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Lawsuits & Litigation

Trump Campaign Files Yet Another Lawsuit Seeking to Prevent Michigan From Certifying Election Results

— November 11, 2020

Most of the campaign’s lawsuits, to date, have been unsuccessful.

In yet another bid to deny Joe Biden the Oval Office, the Trump campaign has filed a new lawsuit seeking to prevent Michigan from certifying its election results.

According to The Detroit Free Press, the campaign’s latest complaint is similar to those it has filed in the past. The president’s attorneys have repeatedly contended that Michigan officials did not allow Republican observers sufficient access to local polling places. They have also alleged, separately, that there are disparities in ballot counts in Detroit.

The campaign plans to file its suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The Free Press notes that, although Detroit is located outside of that court’s jurisdiction, the Western District encompasses the state capital, Lansing.

Regardless of the lawsuit’s intent, Trump officials have been reluctant to state any belief in their case actually changing the outcome of the election.

“We do not think we are going to eat this apple in one bite,” campaign spokesman Tim Murtagh said in a statement. “But a large part of these lawsuits is to gather further information.”

Murtagh voiced confidence in the campaign’s litigatory strategy, suggesting that, if Trump’s allies can file enough lawsuits, they may be able to retain the White House for another four years.

The Michigan state capitol building in Lansing. Image via San906/Wikimedia Commons. (CCA-BY-1.0)

“Every time we file on of these, and every action that we’re taking since the close of Election Day, is an effort to get us closer to the election,” he said. “We do believe that ultimately, President Trump will be declared the winner of this election.”

But as the Free Press reports, President Trump is down nearly 150,000 ballots in Michigan. To date, there has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud anywhere in the United States.

Nevertheless, President Trump and his supporters have repeatedly questioned the validity of election results in several hotly contested states, including Michigan. Attorneys Matt Morgan and Thor Hearne have said they have received or reviewed complaints alleging harassment of Republican poll challengers, falsely inputted voter information, and problems concerning absentee ballots.

“I don’t care if you’re the Republicans or Democrats,” Hearne said Thursday, “this is not a way to restore confidence in the election process.”

“This lawsuit asks the federal district judge […] to review this and order the canvassers to make sure they do their job and allow, with observers and challengers present to monitor the conduct of the canvass, to make sure it’s done fairly, honestly and under the provisions of Michigan election code,” he added.

Matthew Cross, an election law expert and attorney with Plunkett Cooney, told that there could be explanations—voter fraud aside—for what Morgan and Hearne have seen or heard.

However, Cross also cautioned against thinking that any of the campaign’s lawsuits will make much difference to the race’s outcome.

“It’s completely possible that there is a reasonable explanation for the things these affiants witnessed,” Cross said. “We’re really just going to have to see how this plays out, but ultimately, the likelihood of actual success, and defining success as changing the result of the election, is very low.”


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