President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign on Monday filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania, the tipping point state that gave President-elect Joe Biden the 2020 elections, challenging its “two-track” voting system and his attorney general William Barr authorised an investigation into “substantial allegations” of irregularities.
Trump has refused to accept the outcome of the election called for Biden unanimously by media outlets, not conceded the election and continued to file lawsuits. Biden, who has sought to move on declaring the “election is over”, has continued to increase his victory margin in Pennsylvania, which along with key swing states, propelled him to victory.
“Voters in Pennsylvania were held to different standards simply based on how they chose to cast their ballot, and we believe this two-tiered election system resulted in potentially fraudulent votes being counted without proper verification or oversight, as well as many voters being disenfranchised simply for casting their votes in-person,” said Matt Morgan, Trump 2020 campaign general counsel, announcing the lawsuit.
Trump’s lawsuit contends that those who voted by mail were not subjected to the same rigorous scrutiny as those who voted in person, and this resulted “in two Constitutional violations: 1) Equal Protection Clause violation, and 2) Elections and Electors Clauses violation”.
The Trump campaign has also sought recount of votes in Wisconsin and Georgia. The former is a state Trump won in 2016 but where he is trailing by more than 20,000 votes, and the latter is a solidly Republican state that last voted for a Democrat in 1992 and now has the president-elect ahead by 11,000 votes.
Recounts are legitimate and matter. But in the 2000 recount, the best known one that is being discussed widely now, the initial winner, President George W Bush, had prevailed.
President Trump is determined to make a fight of it though. “We will not stop fighting for transparency and integrity in our electoral process and ensuring all Americans can trust in the results of a free and fair election” Morgan, the campaign counsel, added.
Attorney General Barr joined in Monday with instruction to US attorneys, according to a memo obtained and cited by Associated Press, that investigations “may be conducted if there are clear and apparently credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual state”.
Barr has acquired the reputation of a pliable attorney general who has reduced the office to serve as a lawyer to the president. But his memo was seen as an attempt to please the president while, at the same time, leave enough room for doubt through carefully worded caveats.
President Trump’s efforts to discredit the election suffered another setback when a body of international election observers invited by his administration reported no irregularities in the elections.
“While the OAS (Organization of American States) Mission has not directly observed any serious irregularities that call into question the results so far, it supports the right of all contesting parties in an election, to seek redress before the competent legal authorities when they believe they have been wronged,” the report said.
“It is critical however, that candidates act responsibly by presenting and arguing legitimate claims before the courts, not unsubstantiated or harmful speculation in the public media.”