suit against the City of Detroit and its elections commission, alleging a number of crimes on the part of election officials. The suit includes an affidavit from an elections employee who makes a number of claims that have been disputed by city officials.
“We have only begun the process of obtaining an accurate and honest vote count,” said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany at a press conference Monday afternoon.
Arizona: Baseless Sharpie Conspiracies
A rumor, which has been debunked by the Department of Homeland Security, still led to a lawsuit by the Trump campaign in Arizona.
The campaign alleged that some voters had their ballots incorrectly rejected because they used Sharpies to fill them out. It’s a claim that went viral on social media, despite officials insisting it was not true.
“Don’t promote disinfo! Stop spreading #SharpieGate claims,” said Chris Krebs, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
The agency debunked the claim on its Rumor Control website, which fact-checks election misinformation.
Republicans in the state dropped the Sharpie lawsuit Saturday but then filed a separate suit alleging other votes in the state were incorrectly rejected.
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, called the suit a “repackaging” of the Sharpie conspiracy theory, in a local TV interview.
“The claims are baseless,” Hobbs said. “At this point folks are grasping at straws.”
Georgia: No Evidence Of Late Ballots Counted
A Georgia judge summarily dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit last week that alleged ballots received after a 7 p.m. Election Day deadline were mixed in with legitimate ballots, according to The Current, a nonprofit newsroom in Georgia that partners with NPR member station Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Republicans in the state based their allegations on testimony from a Georgia GOP poll watcher who was subsequently unable to provide any evidence.
“The court finds that there is no evidence that the ballots referenced in the petition were received after 7:00 p.m. on [Election Day], thereby making those ballots invalid,” Judge James F. Bass wrote, in dismissing the case.
On Monday, Georgia’s two sitting Republican senators called for the state’s Republican secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to resign after alleging “too many failures in Georgia elections this year” but without mentioning specifics to support their claims, as reported by GPB’s Stephen Fowler.
Raffensperger shot back.
“My job is to follow Georgia law and see to it that all legal votes, and no illegal votes, are counted properly and accurately,” he said. “As secretary of state, that is my duty, and I will continue to do my duty. As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the U.S. Senate. I recommend that Sens. Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that.”
Nevada: Rejected Requests To Stop Machine Verification, Processing Of Mail Ballots
In Nevada, another state Biden seems to have won by a fairly thin margin, Nevada Republicans filed a lawsuit that, had it been successful, would have slowed down the vote-counting process.
The Trump campaign and the Nevada Republican Party claimed that “irregularities have plagued the election” in Clark County, the state’s most populous county, without providing evidence. They argued that the county should not be able to use a machine to verify signatures, but federal Judge Andrew Gordon rejected the request.
The Trump campaign also earlier sued unsuccessfully to stop the processing of mail ballots in Clark County.
Trump Election Fraud Claims Disappear In Pennsylvania Court
President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani described at length to a federal judge in Pennsylvania a vast but vague Democratic conspiracy to steal the election that justified the invalidation of hundreds of thousands of votes — enough to flip the state from President-elect Joe Biden to Trump.
But U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann cut straight to the heart of the matter, wondering aloud why it would be reasonable to throw out so many valid ballots — Giuliani at one point said 1.5 million would have to go — based on allegations that some votes were merely counted improperly.
“How can this result possibly be justified?” Brann asked during a six-hour hearing in Williamsport on the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit on Tuesday.
And when Brann pressed Giuliani to explain why none of the specific legal claims in the suit are based on voter fraud, the president’s lawyer admitted the campaign isn’t pleading voter fraud at all. Later, Brann asked whether he should apply a higher legal standard of “strict scrutiny” to the case, which is required when fraud is alleged.
“If we had alleged fraud, then yes, but this is not a fraud case,” Giuliani said quickly.
Even so, Giuliani, picked by Trump to lead his post-election litigation, argued that the “draconian” remedy requested was warranted by the magnitude of fraud, carried out by Democratic election officials in U.S. swing states’ biggest cities, from Philadelphia to Las Vegas.
“Those ballots could have been from Mickey Mouse. We have no idea. It’s never happened before,” Giuliani said, despite offering no evidence that ineligible voters cast ballots. “This was an egregious violation, a planned violation.”
The case is in many ways emblematic of the Trump campaign’s legal forays since Election Day — promising more than the court filings show, changing tactics (and in this case lawyers) midstream and rehashing arguments that have failed in other venues, with Giuliani admitting in a Fox Business Network interview Tuesday that he’s searching for a vehicle that will take a case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Pennsylvania claims are also running up against a Monday deadline for the counties to certify their results to Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, who is expected to certify the statewide vote shortly thereafter.
The claims of massive voter fraud have greater traction in the court of public opinion, where they’ve been fueling Trump’s refusal to admit defeat, delayed Biden’s transition efforts and triggered protests on the streets of Washington.
Giuliani also pursued a complaint that Republican observers were kept too far away to be able to monitor the ballot processing, saying that all the places where access was restricted “just all happen to be big cities controlled by Democrats” who “all of sudden” decided observers couldn’t inspect ballots.
“This is not an accident,” Giuliani said. “You’d have to be a fool to think this was an accident.”
Election officials across the country dispute that claim saying Republican observers were present at all times.
Mark Aronchick, lawyer for one of the counties named in the suit, said Giuliani’s unfounded claims about a Democratic conspiracy were “disgraceful,” especially in court of law. The attorney said Giuilani’s allegations are based on “stacks of unverified affidavits” and urged the judge to throw out a case that “for some reason has become a lifeline to the Trump campaign.”
Brann ended the hearing without ruling on the state’s dismissal request. He gave both sides the opportunity to file additional arguments in writing. The motion to dismiss may be moot if the judge grants the campaign’s request to file a second amended complaint, which is far from certain. Giuliani said he’d incorporate additional claims in the revised complaint.
As the federal case was underway, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Republican poll observers weren’t entitled to stand within a certain distance to observe the counting of ballots, eviscerating an earlier ruling in favor of Trump that was one of his few court wins. The campaign and other Republicans have premised their most extravagant claims of voter fraud on the idea that Republican observers were kept too far away to properly monitor ballot-counting.
The federal lawsuit narrowed significantly when Trump’s campaign dropped the observer-access claims in a surprise amended complaint on Sunday, alleging only that Democratic-leaning counties improperly allowed voters to fix errors on their mail-in ballots before Nov. 3, or in some cases alerted voters to problems so they could vote in person with a provisional ballot.
The campaign claims that’s unconstitutional because some Republican-leaning counties didn’t give voters the same opportunity, violating the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause. The state argues all counties were given the same guidance and county officials are allowed to implement the rules as they see fit.
“What in the world is wrong with alerting mail-in voters that there was a problem with their ballots so they can go to the polls and vote in person? That is a problem? Hardly,” Aronchick said.
That’s the extent of the lawsuit’s claims — a far cry, the state says, from the voter fraud conspiracy theories Giuliani and other Trump allies have been talking about for days.
“There is no claim that any voter cast more than one ballot, that a voter had his ballot wrongfully rejected, that anyone not eligible to vote voted” and no allegation of “voter fraud,” Daniel Donovan, the lawyer for Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, said at the hearing.
“How the expansion of the right to vote burdens anyone is a mystery,” Brann said.
At the end of the hearing, Brann denied a request from a Trump campaign lawyer to sanction the law firm representing Pennsylvania in the suit after one of its associates left an unauthorized voice mail that she said was threatening. In denying the request from attorney Linda Kerns, Brann said the message from a lawyer with Kirkland & Ellis was “unfortunate” but not threatening, as she claimed.
“I’m very sorry that happened,” the judge said.
The judge also weighed in on the withdrawal from the case of the campaign’s law firm, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, which had been targeted for harassment by the anti-Trump conservative group Lincoln Project on the grounds that campaign lawyers were trying to subvert democracy.
“I think that’s regrettable,” Brann, an Obama appointee, said of Porter Wright’s departure. “You should be able to represent clients without difficulty.”
Court Denies Trump Campaign’s Appeal In Pennsylvania Ballot Challenge
Ruling strikes latest blow to president’s efforts to overturn his defeat, saying claims lack merit and would cause ‘drastic and unprecedented’ voter disenfranchisement.
A federal appeals court Friday denied the Trump campaign’s appeal in Pennsylvania, writing that the case lacked proof and had no merit, and striking another blow to the president’s dwindling legal avenues to contest the outcome of the election.
The Philadelphia-based Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in its ruling that the Trump campaign hadn’t claimed fraud or that ballots were cast by illegal voters. The court noted the number of ballots the campaign had challenged were far smaller than Joe Biden’s margin of victory in the state.
“Calling an election unfair does not make it so,” wrote U.S. Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, for the three-judge panel. “Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”
Judge Bibas was joined by Judge Michael Chagares and Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith, both appointees of George W. Bush.
The ruling leaves the Trump campaign with few remaining legal options. It could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would then decide whether to take up the case. Jenna Ellis, a Trump legal adviser, wrote on Twitter after the ruling, “On to SCOTUS!”
“The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” wrote Ms. Ellis, in a joint statement with Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Pennsylvania has said the election was fair and no major evidence of fraud has emerged.
On Nov. 9, the Trump campaign sued Pennsylvania’s top election officials and seven county boards of election, arguing that the state’s treatment of mail-in and absentee ballots created the potential for fraud. In some counties but not others, the campaign said, officials allowed mail-in voters to fix minor ballot errors. It also accused election officials of keeping poll observers too far away.
The campaign asked the judge to block the certification of the vote.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann dismissed the case on Nov. 21, writing that the Trump campaign’s arguments lacked merit and didn’t justify depriving people of the right to vote.
The next day, the Trump campaign filed an unusual request, appealing only Judge Brann’s denial to file a new complaint, not the ruling itself. The Trump campaign said its proposed new complaint addressed problems with its prior filing, upon which the judge based his ruling.
In legal filings Monday, the Trump campaign asked the court to block the “legal effect” of certification during its appeal. Campaign lawyers argued that Judge Brann hadn’t addressed the substance of its new complaint, but instead said the legal process around the new filing would result in too much delay.
Lawyers for the state’s top election officials said in court documents Tuesday that decertification was unprecedented and probably unconstitutional. Decertification “would sow chaos and confusion across the nation while inflaming baseless conspiracies about widespread fraud,” the lawyers wrote.
Pennsylvania certified Mr. Biden the winner of the election on Tuesday. The Trump campaign has told the appeals court that the significant deadline is Dec. 8, the date by which states must approve results and choose electors to cast votes at the Electoral College.
In the ruling, Judge Bibas said the district court judge hadn’t abused his discretion in not letting the campaign file its complaint again. The judges also denied the campaign’s request to undo Pennsylvania’s vote certification.
“Tossing out millions of mail-in ballots would be drastic and unprecedented, disenfranchising a huge swath of the electorate and upsetting all down-ballot races too,” he wrote.
Judge Bibas noted that the Trump campaign had already lost cases with similar claims, like access for election observers, at the state level. He said that no federal law dealt with specifics like how far poll watchers must stand while votes were counted.
Trump, Still Defiant, Says He’ll Give Up Power If Electoral College Backs Biden
President Donald Trump said he’ll relinquish power if the Electoral College affirms Joe Biden’s win, but he signaled he may never formally concede defeat, and may skip the Democrat’s inauguration.
Trump fielded questions from reporters on Thursday for the first time since his election defeat, speaking at the White House after a Thanksgiving teleconference with members of the military.
He rehashed for about 25 minutes a series of fraud allegations his legal team has made publicly but has not substantiated with evidence or argued in court appearances, where there are penalties for lying. Trump said flatly that Biden couldn’t have received 80 million votes from the American people.
The defiant and occasionally conspiratorial exchange in the White House’s Diplomatic Room included a brief acknowledgement of the reality facing him. When Trump was asked if he’d physically leave the building if the Electoral College affirms Biden’s victory, he replied, “certainly I will, and you know that.”
He swiftly returned, though, to unloading a series of attacks and criticizing the election — including calling Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, an “enemy of the people.” Raffensperger certified Trump’s defeat in the state last week after a recount of the presidential vote.
Trump said he’ll soon stage a rally in Georgia, where voters return to the polls in early January for a pair of runoff Senate races that will determine control of the chamber.
On Friday, the president issued a series of tweets disparaging Biden and repeating unfounded claims about the election before traveling to his northern Virginia golf course.
“I will be in Georgia on Saturday!” he said. One of the state’s Republican senators, David Perdue, clarified in his own tweet that Trump will hold his rally on Dec. 5.
In his exchange with reporters on Thanksgiving, Trump was pressed on whether he would ever acknowledge defeat, and said it would “be a very hard thing to concede” — even if the Electoral College confirms Biden’s victory.
“If they do, they’ve made a mistake,” he said. “This election was a fraud.”
There is no evidence of a widespread fraud in the U.S. election, and numerous states have certified their results. Trump’s objections are aimed at Democrats and Republican officials alike.
The Electoral College is due to vote Dec. 14. Certificates recording the electoral vote results in each state must be received by the president of the Senate no later than Dec. 23. Biden is certified as the winner, or leading, in states totaling 306 electoral votes, well above the victory threshold of 270.
Trump acknowledged he was running out of time to present evidence of the massive fraud he has alleged — a signal that the evidence may never come. “The whole world is watching and the whole world is laughing at our electoral process,” he said.
Trump repeatedly circled back to Biden’s raw vote total, insisting the Democrat couldn’t have done so well as compared to previous Democratic candidates, although population growth historically drives growth in voting numbers, and the charged 2020 election cycle resulted in high turnout at every step.
“This is not a candidate that can get 80 million votes,” he said of Biden. “The only way he got 80 million votes is through a massive fraud.”
He repeated the claim in a tweet on Friday.
Trump declined to say if he’d attend Biden’s inauguration, as is the custom for an outgoing president. “I’ll be honest, I know the answer, but I just don’t want to say it yet,” he said. He also said that it’s “not right” that Biden has begun assembling a cabinet.
He ran through a series of states while disputing their results, including some that have already certified Biden’s victory, such as Pennsylvania.
“There’s no way I lost Pennsylvania,” Trump said. He claimed he also won Wisconsin, which Biden won but where a partial recount sought and paid for by Trump’s campaign is under way.
Trump made a passing reference to state-level lawmakers, hinting that he might still urge state legislatures to reject the results entirely and appoint their own electors to flip the state to him. “We’re in courts and we’re also in front of legislatures,” he said. One of Trump’s lawyers, Jenna Ellis, said Wednesday in Pennsylvania that the state legislature should consider intervening.
In Pennsylvania, “the Republican statehouse, they’re starting to see what’s going on there,” Trump said. A day earlier, he called into a de facto hearing in Gettysburg, repeating his unfounded allegations of fraud and calling for the election to be overturned.
At one point, Trump told reporters on Thursday, “don’t let Joe Biden take credit for the vaccines” — another sign that he is coming to terms with his defeat.
At another, he blamed the media and major technology companies for his loss. “If the media were honest and big tech were fair, this wouldn’t even be a contest. And I would have won by a tremendous amount, a tremendous amount,” he said, hastily adding: “and I did win by a tremendous amount, but it hasn’t been reported yet.”
Trump also declined to say if he’d seek the presidency again in 2024. “I don’t want to talk about 2024 yet,” he replied.
Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Trump has told aides he plans to run for election again if his efforts to overturn his 2020 defeat are unsuccessful.
Trump began his Thanksgiving Day by golfing, returning to the White House 18 minutes before his scheduled teleconference with members of the military. The White House delayed the call until 5 p.m., at which point it was 1 a.m. for some of the participants, who were joining from Kuwait.
During the event, Trump spoke briefly with members of each of the six branches of the military — including the new Space Force — lacing in remarks about his own legacy. He spoke with reporters in the room immediately after the event concluded.
Trump was due to dine with his “immediate family” at the White House on Thursday, though the administration didn’t say how many people would attend. Health officials urged Americans to limit the size of their gatherings in a bid to slow the spread of the raging coronavirus pandemic. Biden said he would have dinner with just three other people.
Trump was asked what his plans were for this last Thanksgiving in the White House. “Is this the last one, or is this the first one of a second term?” he replied. “We’ll see what happens.”
Pennsylvania Slams Judge’s ‘Overreach’ In Certification Ruling
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and other state officials assailed a Pittsburgh judge for issuing what they described as an unprecedented order halting additional steps in the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.
“Since the birth of our nation nearly 250 years ago, no court has ever issued an order purporting to interfere with a state’s ascertainment of its presidential electors — until today,” state officials said in an appeal filed shortly after Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough’s Wednesday ruling in a lawsuit brought by Pennsylvania Republicans. “There is no conceivable justification for the lower court’s issuance of such an order in this case.”
It’s unclear exactly what further steps in the process can be delayed, but the plaintiffs suggested there were several including the assembly of electors. The Electoral College vote doesn’t take place until Dec. 14.
Wolf and Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar, both Democrats, asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to lift the order by McCullough, a Republican, and dismiss the underlying suit, which claimed a state law passed to expand use of mail-in voting was illegal.
Boockvar certified Biden’s 80,555-vote Pennsylvania victory on Tuesday, with Wolf appointing electors for the state shortly thereafter. But McCullough halted the process “to the extent that there remains any further action to perfect the certification of the results of the 2020 General Election” until a hearing she set for 11:30 a.m. on Friday. The state officials said the order should not be allowed to stand, “even for a short time.”
“The order purports to interfere with the ongoing process of seating presidential electors and precludes certification of any other result from the 2020 general election,” they said. “This extraordinary act of judicial overreach threatens to undermine the integrity of Pennsylvania’s elections and reduce public confidence in them.”
The case is separate from the federal lawsuit by President Donald Trump’s campaign that seeks to undo Pennsylvania’s certification unless tens of thousands of allegedly illegal mail-in ballots are invalidated. The state case was brought by Republicans led by U.S. Representative Mike Kelly.
Boockvar said in an earlier court filing that the plaintiffs “had not offered any explanation, let alone a satisfactory one, for why they delayed bringing their challenge until more than a year (and two elections)” after the state adopted the mail-in voting expansion. The law was passed by the GOP-led legislature.
The plaintiffs argued an injunction could still be issued even though the certification had taken place, pointing out that a number of formal steps remained, including issuing commissions to elected candidates. The state’s “duties with regard to finalization of the full election results are far from complete,” they said in a motion on Tuesday.
Pennsylvania’s High Court Allows State To Complete Certification
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court allowed the state to complete its certification of the presidential vote won by Democrat Joe Biden, reversing a temporary delay ordered by a lower-court judge and throwing out a challenge filed by state Republicans.
The high court on Saturday rejected an attack on the state’s mail-voting law, saying Republicans waited too long to sue after the law was enacted last year. In a sharply worded order, the Supreme Court turned aside the “extraordinary proposition that the court disenfranchise all 6.9 million Pennsylvanians who voted in the General Election” and throw the decision to the state legislature.
On Nov. 25, Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough blocked any additional steps needed for certification while she considered the case, which was filed by state Republicans led by U.S. Representative Mike Kelly, on an expedited basis. Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, both Democrats, appealed the order to the state’s top court.
McCullough’s ruling came after the state certified the vote in favor of Biden. It’s unclear exactly what further steps in the process could have been delayed, but the plaintiffs suggested there were several, including the assembly of electors. The Electoral College vote to certify the Nov. 3 election results doesn’t take place until Dec. 14.
The case is unrelated to one brought by President Donald Trump’s campaign, rejected by a federal appeals court on Friday, that sought to undo Pennsylvania’s certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Keystone State. The campaign has said it will try to have the case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes in the Pennsylvania challenge, Trump may have no further means of persuading courts there to override the results, in a state that was critical to his re-election hopes. Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes, and with it 20 electoral votes.
In Saturday’s ruling, two state Supreme Court judges said the Republicans could be correct that the mail-voting law may have violated the state Constitution. But all the judges said a court could neither invalidate the results nor halt the certification process at this point.
The case is Kelly v. Commonwealth, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, 68-MAP-2020.
Wisconsin’s Highest Court Turns Away Trump Lawsuit Challenging Election Defeat
Setback is latest for president’s campaign as deadline approaches for states to finalize results.
Wisconsin’s highest court dealt another setback to President Trump’s efforts to overturn his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, turning away a lawsuit challenging the validity of hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots cast in the battleground state.
Two days after the Trump campaign brought the lawsuit, the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a divided 4-3 ruling said state law required the case to start at a lower court.
Mr. Trump’s lawsuit sought to void certification of the election in Wisconsin, which Mr. Biden won by around 21,000 votes.
It claimed that the collection and counting of absentee ballots in two populous and heavily Democratic counties, Milwaukee and Dane, were marred by systemic violations of state election laws, and that around 220,000 of 3 million votes cast statewide should have been excluded from recount totals.
Thursday’s ruling follows a string of unsuccessful lawsuits elsewhere and comes after battleground states have certified results showing Mr. Biden won the election, leaving Mr. Trump with no known path to reversing the outcome in the courts.
It also came as a Dec. 8 deadline approaches for states to finalize election results and choose electors ahead of a meeting of the Electoral College a week later.
Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday said the Justice Department hasn’t found evidence of widespread voter fraud that would alter the outcome of the election.
The Wisconsin court ruling held that it wasn’t the right venue to initially handle the case. It didn’t rule on the merits of the president’s complaint.
“I understand the impulse to immediately address the legal questions presented by this petition to ensure the recently completed election was conducted in accordance with the law,” Justice Brian Hagedorn, previously a chief counsel to former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, wrote in a brief concurring opinion. “But challenges to election results are also governed by law.”
He also said a circuit court would be better suited to sort out the factual disputes in the matter.
Jim Troupis, a Trump campaign attorney in Wisconsin, said the president would file his complaint in Dane and Milwaukee counties.
“It was clear from their writings that the court recognizes the seriousness of these issues, and we look forward to taking the next step. We fully expect to be back in front of the Supreme Court very soon,” said Mr. Troupis.
At a press briefing Thursday, Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, said the lawsuit would have disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of people in the state of Wisconsin. “And frankly, I’m surprised that some in the court were seemingly willing to do just that,” he said, referring to the dissenting justices.
State and county election officials have said that the recount process was transparent and fair, and that there was no evidence of voter fraud or widespread errors.
In court papers, Mr. Trump’s lawyers said county and city election officials improperly accepted absentee ballots submitted in person without collecting written applications, filled in missing information on returned ballot envelopes and staged “unlawful polling locations” in public parks in Madison.
His lawsuit also claims that officials allowed voters who weren’t confined to their homes to evade photo-identification requirements to get an absentee ballot.
States and localities expanded the use of absentee and mail-in balloting this year because of the pandemic.
The president brought the case against Mr. Evers and the state’s bipartisan election commission. The case followed a recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties during which Republicans and Trump campaign officials unsuccessfully asked election officials to disqualify such mail-in ballots. Mr. Biden’s lead grew slightly after the recount.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers argued that Wisconsin’s Constitution permitted—and time constraints demanded—going directly to the state Supreme Court.
The Wisconsin court’s majority’s decision drew criticism from dissenting justices who said the court was shirking its obligations.
“The majority’s failure to embrace its duty (or even an impulse) to decide this case risks perpetuating violations of the law by those entrusted to follow it,” wrote Justice Rebecca Bradley, in a dissenting opinion that was joined by Chief Justice Patience Roggensack and another justice.
Separately, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Republican Rep. Mike Kelly’s emergency request to put on hold its cancellation of a lower-court order and its dismissal of his case challenging election results in that state.
Mr. Kelly had requested the ruling be put on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to hear his case, which argues the state’s law allowing expanded mail-in voting violated the state’s Constitution.
Biden Clinches Electoral College Win As California Certifies
Joe Biden now officially has more than the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to claim the presidency after California certified its election results on Friday evening.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla approved the results of Biden’s victory, according to his office, which Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom will use to prepare the Certificate of Ascertainment appointing the state’s 55 electors for Biden.
The electors will meet in their states on Dec. 14 to cast their votes, which Congress will tally in a joint session on Jan. 6.
Even as Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris proceed with the transition to a new administration, President Donald Trump continues to make unsubstantiated allegations of massive voter fraud, on Twitter and in a lengthly video released this week. But his already slim chances of reversing the election outcome have narrowed even more as courts in several several states have rejected legal challenges brought by his campaign and supporters.
Courts in Nevada and Minnesota handed him two more losses on Friday, dismissing lawsuits seeking to decertify Biden’s victories in those states.
A state court judge in Nevada threw out a lawsuit brought by six Republican voters who requested a court order nullifying Biden’s win or declaring Trump the winner, saying they utterly failed to meet the burden of producing “credible and relevant evidence” of massive voter fraud.
Hours earlier, the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a Republican-led suit that aimed to decertify the Biden win there, ruling the case had been filed too late to challenge mail-in-voting rules that were made public long before the Nov. 3 election.
Biden’s lead in the popular vote is now more than 7 million votes.
States that voted for Biden that have yet to certify their presidential election results are New Jersey, which plans to do so Monday, Colorado, which plans to certify early next week after an automatic recount in a judicial race, and Hawaii, which is waiting for the resolution of two pending lawsuits.
Trump Seeks To Intervene As States Join Texas Election Suit
Donald Trump’s campaign asked to join a Texas lawsuit challenging the president’s election defeat at the U.S. Supreme Court, as 17 other states filed in support of a case that has been called a publicity stunt.
While presenting no evidence of fraud, the campaign cited the fact that Trump won 12 million more votes than 2016 and a high percentage of non-white voters in his brief, along with the fact that he won both Florida and Ohio. “These things just don’t normally happen, and a large percentage of the American people know that something is deeply amiss,” according to the filing Wednesday. Trump must get permission from the Supreme Court to be allowed to intervene in the case.
Seventeen other states, led by Missouri, filed a brief Wednesday in support of the Texas suit, brought by the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton. Texas is seeking to prevent electors from Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania from participating in the Electoral College on Dec. 14. The Supreme Court on Tuesday evening gave the states until 3 p.m. Thursday to file responses.
Paxton will be among about a dozen Republican attorneys general who are to join Trump for lunch on Thursday, according to White House spokesman Judd Deere. He added that Trump plans to discuss “issues important to their citizens and the country, and ways to continue to advance the shared federal-state partnership.”
A White House official said that the meeting had been scheduled weeks ago.
The suit by Paxton — who has been accused of bribery by some of his own aides — repeats allegations about mail-in voting that have already been roundly rejected in dozens of courts across the nation, and legal experts say it has no chance of being heard by the Supreme Court. Top officials in the states he seeks to sue questioned the purpose of the suit on Tuesday.
“The motion filed by the Texas attorney general is a publicity stunt, not a serious legal pleading,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “The erosion of confidence in our democratic system isn’t attributable to the good people of Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia or Pennsylvania but rather to partisan officials, like Mr. Paxton, who place loyalty to a person over loyalty to their country.”
The Texas suit was filed on the same day as the Dec. 8 “safe harbor” date for states to certify their slates of electors to send to the Electoral College. The passing of that deadline means time is almost certainly up on Trump’s increasingly desperate effort to overturn his re-election defeat, in which he’s sought to pressure state legislatures to override voters and appoint alternative electors who would back him instead of President-elect Joe Biden.
Trump has described this suit as “the big one.” He also noted Wednesday that his campaign wasn’t part of a separate case, brought by a Pennsylvania congressman, that the Supreme Court rebuffed on Tuesday — the first time the high court has weighed in on Republican litigation to try to overturn the election outcome.
In a one-sentence order, the court said Tuesday that it would not grant a request from plaintiffs including Representative Mike Kelly to void Pennsylvania’s election results.
This was not my case as has been so incorrectly reported. The case that everyone has been waiting for is the State’s case with Texas and numerous others joining. It is very strong, ALL CRITERIA MET. How can you have a presidency when a vast majority think the election was RIGGED? https://t.co/ZKu9sNVz2U
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2020
Biden Wins Electoral College To Cement Victory And Rebuff Trump
Joe Biden officially clinched the presidency after the Electoral College confirmed his victory Monday, capping a tumultuous period sparked by Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge he lost with the help of Republicans willing to support his unsubstantiated claims.
Some Senate Republicans who had refused to recognize Biden’s overwhelming victory quickly started acknowledging that Trump lost and Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president on Jan. 20.
The 55 votes from California electors put Biden over the 270 needed to win. Electors in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia cast their ballots for president and vice president in time-honored constitutional ceremonies that took on new importance after Trump insisted without evidence that the election was “rigged.”
Congress will officially count the electoral votes on Jan. 6. But many Republicans haven’t publicly acknowledged Biden’s certified victory and the court rulings rejecting challenges to the results, saying Trump had a right to let the process play out.
And now it has.
Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas said it would be a “bad mistake” to object to electors in Congress, calling any such move “futile and unnecessary.”
“I believe that we’ll see the page turning on January 20th,” he said. “We’ll have a peaceful transition.”
Asked whether Biden is the president-elect, Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia told reporters, “it certainly looks that way, and I think it’s time to turn the page and being a new administration.”
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he doesn’t have to acknowledge that Biden has won, saying “the Constitution does that.”
Investigations into any election irregularities should continue, but “today marks a watershed moment where we must put aside politics and respect the constitutional process that determines the winner of our presidential election,” Republican Senator Mike Braun of Indiana said in a statement.
”We’ve met the the constitutional threshold and we’ll deal with Vice President Biden as the president-elect,” said Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri. Blunt added that as chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies he would work with Biden’s inaugural committee to plan for the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20.
Last week, Blunt, along with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the committee from acknowledging Biden as president-elect and moving ahead with inauguration preparations. They were able to block that vote 3-3, along party lines.
Trump said in an interview on Fox News broadcast Sunday that he’d continue with legal challenges, even after the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected the bid by Texas to nullify the election results in four pivotal states — a case the president had called “the big one.”
The lawsuit sought to invalidate votes in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to install Trump for another term. Republican attorneys general in 18 states and 126 congressional Republicans — about two-thirds of the GOP caucus — had supported it.
Republicans said Trump electors who weren’t certified met in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to cast votes in case pending litigation overturned the results, even though the official electoral votes have the state’s seal.
Any attempt to get Congress to consider a rival slate of electors is “not going to work as a matter of law,” said Edward Foley, a professor and director of an election-law program at Ohio State University who has studied disputed elections.
Biden addressed the nation after electors in Hawaii cast the final votes on Monday night, saying Trump was afforded every opportunity to contest the election results and that Americans must come together now that the process has concluded.
“The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know that nothing — not even a pandemic or an abuse of power — can extinguish that flame,” Biden said. “And now, it’s time to turn the page as we’ve done throughout our history. To unite. To heal.”
The president’s campaign and his allies filed dozens of lawsuits seeking to invalidate Biden’s victories in the battleground states, and almost all were rejected as being without merit.
Rick Bloomingdale, a Biden elector in Pennsylvania, said before the meeting in Harrisburg that he was confident his vote would be counted and that Trump’s efforts to overturn the election would fail.
“At noon on Jan. 20th, Joe Biden’s going to be president of the United States,” said Bloomingdale, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. “It’s mind-boggling to me that we have people that are actually trying conduct a coup and take the votes away from the voters.”
Most electors met in their state capitals with restricted access and social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic. Nevada conducted its meeting entirely by video conference, and Arizona didn’t publicly disclose the location of its gathering to keep it “low key.”
There were protests against Trump’s election outside the Electoral College meeting in some states in 2016, and there were reports of small demonstrations this year. Trump supporters gathered to rally in Washington on Saturday, at times clashing with counter-protesters and police.
Police escorted the Michigan electors from a parking garage to the State Capitol in Lansing, said elector Chris Cracchiolo, vice chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party.
“At the time I volunteered to do this, I thought it was somewhat ceremonial,” Cracchiolo said before the meeting. “Since November 3, the magnitude and importance of this role seems to magnify every day.”
The Michigan legislature was closed due to safety concerns, and the legislature stripped Republican state Representative Gary Eisen of his committee posts Monday after the lawmaker said he was going to be part of a potentially violent protest seeking to overturn the state’s Electoral College vote.
“I know this isn’t the outcome some want. It isn’t what I want, either,” Republican Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield said in a statement supporting the Electoral College vote for Biden. “But we have a republic if we can keep it. And I intend to.”
When U.S. voters mark ballots in a presidential race, they’re actually voting for a candidate’s slate of electors who cast that state’s electoral votes — one vote for each U.S. representative and senator. The candidate who gets a majority of the 538 electoral votes, or 270, wins the presidency.
Biden won 306 electoral votes from the 25 states and the District of Columbia he carried, and electors, who are generally selected by their political parties, are essentially committed to vote for the winner of the popular vote in their state. Trump captured 232 electoral votes from the 25 states he won.
There still could be some drama when Congress meets on Jan. 6 to tally the vote with Vice President Mike Pence presiding, if a member of the House and the Senate object to a state’s slate of electors. That would require each chamber to debate and vote on the objection.
Republican Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama has said he plans to make an objection, but so far no senator has emerged to join him. Seventy-five Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania also sent a Dec. 4 letter to the state’s congressional delegation urging them to object.
Any objection that reached a vote is likely to fail with Democrats controlling the House and enough Republican senators acknowledging Biden’s victory, said Nathaniel Persily, a Stanford University law professor and election-law expert.
But Monday’s meeting of electors is the last step for anyone waiting for the process to play out, Persily said.
“That constitutionally would be end of the road,” he said.
More In Gop Ready To ‘Move On’ After Electors Vote For Biden
With the vote of the Electoral College Monday, many of the congressional Republicans who for weeks have resisted referring to Joe Biden as president-elect are now acknowledging the contest for the White House is over.
“It’s time for everybody to move on,” said John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Senate Republican. While there is an opportunity for lawmakers to contest the electors’ votes, that effort is “not going anywhere.”
“I understand there are people who feel strongly about the outcome of this election but in the end, at some point you have to face the music,” he said.
Biden officially secured the presidency after Electoral College members cast their ballots for the candidate who won the popular vote in their states. The 55 votes from California’s electors put him above the 270 needed to win.
Biden, in an address Monday night, thanked the Republicans who have now recognized his victory.
“I’m pleased but not surprised by the number of my former Republican colleagues in the Senate who’ve acknowledged already the results of the Electoral College,” he said. “I thank them, and I’m convinced that we can work together for the good of the nation on many subjects.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has yet to say Biden was the winner, did not comment on Monday.
President Donald Trump so far has refused to concede and has vowed to press on with challenges, despite multiple defeats in court. Some of his backers are vowing to challenge acceptance of the electoral slates of key swing states when the Senate and House meet jointly on Jan. 6 to certify the results.
Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, told reporters that contesting the electors’ votes in Congress would be “futile and unnecessary,” and that such an effort, if made, would be voted down in overwhelming fashion.
Other Senate Republicans acknowledging that Biden would be the next president included Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa; and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.
Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, another member of the Republican leadership, said that while Trump might continue with his challenges, “the electoral vote today was significant.”
“We’ve met the the constitutional threshold and we’ll deal with Vice President Biden as the president-elect,” said Blunt, who also is chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
Last week, he joined with the other Republican members of that panel in blocking a resolution acknowledging preparations for Biden’s swearing-in. In a separate statement on Monday, he said the committee would “work with President-elect Biden and his Presidential Inaugural Committee to plan for the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20.”
Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said Trump has had a chance to challenge the results.
“The orderly transfer of power is a hallmark of our democracy, and although I supported President Trump, the Electoral College vote today makes clear that Joe Biden is now President-Elect,” he said in a statement.
Before Monday, most Republicans in Congress declined to acknowledge Biden’s win, and 126 House Republicans had even urged the Supreme Court to hear a Texas lawsuit seeking to throw the election to Trump. Most stayed mum even after the high court dismissed the lawsuit Friday night.
Even one of Trump’s most fervent allies, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said the president has largely run out of options.
“I don’t see how he gets there from here given what the Supreme Court did, but having said that, I think we’ll let those legal challenges play out,” Graham said.
Graham said he had spoken on the phone to Biden.
“I told him, there’s things we can do together, there’s some things we can’t do together. It was a very pleasant conversation,” Graham said.
Trump has urged political retribution against Republicans who opposed his efforts to reverse the results, including Republican Governors Doug Ducey of Arizona and Brian Kemp of Georgia.
That’s a particular concern for Republicans in Georgia, where two GOP Senators — Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — face runoff elections Jan. 5 against Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in a showdown that will determine which party controls the Senate. Both have backed Trump’s efforts to overturn the election in court.
A clutch of Senate Republicans previously acknowledged Biden’s win, including Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who highlighted the Supreme Court’s ruling in a statement Friday night.
“Every American who cares about the rule of law should take comfort that the Supreme Court — including all three of President Trump’s picks — closed the books on this nonsense,” he said.
Biden Says ‘Time To Turn The Page’ After Electoral College Win
President-elect Joe Biden sought to dispel any questions about the legitimacy of his victory and called on the American people to accept the outcome hours after the Electoral College sealed his win.
Seeking to end an unusually long and contentious election, Biden urged the nation to turn the page on what he described as “an unprecedented assault on our democracy.” He said he would be the president for all Americans, even those who don’t agree with him. He urged people to focus instead on combating the pandemic and its economic fallout.
Biden’s Electoral College win over President Donald Trump was finalized after electors in each state voted Monday. The only step that remains is for Congress to count those votes on Jan. 6. Trump and his allies are still protesting the result, but with more than 50 post-election lawsuits rejected, including by the U.S. Supreme Court, they have no viable path to overturn it.
Biden noted his 306 Electoral College votes, the same number Trump earned in 2016.
“By his own standards these numbers represented a clear victory then and I respectfully suggest they do so now,” he said in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware.
Biden faulted Trump and his allies for promoting unsubstantiated claims that voter fraud made the president-elect an illegitimate winner and stoking partisan outrage that has led to violence in city streets and threats of violence against elections officials and workers.
He methodically described the legal challenges Trump and his allies have mounted and called them attempts “to hand the presidency to a candidate who lost the Electoral College, lost the popular vote and lost each and every one of the states whose votes they were trying to reverse.
It’s a position so extreme, we’ve never seen it before. A position that refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law and refused to honor our Constitution.”
Biden then moved to remind viewers of the resilience of the American democracy.
“We the people voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact,” Biden said. “And so, now it is time to turn the page. To unite. To heal.”
Instead of looking back he urged Americans to look ahead to the “urgent work” of “getting the pandemic under control to getting the nation vaccinated against this virus” and “delivering immediate economic help so badly needed by so many Americans who are hurting today — and then building our economy back better than ever.”
Since the Nov. 3 election, Trump has maintained a steady drumbeat of unsubstantiated claims that he was the legitimate winner and that Biden only came out ahead because of widespread fraud and “rigging.” Numerous lawsuits staked on those claims have been rejected by the courts and are at dead ends.
Biden earned 7 million votes more than Trump and flipped five states, including Georgia, which was once considered a Republican stronghold. Georgia is also where both Senate seats are up in a runoff election set for Jan. 5, the result of which will determine control of the U.S. Senate.
Biden’s call for a united fight against the coronavirus comes as the country passes the grim milestone of 300,000 deaths but also the first day vaccines were distributed, bringing some tangible hope.
Since the election was called for Biden, the president-elect has moved steadily toward building a government, even before Trump reluctantly allowed the official transition to begin. He has unveiled much of his cabinet and top White House officials, including nominees to be secretaries of State, Defense and Treasury.
More than a half-dozen Senate Republicans acknowledged Biden’s victory on Monday, indicating the election was over. Trump offered no public reaction to the Electoral College vote.