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Jenna Ellis and Rudy Giuliani are leading President Trump’s legal efforts
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Donald Trump is continuing his attempts to overturn the result of the US presidential election, but he has been dealt a series of legal blows and time is running out.

He’s also suffered a serious setback to his legal battle with the US government’s top lawyer, Attorney General William Barr saying: “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

Electors from each state meet on 14 December to formally nominate the next president.

So what legal cases remain?

Series of defeats so far in Pennsylvania

This is where Mr Trump has launched most of his challenges, and although Mr Biden has already been certified the winner with a margin of over 80,000 votes, the president has not given up attempts to overturn the result.

Mr Trump’s legal team has claimed voters in Democrat-leaning areas were given more of an opportunity to correct mistakes on their postal ballots than elsewhere.

When they initially lost the case, his lawyers took it to a federal appeals court. It was rejected there too, with the judge saying: “Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

Mr Trump’s team said they would be taking the case to the US Supreme Court.

It’s uncertain if the court would hear any such appeal, and legal experts say even if it did, the case would have little chance of success.

A poll watcher observing the count in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

In the same lawsuit, President Trump’s team has also alleged that more than 680,000 postal ballots were counted without proper oversight from poll watchers.

This follows a legal tussle over where these observers were allowed to position themselves during the count – the Trump team arguing that poll watchers were prevented from seeing what was going on. A lawsuit to stop the count in the city of Philadelphia was rejected.

Election officials there insisted they had acted properly and appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which on 17 November ruled officials in Philadelphia didn’t violate state law when restricting how close poll watchers could be to the processing of postal ballots.

Trump supporters protesting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania a couple of days after the election

Another outstanding challenge in Pennsylvania centres on the state’s decision to count ballots that were postmarked by election day, but arrived up to three days later.

Republicans argued that all postal ballots received after election day should be disqualified. The US Court of Appeals rejected the case, but the Supreme Court could still hear the Republicans’ appeal.

Pennsylvania state officials estimate that about 10,000 ballots were received in the three days after election day. They say these ballots are being kept on one side, in the light of on-going legal challenges.

The courts in Pennsylvania have also rejected a string of legal challenges by the Trump campaign based on around 9,000 postal ballots they said lacked information, such as the date the ballot was cast or the voter’s address.

The Trump legal team did have one a small victory over how long voters should be given to provide proof of identification if it was missing or unclear on their postal ballots. The deadline was 12 November, but following a court ruling this was reduced by three days.

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Most challenges dropped or settled in other states

The election results in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona have been certified – Mr Biden has been confirmed as the winner in all five.

A series of lawsuits have so far failed to have an impact.

An election worker checks a ballot in Detroit – which is within Wayne County, Michigan
  • In Michigan, the Trump campaign filed a federal lawsuit to block the certification of results in Wayne County, citing complaints from poll watchers – but this suit was dropped after a similar challenge was rejected at state-level
  • In Arizona, the campaign filed a lawsuit claiming some legal votes were rejected, citing problems with voting machines – but Arizona’s Secretary of State said this was “grasping at straws”, and the suit has been dropped
  • In Georgia, a lawsuit to stop the count in Chatham County was lodged, alleging problems with ballot processing – but it was rejected by a judge who said there was “no evidence” of improper ballot mixing
  • In Nevada, a suit asks that Mr Trump be named the winner in the state or that the results be void with no winner certified, alleging illegal voting. The suit is still pending, but legal experts have said it’s unlikely to change the state’s outcome as it repeats charges already rejected
  • In Wisconsin, Trump’s legal team has filed their latest lawsuit which targets around 220,000 ballots they say were unlawfully cast – the Biden campaign say the suit is “completely baseless and not rooted in facts on the ground”

Wisconsin underwent a partial recount in Dane and Milwaukee counties, and Georgia had a state-wide recount – both confirmed Mr Biden as the winner.

Could challenges reach the Supreme Court?

President Trump has repeatedly said his legal challenges should be heard by the US Supreme Court, but he’s acknowledged this could be hard.

If the election result is challenged, it usually first requires legal teams to challenge it in the state courts.

State judges would need to uphold the challenge, and the Supreme Court could then be asked be asked to weigh in.

With little success in the lower courts, it’s unclear if the US Supreme Court would be willing to hear any of the president’s legal challenges.

Columbia University Law School professor Richard Briffault says: “There’s no standard process for bringing election disputes to the Supreme Court. It’s very unusual and it would have to involve a very significant issue.”

To date, the 2000 election is the only one to be decided by the US Supreme Court.

In that year, Democrat Al Gore lost Florida state – and the presidential election – by 537 votes out of a total of almost six million cast in the state.

This was followed by a highly controversial recount process that lasted over a month – until the Supreme Court ruled to stop recounting and in favour of Republican George W Bush, who became president.

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CPAC

Trump aides have a list of topics they hope the ‘all over the place’ ex-president will keep to himself in CPAC speech

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According to Politico Playbook’s Tara Palmeri, aides to former Donald Trump have been working with him on his CPAC speech all week — to be delivered Sunday afternoon — and left one meeting wondering what will come out of his mouth once he gets going before an adoring crowd.

With an eye on keeping his hints of another presidential run in 2024 from being bogged down by more controversy and grievance-mongering over his belief that the 2020 election was stolen from him due to voter fraud, aides hope that he will stick to a script that preaches Republican Party unity.

According to the Politico report, Trump has been discussing the speech that will be his return to the public square since he lost re-election and, since he no longer has access to Twitter, aides fear that the pent-up Twitter commentary that used to keep him in the headlines will come pouring out.

As Palmeri writes, there is a list of topics advisers are hoping will not rise to the surface if the president goes off-script — which is highly likely.

Outside of complaining that he feels he was robbed of a second term due to voter fraud, the report states that his aides hope he won’t “Gripe about how he thinks he was unfairly blamed for Jan. 6,” with the NYT’s Maggie Haberman reporting, Trump has been “cautioned by advisers not to say anything that might make him a larger target for the various prosecutors considering or pursuing investigations related to him.”

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Additionally, his advisers are okay with him taking shots at Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), but want him to draw the line at publically criticizing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), with Palmeri reporting, “A Trump adviser said they got Trump to take a McConnell dig out of the script, but who knows what he’ll say.”

She added, “Sources tell me that there was a lot of nodding and agreement at a strategy meeting on Thursday between Trump and his closest aides on how to wield his power via endorsements and messaging. But some left the room feeling like their hair was on fire because, according to one of the aides, Trump was ‘all over the place.'”
(Raw Story)

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Donald Trump

GOP Senator: Trump’s Not Going to be 2024 Republican Nominee

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Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) urged his fellow Republicans to move past former President Donald Trump on Sunday, predicting that due to the damage Trump has done to the GOP, he likely won’t be the party’s presidential nominee in 2024.

Hours before Trump was set to deliver his first post-White House speech at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Cassidy appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to discuss the current state of the Republican Party and Trump’s place in it.

The Louisiana lawmaker, who was one of seven GOP senators to vote to convict Trump during the ex-president’s second impeachment trial earlier this month, called on the GOP to make issues and policy front and center in the coming elections.

“We’ve got to win in two years, we’ve got to win in four years,” Cassidy told host Dana Bash. “If we do that, we’ll do that by speaking to those issues important to the American people, and there’s a lot of issues important to them right now, not by putting one person on a pedestal and making that one person our focal point.”

Bash, meanwhile, noted that Trump’s influence on the party is not diminishing, despite his impeachment for allegedly inciting an insurrectionist riot at the U.S. Capitol. Pointing out that Trump’s face was literally “embronzed” at CPAC and top Republicans are flying down to meet the former president, the CNN host asked how the GOP can move forward with Trump still in the spotlight.

“CPAC is not the entirety of the Republican Party,” he replied. “That’s number one. Number two, political organizations and campaigns are about winning. Over the last four years, we lost the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the presidency. That has not happened in a single four years under a president since Herbert Hoover. If we plan to win in 2022 and 2024, we have to listen to the voters.”

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Asked whether he was personally faulting Trump for the GOP losing control of Congress, Cassidy demurred somewhat, insisting again that Republicans need to speak to policy solutions. At the same time, he did say that if they “idolize one person, we will lose.”

Noting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—who was highly critical of Trump’s role in the insurrection—has come out and said he will back Trump if he runs in 2024, Bash then pressed Cassidy on whether he feels Trump is fit to be president again.

“I don’t think—one, he’ll be 78 years old—but I don’t think he’ll be our nominee for the reasons I’ve said,” Cassidy responded. “Over the last four years, we’ve lost the House, the Senate, and the presidency. Political campaigns are about winning.”

“That’s a theoretical that I don’t think will come to pass,” he concluded. “I don’t mean to duck, but the truth is you could ask me [about] a lot of people, if they are fit. Point is, I don’t think he’ll be our nominee.”
(Fox News

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Donald Trump

New Republican group promises to have ‘Trump shaking in his boots’ over his future

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Appearing on MSNBC early Sunday morning, a former member of Donald Trump’s administration teased the announcement of a newly formed group of Republicans and ex-Republicans whose goal is to make sure that the ex-president will never be a viable candidate for office again.

Speaking with hosts Kendis Gibson and Lindsey Reiser, former Homeland Security official Miles Taylor noted the current CPAC conference in Florida where the president is expected to get hero’s welcome from the far-right attendees and said it is important that traditional Republicans push back on Trump’s re-entry into the public square after losing re-election in November.

“I want to give you a number: 50 percent,” Taylor began. “Donald Trump can’t get to 50 percent. We just saw this in the most recent election, he cannot win elections. We’ve got to be able to, in the Republican Party, have someone who is a standard-bearer that can get us over 50 percent to win elections. He can’t, he lost in spectacular fashion in this election and that’s why I think it’s entirely inappropriate for us to continue to put him forward as the leader of this party. it’s a mistake that’s going the cause the GOP to lose elections in the future and it’s time to move on from Donald Trump.”

Pressed on his future plans to oppose Trump, Taylor first said, “There are a lot of people in the party ready to move beyond Donald Trump. In fact, most of us realize he is much better at golfing than governing which is really saying a lot if you know anything about Donald Trump’s golf game,” before adding, “Donald Trump lost, not because more Democrats came out. Donald Trump lost because his own voters defected from him.”

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“I’m happy to share with you today a little bit of a tease,” he added. ” I can’t give you all the information, but we’re about to make an announcement in the very near future that’s going to make Donald Trump have the worst heartburn he’s had in the post-presidency. We’re going to be channeling this movement to challenge him to create an insurgency within and without the GOP to drive forward towards a better center-right political movement than Donald Trump can put together. It’s something he’s going to have to contend with.”

Pressed for more details he added, “You’re aware of the fact that we’ve been having conversations with very prominent people in the GOP and ex-Republicans about where we go beyond Trump, how do we move beyond Trump. You’re going to hear from us in the month of March about what’s coming next.”

“What’s coming next is going to make Donald Trump fear for his ability to continue to be a standard-bearer of this party,” he continued. “We are going to channel this movement, rally people together in the center, bring the Republican Party back from crazy to rational as best we can, and Trump should be shaking in his boots.”
(Raw Story)

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