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Verdicts & Settlements

Trump Campaign Drops Election Lawsuit in Michigan

— November 20, 2020

The campaign claimed that two Republican canvassers did not want to certify Wayne County’s ballot counts–days after the same canvassers had voted to do just that.

The Trump campaign has dropped a federal lawsuit in Michigan, which had sought to block the state’s certification of election results.

According to CBS News, the lawsuit has erroneously claimed that the Wayne County Board of Canvassers had failed to certify their ballot count, even though officials had done exactly that earlier this week.

In their initial filing, Trump attorneys had submitted documents to Michigan’s Western District alleging that two Republican members of the canvassing board opposed certification—in spite of the fact that both of the board’s conservative chairs voted to approve ballot counts on Tuesday.

Both Republican canvassers had, in fact, submitted affidavits attempting to “rescind” their certification only after they had voted in favor of the motion.

Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for the Trump campaign and the former mayor of New York City, said the decision to withdraw the lawsuit was a practical one—a “direct result of achieving the result we sought: to stop the election in Wayne County from being prematurely certified before residents can be assured that every legal vote has been counted and every illegal vote has not been counted.”

As CBS News notes, the Trump campaign’s lawsuit against Michigan and Wayne County is similar to other litigation undertaken in different parts of the country.

The GM Building in downtown Detroit. Image via Maxpixel. Public domain.

Since November 3rd, the president’s attorneys have filed a slew of lawsuits across the country, often in hotly-contested states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In some cases, they have opted only to sue counties which overwhelmingly swung Democratic.

The campaign also recently attracted criticism for attempting to block or discard ballots in several Wisconsin cities, all of which had large Black populations and had voted for former Vice President Joe Biden.

CNBC observes that the campaign’s decision to drop the Wayne County case came after it suffered resounding legal defeats in other states.

In Pennsylvania, CNBC says, the Trump campaign lost an appeal to the Court of Commons Pleas, wherein Republicans had hoped to prevent certain mail-in ballots from being counted.

And in Arizona, the Maricopa County Court dismissed another Republican-led lawsuit seeking both to audit Arizona’s elections and to prevent Maricopa County from re-certifying its election results.

The campaign similarly lost a petition to prevent Georgia from certifying its own counts.

In the Georgia ruling, Judge Steven Grimberg said he was simply not willing to block the certification of millions of legally-caste votes, saying it would “breed confusion and potential disenfranchisement.”

Grimberg, like other judges, also opined that the Trump campaign’s allegations of voter fraud and “irregularities” have “no basis either in fact or law.”

Michael Gwin, a spokesperson for President-Elect Joe Biden, suggested that the Trump campaign has been trying to delay the inevitable by spreading conspiracies about the election.

“Numerous courts, election officials from both parties, and even officials within Trump’s own administration, have all reaffirmed that claims of widespread voter fraud are categorically false,” Gwin said.

And in Michigan, Detroit city counsel Michael Fink said that, no matter the spin Giuliani’s tried to put on the campaign’s losses, there is a simple explanation.

“They can put whatever spin they want on it,” Fink said. “They dismissed the case because they were going to lose.”

Although Wayne County’s Republican canvassers tried to rescind their votes after certification was already complete, Fink said that what is done is done.

“The so-called recession of those votes has absolutely no legal significance,” he said. “The canvassing board made its decision and the votes will now be reviewed by the state canvassing board.”


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