Judge dismisses Trump lawsuit in Pennsylvania

A federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign seeking to delay the certification of election results from the battleground state. 

Judge Matthew Brann handed down the decision on Saturday night, November 21 (US time), saying the Trump campaign provided no case to grant its request to disenfranchise almost 7 million voters. 

Brann, who CNN cited as a “well-known Republican” in the state, hit the president’s team for failing to present any factual proof or compelling legal arguments in its efforts to nullify results in the key state. 

“This Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence,” Brann said. 

He continued: “In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its 6th most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more.” 

With the clock ticking down to Biden’s January 20 inauguration, Trump’s team has focused on trying to stop battleground states from certifying election results, in addition to his numerous legal challenges that have so far failed.

The Pennsylvania lawsuit was a significant effort of the Trump team’s attempt to claim voter fraud. 

Michigan prospects

The judgment in Pennsylvania came hours after Republicans also requested a delay in certification in Michigan, another battleground, in a letter that repeated allegations of irregularities in the state which Democratic candidate Joe Biden won by 155,000 votes.

They asked for a delay of two weeks to allow for a full audit of results in Wayne County, the state’s largest and where majority-black Detroit is located, won overwhelmingly by Biden.

Michigan’s board of canvassers, which includes two Democrats and two Republicans, is also due to meet Monday, November 23 (US time), to certify the results.

Republican Party national committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and the party’s Michigan chair Laura Cox called on the board to “adjourn for 14 days to allow for a full audit and investigation into those anomalies and irregularities.”

On Friday, Trump invited Michigan lawmakers to the White House as part of his bid to subvert the voters’ will, but the legislators stood firm, saying they would honor the election's outcome.

White House incumbent Donald Trump has refused to concede the election to Biden who claimed victory in the tight race. 

Biden had won key battleground states including Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada that gave him 306 electoral votes over Trump’s 232. (A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win.) 

Biden has so far limited his criticism of Trump's actions, though he has spoken of “incredibly damaging messages being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions,” adding: “It’s hard to fathom how this man thinks.”

Trump has rarely appeared in public since his electoral loss, but has not given up on his provocative Twitter campaign.

“The proof pouring in is undeniable,” he tweeted Saturday.

“Many more votes than needed. This was a LANDSLIDE!” Twitter slapped another warning label on his tweet.

Trump, who falsely claimed the election had been “stolen” from him, likewise lost the popular vote as Biden’s lead stretched to over 6 million votes. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.