HARRISBURG, Pa. (TBEN / TBEN) – A federal judge on Saturday issued a scathing order dismissing the Trump campaign’s futile effort to block certification of votes in Pennsylvania, dismissing claims of widespread irregularities with mail-in ballots .
It has always taken a long time to stop President-elect Joe Biden from being inaugurated, but it was President Donald Trump’s best hope to influence the election results in the courts, mainly due to the number of electoral votes, 20, at stake in Pennsylvania. His personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, entered a courtroom for the first time in decades to argue the case last week.
U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his order that Trump had asked the court to deprive nearly 7 million voters.
“One would expect that, in seeking such a surprising result, a plaintiff would be formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual evidence of rampant corruption,” Brann wrote, so much so that the tribunal would not have no choice but to stop certification even though it would impact so many people. “This does not happen.”
Even if he had won the lawsuit in Pennsylvania, Trump should have won other lawsuits in other states where he had also asked to delay certification. The campaign has peppered states with battlefields with litigation in the days following the election, alleging widespread electoral fraud without evidence, but the majority of those cases have already been dismissed.
The president has deployed his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results beyond the courtroom in recent days, directly to local lawmakers. Some Trump allies have expressed hope that state lawmakers could intervene in the selection of Republican voters.
With that in mind, Trump invited Michigan lawmakers to the White House on Friday, hoping that an Oval Office meeting would persuade them to overturn the popular vote for Biden by more than 154,000. But lawmakers released a statement afterwards. the meeting that they would follow the law and the “normal process” regarding voters. Trump has been said to be considering sending a similar invitation to lawmakers in Pennsylvania.
Time is running out for Trump and his campaign, as state after state certifies results, showing Biden won the 270 votes needed by the Electoral College to take office.
Brann has ruled that Pennsylvania officials can certify election results which currently show Biden winning the state by more than 80,000 votes. He said the Trump campaign presented “unfounded strained legal arguments and speculative accusations … unsupported by evidence.”
“In the United States of America, that cannot justify the deprivation of the right to vote of only one voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populous state”, according to the opinion. “Our people, our laws and our institutions demand more.”
Trump tweeted after the ruling that he couldn’t understand why Biden was forming a cabinet when the president’s investigators found “hundreds of thousands of fraudulent votes,” a baseless claim for which Trump provided no evidence.
Giuliani and a lawyer for Trump’s campaign said in a statement they welcomed the dismissal because it would allow them to appeal more quickly to the United States Supreme Court, where Trump has repeatedly said he has nice judges. But, judges heard a case from the state ahead of the election, over a three-day extension on mail-in ballots, and allowed the extension over GOP objections.
Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania who helped put Brann on the bench under the Obama administration, said the ruling showed Trump had exhausted all possible legal avenues in the state and then praised Biden on his victory. He called Brann a “long-time conservative Republican who I know is a fair and impartial lawyer.”
“This move follows a series of procedural losses for President Trump’s campaign. The state of Georgia certified Joe Biden’s victory on Friday after a manual recount of paper ballots confirmed the conclusion of the initial electronic count. Michigan lawmakers have rejected President Trump’s apparent attempt to thwart the will of Michigan voters and select an illegitimate list of voters from an electoral college. These developments, along with results across the country, confirm that Joe Biden won the 2020 election and will become the 46th President of the United States.
“I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory. They are both dedicated public servants and I will pray for them and for our country.
Giuliani, former federal prosecutor and mayor of New York, showed his rust in this week’s hearing by tripping over the meaning of “opacity,” mistaking the judge for a federal judge in a separate district and causing a opposing lawyer.
Giuliani has repeatedly claimed in court that it was illegal for counties to help people vote. Opposition lawyer Mark Aronchick suggested that Giuliani should not know the Pennsylvania electoral code.
Lawyers aligned with Trump had argued that the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law was violated when counties in Pennsylvania took different approaches to educating voters ahead of the election of technical issues related to their postal ballots.
The judge rejected the argument entirely.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and the seven majority Biden counties pursued by the campaign had argued that the popular vote’s rejection on isolated allegations of mail fraud was far too extreme, especially after most of them have been counted.
“There is no justification at any level for drastic deprivation of their voting rights,” Boockvar’s lawyers wrote in a brief filed Thursday.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, tweeted shortly after Brann’s decision that “another bites the dust.”
“These claims were baseless from the start and for an audience of one,” Shapiro said in a statement. “The will of the people will prevail. These baseless lawsuits must end. “
Counties are to certify their results to Boockvar by Monday, after which it will do its own certification. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf will notify voters of the winning candidate that they are expected to vote on Capitol Hill on December 14.
(© Copyright 2020 TBEN Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The The Bharat Express News contributed to this report.)
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