Trump looks to Republicans to overturn U.S. election results after legal losses – National

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DETROIT, Nov. 19 (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump’s strategy to hold onto power despite the loss of the US election is increasingly aimed at persuading Republican lawmakers to intervene on his behalf in battlefield states the Democrat Joe Biden won, three people familiar with the effort said.Having so far faced a string of losses in court cases challenging the Nov. 3 results, Trump’s attorneys are seeking to enlist fellow Republicans who control the Michigan and Pennsylvania legislatures, which Trump has opted for in 2016 and for Biden in 2020, the sources said.

Michigan Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield has said the person with the most votes will win his state’s electoral votes, where Trump trails by more than 150,000 votes.

But Chatfield and Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey will visit the White House on Friday at the president’s request, a Michigan source said, adding that they would listen and see what Trump had to say.

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In the United States, a candidate becomes president by obtaining the most “electoral” votes rather than by obtaining a majority of the national popular vote. Voters, split across the 50 states and the District of Columbia largely based on their population, are loyal supporters who pledge to support the candidate who won the popular vote in their state.

Typically, a state certifies a voters list based on the candidate who won the popular vote, as Biden did in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

States have until December 8 to respect a “safe harbor” to resolve electoral disputes and choose voters who will choose the president. Voters will come together as a so-called “electoral college” on December 14 to formally select the next president, who will take office on January 20.

Trump’s lawyers are seeking to strip voter nomination power from governors and secretaries of state and give it to lawmakers in states friendly to his party, claiming that the U.S. Constitution gives legislatures ultimate authority.

A person familiar with the campaign’s legal strategy said it had become a “more focused approach to engaging lawmakers.”








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As it stands, Biden garnered 306 electoral votes across the country versus 232 for Trump, well ahead of the 270 needed for victory. If the combined 36 electoral votes from Michigan and Pennsylvania went to Trump, he would follow 270-268 electoral votes, meaning his campaign would still need to turn over at least one other state to retain the White House.

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A senior Trump campaign official told Reuters his plan was to cast enough doubt on the vote count in major Democratic cities that Republican lawmakers will have no choice but to intercede.

The campaign is betting that many of these lawmakers, who come from districts Trump won over, will face a backlash from voters if they refuse to act. The campaign believes that the longer they can drag this out, the more opportunity they will have to persuade lawmakers to step in, the official said.

A Reuters / Ipsos opinion poll released this week suggested that the Trump campaign had succeeded in raising – even unfounded – doubt about the presidential election. The survey found that about half of Republicans believe Trump “rightly won” the election he lost.

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Trump faces an uphill battle. Officials have repeatedly said there is no evidence of widespread voting irregularities.

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Lawmakers in Michigan and Pennsylvania have sought not to get involved. Several prominent Michigan Republicans privately express dismay at the extent to which Trump tried to play against the election results, believing it would irreversibly tarnish the party’s image in the state for years to come. .

Part of the Trump campaign effort is trying to delay certification, the normally routine process by which election results are finalized, either through recounts or blocking at the local level, the campaign official said.

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This happened Tuesday in Detroit, Michigan, where Republican members of the Wayne County Solicitors’ Council briefly declined to certify the results, citing small differences in the number of votes. Republicans turned around after hours of passionate public commentary, to say in affidavits late Wednesday that they felt threatened and wanted to revoke certification.

One of the Republicans, Monica Palmer, said in an affidavit that the Wayne County election “contained serious procedural flaws that merit investigation.” She said she voted to approve the results because she believed the state would conduct an audit.


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Palmer told Reuters in a text Thursday that Trump had called her after she voted to certify the results. She said “there was no discussion of an affidavit” during the appeal, but did not say whether the two discussed the certification vote in detail.

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Trump’s campaign on Thursday dropped a federal lawsuit challenging the Michigan election results, citing affidavits from Wayne County officials.

But Tracy Wimmer, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State, said it was too late for Republicans to cancel their certification. “Their job is done,” she said.

Asked at a press conference Thursday about raising Trump’s outreach to Michigan officials, Biden called it “scandalous” and added that this was the latest evidence that Trump was among “the most irresponsible presidents in the world. American history ”.

“Most Republicans I’ve spoken to, including some governors, think it’s debilitating. It sends a horrible message about who we are as a country, ”he said.

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Trump’s lawyers have already implemented the strategy in a lawsuit to overturn the results in Pennsylvania, where Trump is lagging behind by 82,000 votes. In a court filing Wednesday, his lawyers said they would ask a federal judge to prevent the state from certifying the results or declaring them “flawed” and allowing the Republican-led legislature to l ‘State to choose its own list of voters.

Trump’s effort to enlist state lawmakers emerged after the president turned his legal efforts to his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, a person familiar with the effort said. Trump, the person said, “didn’t like the results and he put a guy he knows and trusts imitating his style. “

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Asked at a press conference Thursday whether the campaign’s goal was to block state certifications so Republican lawmakers could choose voters, Giuliani laughed and said the goal was to bypass what ‘he called it an’ outrageous iron curtain of censorship ‘.


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Election officials and experts believe the Trump campaign is unlikely to be successful.

“The results in Michigan and Pennsylvania are not particularly close, and the Trump campaign came out without any facts or legal theory that would justify depriving hundreds of thousands of voters or rejecting the election results,” said Rick Hasen. , an election expert. law at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law.

“This is a dangerous, but almost certainly ineffective, attempt to thwart the will of the voters or to delegitimize a Biden presidency on the basis of false statements of stolen elections,” he said.

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(Reporting by Michael Martina, Karen Freifeld, Jarrett Renshaw, Brad Heath, Andy Sullivan and Tom Hals written by Brad Heath edited by Colleen Jenkins and Howard Goller)



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