United States President Donald Trump waves with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (L) upon arrival on June 11, 2020 in Dallas, Texas where he will host a roundtable of faith leaders and small business owners.
Nicholas Comb | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump on Wednesday filed a motion to join Ken Paxton’s long-term efforts to get the Supreme Court to effectively undo Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.
Trump promised to join the case earlier in the day, adding that as part of his attempt to reverse the November 3 election results, he or his campaign will also ask to join lawsuits in a number of other states.
Legal experts say, as with other cases filed by the Trump campaign and its allies, Paxton’s voting efforts in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have little or no chance of success.
Trump, who is running “in his personal capacity” as a presidential candidate, seeks to intervene to “protect his unique and vital personal interests as a candidate for re-election,” according to the 39-page court record.
Trump’s attorney, John Eastman, bluntly wrote in the motion that “President Trump is trying to illegally cast votes in the accused states so that his opponent is deemed invalid.”
Eastman suggested in a Newsweek last summer that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was not a candidate because none of her parents were US citizens when she was born in the United States in 1964. Following a backlash to that column, Newsweek published a long note from the editor apologizing that the comment “has been used by some as a tool to perpetuate racism and xenophobia”.
“For many readers, the essay inevitably conveyed the ugly message that Senator Kamala Harris, a woman of color and an immigrant child, was somehow not really American,” wrote Newsweek.
Outside of court, Trump and his allies have repeatedly spread a number of unproven conspiracies about election and election fraud. But the president’s call to intervene in Paxton’s case, like many other lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign, does not allege actual fraud.
Rather, it suggests that the battlefield states have “increased the possibility of fraud” through improper electoral treatment.
“The constitutional question is not whether voters committed fraud, but whether civil servants have broken the law by systematically relaxing ballot integrity measures so that fraud is no longer detectable,” Eastman wrote in the motion.
The Supreme Court has not said whether it will accept Paxton’s case, which Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel described as a “publicity stunt”.
Hours after Paxton’s filing on Tuesday, the Supreme Court declined to accept a case by a Pennsylvania Republican Congressman who questioned Biden’s victory there, a denial that could predict the fate of Texas’ case.
“We will intervene in the case of Texas (and many other states). This is the big case,” wrote Trump in a Twitter post on Wednesday.
“Our country needs a victory!”
The Republican president, who has repeatedly claimed without evidence that widespread fraud got him out of a victory over Biden, has also downplayed the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear Rep. Mike Kelly’s case in Pennsylvania.
“This was not my case, as has been so falsely reported. The case everyone has been waiting for is the case of the state where Texas and numerous others are joining,” Trump tweeted. “It’s very strong, ALL CRITERIA MET.”
“How can you have a presidency when a large majority think the election is RIGGED?”
After moving Trump’s motion to the Supreme Court for Trump to intervene in Paxton’s case, Eastman said in a Trump campaign statement: “I am honored that the President has asked me to represent him on this matter. “
“I think his intervention in this case reinforces what was already a very strong initial state action,” Eastman said in the statement.
Paxton, a Republican who remains on fraud charges for securities fraud, asked permission from the Supreme Court on Tuesday to file his lawsuit aimed at blocking certification of Biden’s victories in the four battlefield states.
Paxton argues that a blockade is warranted because of allegedly inappropriate changes in voting procedures over the past year, alleged differences in the treatment of voters in democratic areas, and voting on “irregularities”.
The legal action implicitly suggests that lawmakers in each of these states could effectively override Biden’s vote wins and then nominate voters for Trump to the electoral college that actually picks the national election winner.
This is the same endgame strategy Trump is pursuing, both through legal cases and through his pressure on elected officials in battlefield states.
Biden is expected to win 306 votes on the electoral college when it meets next week, 36 more votes than it takes to claim a victory in the White House.
If he were denied the votes of the four states named in Paxton’s motion, Biden would have less than 270 electoral college votes.
“I’m sorry for Texans that their tax dollars are being wasted on a really embarrassing lawsuit,” said Josh Kaul, Wisconsin attorney general, Tuesday.
“Texas is likely to change the outcome of the Ice Bowl as much as it will overturn the will of Wisconsin voters in the 2020 presidential election,” said Kaul, referring to the legendary NFL championship game on December 31, 1967 at Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers, the Dallas Cowboys defeated in Texas when the temperatures at Lambeau Field hit 13 degrees below zero.
On the flip side, top Trump campaign attorney Rudy Giuliani described Paxton’s efforts on Tuesday as “a great filing to the Supreme Court.”
Giuliani insisted on Wednesday that the battle to get the election will not end even if the Supreme Court rejects Paxton’s motion.
“No, the end of the line is when the state legislators make the final decision whether they will take control of it because a real fight is going on,” Giuliani said during a call to Bernie & Sid. Show on WABC-AM.
Giuliani was hospitalized with the coronavirus this week.
On Wednesday’s conference call, Giuliani implied that the Trump campaign and its proxies have repeatedly lost legal challenges that would undermine Biden’s victory as a result of the media “spin” that influenced judges who heard the cases.
“Judges are just people, they read – they probably read more of these newspapers than most people, so they are very affected by the twist that is being applied to things,” Giuliani said.
“And the trick is, ‘Well, Trump really lost and he’s a sore loser.'”
Last month, a Pennsylvania federal judge Matthew Brann blew up Giuliani’s legal arguments in a case aimed at invalidating millions of Keystone State votes.
“This court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative allegations that are not contained in the operational complaint and are unsupported by the evidence,” Brann wrote in a damning statement in which he rejected Trump’s case. Brann is a former Republican Party official and a member of the Conservative Federal Society.