WASHINGTON (AP) — Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed Trump campaign lawsuits Thursday, undercutting a campaign legal strategy to attack the integrity of the voting process in states where the result could mean President Donald Trump’s defeat.

The rulings came as Democrat Joe Biden inched closer to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House, and Trump and his campaign promised even more legal action based on unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.

Speaking in the White House briefing room Thursday, the president launched into a litany of claims, without proof, about how Democrats were trying to unfairly deprive him of a second term. “But we think there’ll be a lot of litigation because we can't have an election stolen like this,” Trump said.

Earlier Thursday, a Biden campaign lawyer called the lawsuits meritless, more political strategy than legal. “I want to emphasize that for their purposes these lawsuits don’t have to have merit. That’s not the purpose. ... It is to create an opportunity for them to message falsely about what’s taking place in the electoral process,” lawyer Bob Bauer said, accusing the Trump campaign of “continually alleging irregularities, failures of the system and fraud without any basis.”

Trump is used to suing and being sued. A USA Today analysis found that he and his businesses were involved in at least 3,500 state and federal court actions in the three decades before he became president.

In this election, the court battles so far have been small-scale efforts to get a closer look at local elections officials as they process absentee ballots. A Michigan judge noted that the state's ballot count is over as she tossed the campaign's lawsuit.

In Georgia, a state judge dismissed a case over concerns about 53 absentee ballots in Chatham County after elections officials in the Savannah-area county testified that all of those ballots had been received on time. Campaign officials said earlier they were considering similar challenges in a dozen other counties around the state.

In Pennsylvania, meanwhile, the Trump campaign won an appellate ruling to get party and campaign observers closer to election workers who are processing mail-in ballots in Philadelphia.

But the order did not affect the counting of ballots that is proceeding in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, as elections officials are dealing with an avalanche of mail ballots driven by fears of voting in person during a pandemic.

The lawsuits in multiple states highlight that the Trump campaign could be confronting a political map in which it might have to persuade courts in two or more states to set aside enough votes to overturn the results. That's a substantially different scenario than in the contested presidential election of 2000, which eventually was effectively settled by the Supreme Court, when the entire fight was over Florida's electoral votes and involved a recount as opposed to trying to halt balloting.

Biden, for his part, has said he expects to win the election, but he counseled patience Thursday, saying: “Each ballot must be counted.”

Trump campaign officials, meanwhile, accused Democrats of trying to steal the election, despite no evidence anything of the sort was taking place.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, in a call with reporters Thursday morning, said that “every night the president goes to bed with a lead” and every night new votes “are mysteriously found in a sack.” It is quite common in presidential elections to have vote counting continue after election day.

Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller said additional legal action was expected and would be focused on giving campaign officials access to where ballots were being counted.

Trump’s campaign has also announced that it will ask for a recount in Wisconsin. Stepien previously cited “irregularities in several Wisconsin counties,” without providing specifics.

The Associated Press called Wisconsin and Michigan for Biden on Wednesday. The AP has not called Georgia, Nevada or Pennsylvania.

The president's lawyers have asked to intervene in a pending Republican appeal to the Supreme Court over the three-day extension for the receipt and counting of mailed ballots ordered by Pennsylvania's top court. Democrats in the state told the justices Thursday that they should put off granting the request because they “may well not need to hear and decide” the matter if Pennsylvania is not critical to the outcome or the late-arriving ballots wouldn't make a difference.

———

Associated Press writers Jill Colvin in Washington, Ed White in Detroit, Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia, and Sudhin Thanawala in Atlanta contributed to this report.

(16) comments

DickD

Trump is busy flailing at windmills and now he's hiding in the White House sulking. His two term could be one in federal prison and one in the New York State prison.

threecents

Yah, it is legitimate to ask for some recounts, but to claim without evidence that he won if only legal votes are counted, is beyond the pale but completely consistent with Trump. If there is evidence it should be investigated and possibly taken to court, and likewise there is plenty of evidence that Trump has broken laws, and he should be tried in criminal courts. Personally, I especially look forward to justice in New York.

matts853

I implore Trump supporters to stop listening to him. Nothing he is saying about widespread fraud or a democrat conspiracy to steal the election is true. Nothing. Internally, his campaign had to have known all along he would lose to Biden. Trump has been telegraphing that for months. So he did the only thing he could to try and stave off defeat which was to repeatedly make false claims about fraud to sow doubt in the minds of his supporters that a Biden win is illegitimate. He set the nation up for exactly where we are right now. His lawsuits are mostly frivolous and reckless. He’s waging war against our democracy. If anyone is trying to steal the election it is him.

People who have been following the election over the last couple months new the post-election day vote count in certain states would turn heavily in Biden’s favor. I don’t know if Fox ever explained this, but CNN & MSNBC certainly did. We knew Democrats were voting heavily by mail-in ballots because of the pandemic. We knew Republicans distrusted that process because of what Trump was saying and thus would vote heavily in person on Election Day. That’s exactly what happened in many states like FL, MI, WI, PA and GA.

Unlike Florida which kept tallying mail-in ballots as they were received, MI, WI, and PA didn’t because that’s what the Republican led legislatures in those states wanted. So on election night, results for MI, WI, and PA only reflected day of votes which logically showed Trump leading. As the mail-in ballots are being counted, Biden is overtaking Trump and will win those states and ultimately the election, fair and square.

I don’t know why MI, WI and PA decided to wait. They should have done what FL did. We saw a competitive race in real time there on election night, but it was clear at the end of the night Trump would win FL, which wasn’t all that surprising. If MI, WI, and PA did the same thing as FL, we more than likely would have known, or knew with more clarity, that Biden would win.

Trump’s assault on the process is irresponsible and dangerous. When the dust finally settles, and the lawsuits prove fruitless, the election will be certified and Biden will have won fair and square. Trump, however, will never, ever accept the outcome as will many of his supporters. That is so unfortunate for the nation. So for the sake of domestic tranquility, please don’t listen to Trump.

newspostreader

Spot on matts. Sadly, Those who are die hard Trump fans will never stop listening to him. It's very sad to see how many people in this country are not smart enough to think for themselves and realize what he is doing to us. Think back to 9/11. Our country came together like no other. We've drifted so far apart since then.

public-redux

If he fails to perform his duties, especially with respect to the transition, he might set himself up to be 25Aed.

newspostreader

Trump realizes he has lost this election. We will now spend the next 2 1/2 months further diving our nation. He wants us to be in turmoil and war when Biden takes over. He wants us to fail. If you're a Trump supporter, please give this some real thought. Do you not see through what he is doing? Go on YouTube and watch George Sr's concession speak when he lost to Clinton. See how different it was handled. It's night and day.

C.D.Reid

Trump wants us to be in turmoil and war if Biden takes over? Seems to me we've been that way ever since he beat Clinton four years ago, thanks to the left wing MSM, Antifa, the blm "movement," and all the rest of the violent leftist anarchists. How can it possibly get worse?

newspostreader

Good point. But I do think it will get worse. We are going to see civil war like activities taking place. Wait and see.

phydeaux994

What about the Right Wing Domestic Terrorists the FBI says are America’s biggest threat CD. And many of their antics have been documented. I haven’t seen ONE documented violent act attributed specifically to ANTIFA or the BLM Movement. Have you CD??

phydeaux994

🤣😂 stock up on ammunition 😂🤣 All 🗣 No🚶🤣😂

C.D.Reid

Just because you haven't seen any "documented" violent acts attributed specifically to Antifa or the blm movement doesn't mean there hasn't been any, fido. Does it? Try thinking before posting for a change, you might find out you like it.

phydeaux994

“have antifa and the blm been responsible for the violence in the city protests”......type that into your search engine CD and read what comes up. I’ll give you a hint, the TRUTH!!! Something you seldom use to back up the LIES that Don tells you.🦧🐑

phydeaux994

P.S. CD, read the first two sentences of matts 9:24 a.m. comment above. Good Advice. Peace CD.✌️

threecents

CD, The reason people think you are racist is because you unreasonably attack anti-fascist groups and civil rights groups. I think you say your goal is to expose hypocrisy, but it sounds like you are against anti-fascism and civil rights.

vodalone

For the next 2 1/2 months he'll be filing pointless lawsuits to try to overturn the election. He should focus on packing and not leaving any cheap MAGA junk in the WH when Biden moves in instead. 😂😂🤣

threecents

I remember going antique shopping in Thurmont some 25 years ago and being surprised to find Nazi paraphernalia for sale. Likewise, in the decades to come there will still be a MAGA market for those longing for "the good old days".

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