‘Let’s end this’: US judge urged to toss Trump’s election challenge
Nov 18 2020
According to the New York Times on Tuesday, Giuliani requested that the Trump campaign pay him $20,000 a day for his legal work, all of which would eventually fall nearly entirely flat as Trump maintains bogus claims of widespread voter fraud and refuses to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden.
The Trump campaign has set up a legal-defense fund and is said to be raising significant sums to continue legal challenges in places like Pennsylvania and Georgia.
During a hearing in federal court in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani told U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann there was "widespread, nationwide voter fraud" in the November 3 election, as the Republican president also has claimed, but offered no evidence.
It is not clear how many ballots that could involve, although some opposing lawyers say it is far too few to overturn the election result. The Republican president wrote on Twitter on Saturday that Giuliani was spearheading a new team to pursue the campaign's legal fight.
During the hearing, Giuliani, a former senior federal prosecutor who has not been a courtroom regular for decades, made sweeping claims despite the campaign's earlier narrowing of the case. The judge responded: "You're good to go".
Trump, the first US president to lose a re-election bid since 1992, has called the election "rigged" and has falsely claimed victory.
State election officials have said they have found no such fraud. On Monday, three lawyers representing the campaign asked to withdraw from the case, saying the campaign consented to the move but offering little explanation. Brann allowed two of three to drop out of the case.
In the all-important state-by-state Electoral College, Biden surpassed the 270 votes needed to win with 306 to Trump's 232. Pennsylvania has been a fixture of those efforts and any hope of reversing the election hangs on outcome in the state.
Legal experts have said the lawsuits stand little chance of changing the outcome. A senior Biden legal adviser has dismissed the litigation as "theatrics, not really lawsuits".
Though a definitive victor from the election did not emerge until four days later, Biden's victory has become clearer as more votes have been counted.
The canvassed totals show Democrat Joe Biden beat Trump by about 20,600 votes, which is a roughly six-tenths of a point margin - close enough for Trump to file for a recount.
The issues Trump's campaign and its allies have pointed to are typical in every election: problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost.