National: Trump uses power of presidency to try to overturn the election and stay in office | Philip Rucker, Amy Gardner and Josh Dawsey/The Washington Post

President Trump is using the power of his office to try to reverse the results of the election, orchestrating a far-reaching pressure campaign to persuade Republican officials in Michigan, Georgia and elsewhere to overturn the will of voters in what critics decried Thursday as an unprecedented subversion of democracy. After courts rejected the Trump campaign’s baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, the president is now trying to remain in power with a wholesale assault on the integrity of the vote by spreading misinformation and trying to persuade loyal Republicans to manipulate the electoral system on his behalf. In an extraordinary news conference Thursday at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Trump’s attorneys claimed without evidence there was a centralized conspiracy with roots in Venezuela to rig the U.S. presidential election. They alleged voter fraud in Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and other cities whose municipal governments are controlled by Democrats and where President-elect Joe Biden won by large margins. “We cannot allow these crooks — ’cause that’s what they are — to steal an election from the American people,” said one of the attorneys, Rudolph W. Giuliani. “They elected Donald Trump; they didn’t elect Joe Biden. Joe Biden is in the lead because of the fraudulent ballots, the illegal ballots that were produced and that were allowed to be used after the election was over. Give us an opportunity to prove it in court and we will.” Neither Giuliani nor other Trump attorneys have furnished evidence to support that or any other claim of widespread fraud.

Full Article: Trump uses power of presidency to try to overturn the election and stay in office – The Washington Post

National: Trump calls on GOP state legislatures to overturn election results | Kyle Cheney/Politico

President Donald Trump made explicit Saturday the strategy his legal team has been hinting at for days: He wants Republican-led legislatures to overturn election results in states that Joe Biden won. “Why is Joe Biden so quickly forming a Cabinet when my investigators have found hundreds of thousands of fraudulent votes, enough to “flip” at least four States, which in turn is more than enough to win the Election?” Trump said, despite refusing to produce any such evidence either publicly or in court cases filed by his attorneys. “Hopefully the Courts and/or Legislatures will have the COURAGE to do what has to be done to maintain the integrity of our Elections, and the United States of America itself,” Trump said. Trump’s comment came after a string of legal defeats, including a rejection by a federal judge in Pennsylvania Saturday who said the Trump team presented no evidence of election fraud or misconduct, despite seeking to invalidate millions of votes. Trump’s lead lawyer in the case, Rudy Giuliani, said he intends to appeal the case to the Third Circuit and, if necessary, the Supreme Court. But with few cases pending in courts, Trump’s options have narrowed and he is becoming increasingly reliant on longshot scenarios where election results are not certified and Republican-controlled statehouses in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona and Georgia intervene to declare him the winner. GOP legislative leaders in those states have not endorsed this approach. Trump summoned Michigan legislative leaders to the White House on Friday, but they later issued a statement indicating they had not seen any reason to intervene on Trump’s behalf.

Full Article: Trump calls on GOP state legislatures to overturn election results – POLITICO

National: Justice Dept meets Trump, Giuliani election fraud claims with silent skepticism | Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky/The Washington Post

The Justice Department has met President Trump’s fantastical claims of widespread voter fraud with two weeks of skeptical silence, not taking any overt moves to investigate what Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, claims is a globe-spanning conspiracy to steal the election. Such deafening silence from one of the government’s main enforcers of election law indicates just how little evidence there is to support the wild, wide-ranging claims made by Trump and his supporters, most notably Giuliani in a Thursday news conference held inside the Republican National Committee headquarters. Privately, Justice Department officials have said they are willing to investigate legitimate claims of vote fraud; Attorney General William P. Barr even loosened some restrictions that might otherwise have discouraged prosecutors from doing so before results are certified. But current and former officials said they thought Giuliani’s accusations sounded “crazy,” and they have not seen or heard of any evidence suggesting large-scale fraud, let alone the kind of ­intercontinental conspiracy described by the president’s lawyer. Like others, they spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a politically sensitive matter. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Full Article: Justice Dept meets Trump, Giuliani election fraud claims with silent skepticism – The Washington Post

National: Election Disinformation Fears Came True for State Officials | Matt Vasilogambros/Stateline

The disinformation scenario that local election officials feared months ago has come true: President Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud have been picked up by many state and local Republican officials across the country, and polls now show that more than two-thirds of GOP voters believe the 2020 election was neither free nor fair. Last week, 10 state attorneys general signed an amicus brief supporting the president’s unsuccessful bid to block an extension for mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania. And state lawmakers from South Carolina wrote a letter in support of court challenges that had nothing to do with their own state. This week, the Republican members of a county election board in Michigan held up certification for hours, triggering national news stories and a flood of outcries with no clear resolution in sight. Arizona Republicans are trying to block the certification of Maricopa County’s results. And three statewide candidates, including one running for governor, have refused to acknowledge their losses and concede. It has been frustrating for Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who said she has received death threats because of “extremely dangerous” and “broad and baseless conspiracy theories” being repeated by Republican officials in her state. That rhetoric, she said, could suppress turnout and participation in future elections. She and other election officials warned of this nightmare scenario for months. “It’s just unfortunate that we’re at this place where what we said would happen is actually happening,” she told Stateline. “It makes me sad for our country.”

Full Article: Election Disinformation Fears Came True for State Officials | The Pew Charitable Trusts

National: The Founders didn’t prepare for a president who refuses to step down, historians say | Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post

President Trump continued Friday to deny the results of the election, pressuring state officials in Michigan and Georgia to overturn the will of voters and increasing fears that he might refuse to cede power to President-elect Joe Biden. But those looking to the nation’s Founders, or the Constitution they framed, for answers to such a crisis will come up empty-handed. There is nothing in the Constitution about what to do if a president refuses to step down when his term expires, according to three historians and a constitutional law professor. “No, the framers did not envisage a president refusing to step down or discuss what should be done in such a situation,” Princeton historian Sean Wilentz said. “There’s obviously nothing in the Constitution about it.” “This is a contingency that no one would have actively contemplated until this fall,” said historian Jack Rakove, a professor emeritus at Stanford University.

Full Article: The Founding Fathers and Trump’s refusal to concede: What historians say – The Washington Post

National: Conspiracy theories are all that’s left in Trump’s effort to overturn the election | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post

The Trump campaign’s latest effort to overturn the election results pits the allure of conspiracy theories against years of efforts to create the most secure and auditable election in U.S. history.  Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell presented no evidence for their claims during a lengthy news conference that the election was rigged by faulty voting machines, foreign powers and an opaque cast of corrupt politicians. Officials who ran the election and are preparing to certify it, meanwhile, have spent years improving security protections, testing technology and ensuring there are paper records of votes that can be audited after an election to prove they were tallied correctly. Indeed, the same day President Trump’s lawyers lobbed their baseless accusations, Georgia completed a hand count audit of its votes that found no evidence of fraud and upheld Joe Biden’s narrow win in that state. But the Trump argument now is based in paranoia and gut feeling rather than evidence and logic. “It’s very easy to assert nefarious connections and to cast doubt,” Edward Perez, global director of technology development at OSET Institute, a nonprofit election technology organization, told me. “We’d like to believe that official statements from all national election officials and from agencies including DHS about the integrity of the election and the absence of deleted votes or compromised machines should make a difference. It should be enough, but clearly it’s not.”

Full Article: The Cybersecurity 202: Conspiracy theories are all that’s left in Trump’s effort to overturn the election – The Washington Post

National: Trump campaign cuts ties with attorney Sidney Powell after bizarre election fraud claims | Eric Tucker/Associated Press

Perhaps Sidney Powell has gone too far even for Rudy Giuliani this time. The Trump campaign’s legal team has moved to distance itself from the firebrand conservative attorney after a tumultuous few days in which Powell made multiple incorrect statements about the election voting process, unspooled complex conspiracy theories and vowed to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” lawsuit. “Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump legal team. She is also not a lawyer for the president in his personal capacity,” Giuliani and another lawyer for Trump, Jenna Ellis, said in a statement on Sunday. Trump himself has heralded Powell’s involvement, tweeting last week that she was part of a team of “wonderful lawyers and representatives” spearheaded by Giuliani. There was no immediate clarification from the campaign and Powell did not immediately return an email seeking comment. The statement hints at chaos in a legal team that has lost case after case in its efforts to overturn the results of the 3 November election. Law firms have withdrawn from cases, and in the latest setback, Matthew Brann, a Republican US district court judge in Pennsylvania, threw out the Trump campaign’s request to disenfranchise almost 7 million voters there. “This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together from two distinct theories in an attempt to avoid controlling precedent,” he wrote in a damning order, issued on Saturday. On Sunday afternoon, the Trump campaign filed an appeal against Brann’s ruling in Pennsylvania.

Full Article: Trump campaign cuts ties with attorney Sidney Powell after bizarre election fraud claims

Alaska official seeks initiative audit to calm questions | Becky Bohrer/Associated Press

Alaska Republican Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer said he plans to seek an audit of votes cast on a statewide ballot initiative to help put to rest questions some have raised about the “validity” of election results tied to the vote tabulation equipment the state uses. Meyer, who oversees elections in Alaska, said the state is charged with conducting a “fair and honest election, and I believe we’ve done that.” Meyer said the only reason he’s seeking an audit is because “so many people think our Dominion machines are faulty, corrupt and easily manipulated, and I think a lot of this is misinformation that’s coming from the national level.” President Donald Trump and some supporters have sought to sow doubt in the results of his race by attacking Dominion Voting Systems, one of the largest voting technology providers in the U.S., despite no evidence of any serious irregularities. Alaska has used the company for years and got new Dominion machines it used for the first time in this year’s primary election, Meyer said.

Full Article: Alaska official seeks initiative audit to calm questions | Hosted

Arizona: Maricopa County supervisors unanimously certify election results | Jen Fiflied/Arizona Republic

The Republican-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Friday to certify election results in Arizona’s most populous county. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, the elected body that oversees elections in Arizona’s most populous county, voted unanimously on Friday to approve the results of this month’s general election. The majority-Republican supervisors did so after spending hours on Friday afternoon asking election officials who oversaw the voting process numerous questions related to election fairness, security, technology and oversight. Before the vote, the supervisors, four Republicans and one Democrat, said they were satisfied with the answers. Republican chairman Clint Hickman said there was no proof of fraud or misconduct in the election and he was confident that voters were provided with a fair election. He said that he “learned a lot about the character of people in this community” on the matter, and he would not “violate the law or deviate from my own moral compass,” even though he said that’s what some had pressured him to do. “No matter how you voted, this election was administered with integrity, transparency, and most importantly in accordance with Arizona state laws,” Hickman said.

Full Article: Maricopa County supervisors unanimously certify election results

Georgia: Trump requests recount; FBI, GBI investigate threats | David Wickert/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Georgia is preparing to tally about 5 million votes in the presidential election for a third time as the FBI and GBI investigate threats against some state election officials. On Saturday, President Donald Trump’s campaign filed a petition for the recount, which he is entitled to do under Georgia law because Joe Biden’s margin of victory is less than half a percent. “Today, the Trump campaign filed a petition for recount in Georgia,” the campaign said in the statement announcing the petition. “We are focused on ensuring that every aspect of Georgia state law and the U.S. Constitution are followed so that every legal vote is counted.” Meanwhile, the hotly contested election apparently has inspired threats against some Georgia officials. On Saturday, Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system manager, said on Twitter that he had received threats that prompted police protection around his home. He also cited “multiple attempted hacks of my emails.” On Sunday, Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said the FBI and the GBI are investigating threats to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his team. She said she could not provide details. Trump’s request for a recount came a day after Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp certified Biden’s victory. Biden won Georgia by more than 12,000 votes — a margin confirmed in an audit in which every ballot was recounted by hand. The hand recount showed small differences from the original machine count, which election officials said they expected.

Full Article: Trump formally requests recount in Georgia

Full Article: Trump formally requests recount in Georgia

Georgia’s top elections official says recount shows ‘verdict of the people’ as results certified | Mark Niesse and Greg Bluestein/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state certified election results Friday that showed Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump by over 12,000 votes, one of the closest margins in the country. By making Georgia’s presidential results official, Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger validated two vote counts: an initial machine count of paper ballots, and a manual recount to audit the outcome. Biden received 12,670 more votes than Trump, according to the certified vote total of machine counts. The recount found a similar result, with Biden ahead by 12,284 votes. “Like other Republicans, I’m disappointed our candidate didn’t win,” Raffensperger said during a news conference at the state Capitol. “Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie. As secretary of state, I believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct. The numbers reflect the verdict of the people.” Kemp’s certification awards Georgia’s 16 electoral votes to Biden, as required of him by state law. Kemp criticized errors by county election officials that overlooked nearly 6,000 ballots until they were found during the manual recount and audit. Those ballots, which reduced Trump’s deficit by about 1,400 votes, were added to official totals before certification.

Full Article: Georgia’s top elections official says vote counts validate results

Michigan: What We Know About a Suddenly Important State Elections Board | Kathleen Gray/The New York Times

The work of the Michigan Board of State Canvassers is not glamorous and rarely draws much attention. Its members handle matters like reviewing petition signatures and helping local clerks find voting machines. But on Monday, the national spotlight will fall on one of the board’s normally mundane tasks: reviewing results from the presidential election that have been certified by Michigan’s 83 counties and giving a stamp of approval. The winner is clear. Joseph R. Biden Jr. beat President Trump in the state by over 150,000 votes, according to the Michigan Bureau of Elections. But Mr. Trump and his Republican allies are trying to upend that reality by urging the board to refuse to certify the election results. They have made baseless claims about discrepancies in the vote tallies, especially in Wayne County, which includes Detroit and is predominantly Black, and have argued that an investigation should be carried out before the state’s 16 electoral votes are awarded to Mr. Biden. Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, said on Sunday that state law dictated that no audit or investigation could be done until the election was certified, because state elections officials cannot legally gain access to poll books or ballot boxes before then. The Board of State Canvassers, which will meet at 1 p.m. Eastern on Monday, includes two Republicans and two Democrats. While election law experts say the certification vote is a strictly ministerial duty that the board members are obligated to fulfill, political operatives in Michigan are preparing for a chain of events in which the two Republicans on the board follow the Trump campaign’s wishes. A 2-to-2 deadlock, which would prolong Republicans’ unprecedented attempts to overturn this year’s presidential race, would most likely prompt Democrats to ask the state Court of Appeals to order the board to do its constitutional duty and certify the election results.

Full Article: What We Know About a Suddenly Important Michigan Elections Board – The New York Times

Michigan House speaker floats possibility of ‘constitutional crisis’ | Craig Mauger/The Detroit News

Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield referenced the possibility of a “constitutional crisis” during an interview on Fox News Sunday morning, two days after he huddled with President Donald Trump at the White House. The Board of State Canvassers meets Monday to consider certifying Michigan’s statewide election results, including President-elect Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote victory. But top Republican Party leaders have asked the board to delay certification in a bid to investigate “anomalies and irregularities” they claim occurred on Nov. 3. The board features two Republicans and two Democrats. Many legal experts believe the panel has a duty, under Michigan law, to certify the results Monday. “If there were to be a 2-2 split on the State Board of Canvassers, it would then go to the Michigan Supreme Court to determine what their response would be, what their order would be,” Chatfield, R-Levering said on “Fox & Friends” Sunday. “If they didn’t have an order that it be certified, well now we have a constitutional crisis in the state of Michigan. It’s never occurred before.” Chatfield made the comment in response to a question about what would happen if the board divided along party lines. The top lawmaker in the GOP-controlled House said the Legislature decided “long ago” to have the certification process run through the state board.

Full Article: Michigan House speaker floats possibility of ‘constitutional crisis’

Minnesota GOP claims election ‘abnormalities’ without evidence | Stephen Montemayor/Minneapolis Star Tribune

Election officials on Friday swiftly rejected claims by Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan that “extreme data abnormalities” might have influenced the state’s Nov. 3 election after her examples proved to be nothing more than instances of high voter turnout. “The bottom line is you can’t just throw out conjecture and guesswork without real evidence,” said Risikat Adesaogun, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office. It was “hard to respond to allegations that are so vague and unformed.” Nonpartisan election officials in Anoka and Wright counties, two main counties cited by Carnahan, said they found nothing that would call into question the integrity or validity of the vote. A Star Tribune analysis of Minnesota election data since 2000, for both presidential and gubernatorial elections, found nothing irregular about this year’s voting trends. Carnahan’s attempt to sow doubt over the outcome of the 2020 election follows a coordinated and frantic final push by President Donald Trump and his allies to nullify its outcome through more than two dozen court challenges in battleground states, with 29 losses or dismissals so far. “We’re just trying to shed light on some of the abnormalities we’ve seen,” Carnahan said Friday night. “And where it goes from there remains to be seen at this point.” Carnahan is comparing only votes for Democrats in certain counties in 2012, 2016 and 2020, omitting turnout data from 2018 when Democrats also swept statewide races on the midterm ballot. Her analysis does not account for overall turnout shifts or whether similar patterns emerged in other parts of the state. In a separate Facebook post, Carnahan said she had been in touch with an attorney for Trump’s campaign before releasing her statement late Thursday.

Full Article: Minnesota GOP claims election ‘abnormalities’ without evidence – StarTribune.com

Nevada judge won’t block certifying election, rejects revote | Ken Ritter(Associated Press

A Nevada judge declined Friday to block statewide certification of the Nov. 3 election or order a do-over in Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County for a Republican congressional candidate who lost by nearly 5% to an incumbent Democrat. The rulings in separate cases by Clark County District Court Judge Gloria Sturman followed a rehash of arguments rejected in other state and federal courts about vote-by-mail and ballot counts. They did not affect other legal actions pending in Nevada before Sturman and other judges, including a key election challenge by attorneys for President Donald Trump’s campaign. That case aims to nullify the Nevada election or have the Republican president declared the winner despite tallies showing that of the more than 1.4 million votes cast, President-elect Joe Biden, the Democrat, won by approximately 2.4%, or more than 33,000 votes. A hearing in that case is scheduled Dec. 1 before a judge in Carson City. In Las Vegas, Sturman rejected as “a really extreme request” the bid by conservative former Nevada lawmaker Sharron Angle and her voting watchdog group, the Election Integrity Project of Nevada, to block certification results of the statewide election. The state Supreme Court has scheduled that action next Tuesday.

Full Article: Nevada judge won’t block certifying election, rejects revote

Pennsylvania: In scathing opinion, federal judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit | Jon Swaine/The Washington Post

 

A lawsuit brought by President Trump’s campaign that sought to block the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results was dismissed by a federal judge on Saturday evening. U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann granted a request from Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar to dismiss the suit, which alleged that Republicans had been illegally disadvantaged because some counties allowed voters to fix errors on their mail ballots. The judge’s decision, which he explained in a scathing 37-page opinion, was a thorough rebuke of the president’s sole attempt to challenge the statewide result in Pennsylvania. Brann wrote that Trump’s campaign had used “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations” in its effort to throw out millions of votes. “In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state,” Brann wrote. In a statement, Trump’s attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and legal adviser Jenna Ellis said they would appeal the decision and expected the case to reach the Supreme Court. “We are disappointed we did not at least get the opportunity to present our evidence at a hearing,” their statement said.

Full Article: In scathing opinion, federal judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit in Pennsylvania – The Washington Post

Pennsylvania: Some counties will miss election results certification deadline – Delays shouldn’t affect statewide certification, experts say. | Emily Previti/WITF

At least four counties home to about 800,000 voters will not have election results certified when they’re due Monday to the Pennsylvania Department of State, though three of them expect to wrap up within the next couple days. Ultimately, minor delays in a handful of counties fully certifying their results shouldn’t affect the overall certification process statewide — in part because Pa.’s election code doesn’t set a hard deadline for statewide certification by the Secretary of State, which is normally a formality, voting law experts say. Of 40 counties to respond to WITF’s inquiry, at least eight with a combined 471,000 voters had already fully certified their results and sent them to the Pa. Department of State by Friday. Another 28 counties with nearly 6.9 million of the state’s 9 million registered voters confirmed they will hit Monday’s deadline. Schuylkill County officials say they will wrap up Tuesday, while Westmoreland County doesn’t expect to finish until next week due to pandemic-driven staffing shortages and a tight state Senate race. Berks and Luzerne election boards are scheduled to certify Wednesday. “Sometimes counties lag behind – that’s not unusual,” said ACLU of Pa. elections and voting rights consultant Marian Schneider, formerly deputy secretary for elections and administration at DoS. Schneider said that’s especially true when counties are dealing with recounts, close races and/or litigation over election board decisions such as the cases out of Philadelphia and Allegheny and Bucks counties.

Full Article: Some counties will miss Pennsylvania’s election results certification deadline | WITF

Utah: Cast your next vote by phone? Lawmakers approve pilot proposal | Art Raymond/Deseret News

Even as the tumult surrounding 2020 election processes and results continues, Utah lawmakers are looking ahead to potential new ways to help residents easily and securely engage their civic voting duties. An interim legislative committee this week advanced a proposal from Rep. Mike Winder aiming to expand opportunities for Utah cities interested in testing new, internet-based systems that allow voters to cast their ballots via smartphone. … Committee member Rep. Suzanne Harrison, D-Draper, said she was concerned about public reports from cybersecurity experts critical of internet-based voting systems and, in particular, the Voatz system that’s been in use by Utah County. “There have been a host of articles highlighting the concerns with electronic voting and even specific critiques of the Voatz app that Utah County has been using,” Harrison said. “MIT came out with a research paper … also Homeland Security itself had concerns. There’s too many cybertechnology experts that say it’s impossible to secure these devices and these apps and that the technology is just not where it needs to be to expand these projects.”

Full Article: Cast your next vote by phone? Utah lawmakers approve pilot proposal – Deseret News

Wisconsin: Attorney heading up Trump campaign’s recount effort is seeking to throw out his own vote | Molly Beck/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The attorney leading President Donald Trump’s recount effort in Wisconsin voted illegally according to his own legal argument that in-person absentee ballots should be thrown out. So did his wife. Jim Troupis, a former Dane County judge and Cross Plains attorney who is representing the Trump campaign, would not answer questions about why he and his wife voted that way. Troupis and his wife voted early using the state’s in-person absentee option — one of a group of voters whose ballots the Trump campaign has asked election officials to deem illegal. Their names appeared on exhibits Troupis submitted to the Dane County Board of Canvassers on Sunday, during the county’s third day of retallying ballots. The exhibits include lists of voters who voted in a manner the campaign alleges is illegal, an argument the Board of Canvassers has rejected. The information was provided by Dane County to both campaigns. “I’m sure I’m on that list,” he said, while referring other questions to the recount effort’s communications team, which includes Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Andrew Hitt. Hitt did not immediately answer questions.

Full Article: Attorney heading up Trump campaign’s Wisconsin recount effort is seeking to throw out his own vote

Wisconsin officials: Trump observers obstructing recount | Michael Tarm/Associated Press

Election officials in Wisconsin’s largest county accused observers for President Donald Trump on Saturday of seeking to obstruct a recount of the presidential results, in some instances by objecting to every ballot tabulators pulled to count. Trump requested the recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties, both heavily liberal, in hopes of undoing Democrat Joe Biden’s victory by about 20,600 votes. With no precedent for a recount reversing such a large margin, Trump’s strategy is widely seen as aimed at an eventual court challenge, part of a push in key states to undo his election loss. A steady stream of Republican complaints in Milwaukee was putting the recount far behind schedule, county clerk George Christenson said. He said many Trump observers were breaking rules by constantly interrupting vote counters with questions and comments. “That’s unacceptable,” he said. He said some of the Trump observers “clearly don’t know what they are doing.” Tim Posnanski, a county election commissioner, told his fellow commissioners there appeared to be two Trump representatives at some tables where tabulators were counting ballots, violating rules that call for one observer from each campaign per table. Posnanski said some Trump representatives seemed to be posing as independents. At one recount table, a Trump observer objected to every ballot that tabulators pulled from a bag simply because they were folded, election officials told the panel. Posnanski called it “prima facie evidence of bad faith by the Trump campaign.” He added later: “I want to know what is going on and why there continues to be obstruction.”

Full Article: Wisconsin officials: Trump observers obstructing recount

Editorial: Trump’s coup might not work. But he may pave the way for the next failed candidate. | The Washington Post

President Trump has dropped the pretense of respecting democracy. Having lost the election, and a string of attempts to challenge vote counts, he demanded on Wednesday that state officials simply refuse to certify the results. The end game, according to Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis, is to enable Republican state lawmakers in a swing state such as Michigan to award their state’s electoral college delegates to Mr. Trump despite President-elect Joe Biden’s unassailable vote margins. The Post’s Robert Costa reports that Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, is also talking up what would amount to a coup. He knows that his desultory lawsuits will not succeed, but calculates that if enough states are prevented from certifying their votes by legal deadlines, the election could be thrown into Congress, which might hand the presidency to Mr. Trump — again, against the will of the voters. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump demonstrated Tuesday that he will retaliate against those who fail to read from his corrupt script by firing Christopher Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security election security boss who publicly refuted the president’s unfounded allegations that voting systems were manipulated. This is beyond political norm-breaking. This is a direct assault on democracy itself. That an American president would even contemplate scheming to overturn a free and fair election is astonishing. That he is actively trying to do so should shock Americans to the core.

Full Article: Opinion | Trump’s coup might not work. But he may pave the way for the next failed candidate. – The Washington Post

Trump’s election power play: Persuade Republican legislators to do what U.S. voters did not | Michael Martina, Karen Freifeld and Jarrett Renshaw/Reuters

President Donald Trump’s strategy for retaining power despite losing the U.S. election is focused increasingly on persuading Republican legislators to intervene on his behalf in battleground states Democrat Joe Biden won, three people familiar with the effort said. … Trump’s lawyers are seeking to take the power of appointing electors away from the governors and secretaries of state and give it to friendly state lawmakers from his party, saying the U.S. Constitution gives legislatures the ultimate authority. A person familiar with the campaign’s legal strategy said it has become a “more targeted approach towards getting the legislators engaged.” As things stand, Biden has captured 306 electoral votes nationwide to Trump’s 232, well ahead of the 270 needed for victory. Were the combined 36 electoral votes in Michigan and Pennsylvania to go to Trump, he would trail by 270-268 electoral votes, meaning his campaign would still need to flip at least one more state to retain the White House. A senior Trump campaign official told Reuters its plan is to cast enough doubt on vote-counting in big, Democratic cities that Republican lawmakers will have little choice but to intercede. The campaign is betting that many of those lawmakers, who come from districts Trump won, will face a backlash from voters if they refuse to act. The campaign believes the longer they can drag this out, the more they will have an opportunity to persuade lawmakers to intervene, the official said.

Full Article: Trump’s election power play: Persuade Republican legislators to do what U.S. voters did not | Reuters

Ousted cyber official: Giuliani press conference ‘most dangerous 1hr 45min’ of TV in US history | Maggie Miller/The Hill

Christopher Krebs, the top federal cybersecurity official who was fired by President Trump this week, called Thursday’s press conference held by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and other Republicans some of the “most dangerous” television in U.S. history. “That press conference was the most dangerous 1hr 45 minutes of television in American history. And possibly the craziest,” Krebs tweeted. “If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re lucky.” Krebs, former director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), was fired on Tuesday after publicly pushing back against disinformation and misinformation surrounding the presidential election. Trump has refused to concede the race to President-elect Joe Biden, making unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud. Former New York City Mayor Giuliani and other members of Trump’s legal team held a press conference Thursday to give an update on the campaign’s legal challenges in various battleground states where vote tallies show Biden with a substantial lead. Giuliani cited multiple now-debunked claims of voter fraud in making the case for Trump, including citing a scene from the film “My Cousin Vinny” in which a character is too far away from a crime scene to be a credible witness to argue the Trump campaign wasn’t allowed close enough to observe ballot counting in Pennsylvania. In his role as head of CISA, Krebs coordinated with state and local officials to boost election security following Russian interference in 2016.

Full Article: Ousted cyber official: Giuliani press conference ‘most dangerous 1hr 45min’ of TV in US history | TheHill

National: Rudy Giuliani baselessly alleges ‘centralized’ voter fraud at free-wheeling news conference | Jane C. Timm/NBC

President Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, took the president’s voter fraud claims even further on Thursday, baselessly alleging during a frenzied news conference that the fraud was nationally coordinated. The president’s legal team alleged already debunked claims of voter fraud, baseless allegations of corrupted and hackable voting machines, election interference by foreign communists, and even references to antifa. The former New York City mayor also offered alternative election results for swing states and argued the president had a viable path to a second term. “It’s not a singular voter fraud in one state,” Giuliani said, speaking at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington. “This pattern repeats itself in a number of states, almost exactly the same pattern, which any experienced investigator prosecutor, which suggests that there was a plan — from a centralized place to execute these various acts of voter fraud, specifically focused on big cities, and specifically focused on, as you would imagine, big cities controlled by Democrats, and particularly if they focused on big cities that have a long history of corruption.” There’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud, coordinated or isolated, and the Trump campaign has repeatedly seen its claims tossed out of court for a lack of evidence. On Thursday, the president’s legal team instead flooded the zone with false claims.

Full Article: Rudy Giuliani baselessly alleges ‘centralized’ voter fraud at free-wheeling news conference

National: How Sidney Powell inaccurately cited Venezuela’s elections as evidence of U.S. fraud. | Linda Qiu/The New York Times

Sidney Powell, a lawyer on President Trump’s election legal team who represented the former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, has been a major source and promoter of viral conspiracy theories about vote switching. Since the election, Ms. Powell has advanced claims of voluminous voter fraud and a rigged election. She falsely claimed that a supercomputer called Hammer hacked votes, that Mr. Trump won the election by “millions of votes” and that voting software company Dominion Voting Systems altered the tallies. Last week, she promised that coming evidence would overturn the election’s results and said she would “release the Kraken,” a reference to the 1981 movie “The Clash of the Titans,” reprising a catchphrase that began trending on Twitter. On Monday, Ms. Powell posted some of her so-called evidence on Twitter. It consisted of three screenshots of an affidavit that she said was signed by a former military official from Venezuela about elections there. The screenshots were incomplete and did not include a name or signature, and Ms. Powell did not respond to requests to view the full document. But according to her and excerpts from the affidavit, the elections software company Smartmatic helped the Venezuelan government rig its elections by switching votes and leaving no trail. The military official said in the excerpts that the U.S. election was “eerily reminiscent” of what happened in Venezuela’s 2013 presidential election, though no evidence was provided that votes had been switched in the United States.

Full Article: How Sidney Powell inaccurately cited Venezuela’s elections as evidence of U.S. fraud. – The New York Times

National: Trump’s firing of top election security official unsettles lawmakers | Courtney Norris/PBS

The consensus among top election officials was that the Nov. 3 election was the most secure in history. But the president disagreed. In the days since President Donald Trump fired one of those officials — Christopher Krebs, who he had appointed two years earlier to lead the newly formed Cyber & Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA — security experts and lawmakers of both parties have spoken out in defense of the nation’s top election security official.  “Chris Krebs is an extraordinary public servant and exactly the person Americans want protecting the security of our elections. It speaks volumes that the president chose to fire him simply for telling the truth,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. In the run-up to the election and in the days after, while the Trump campaign was waging legal battles contesting results on multiple fronts, Krebs was combating disinformation with a rumor control website that knocked down many of the claims that the election had in one way or another been stolen, including claims made by the president and his surrogates.

Full Article: Trump’s firing of top election security official unsettles lawmakers | PBS NewsHour

National: Dominion employees latest to face threats, harassment in wake of Trump conspiracy | Olivia Rubin,Lucien Bruggeman and Matthew Mosk/ABC

Full Article: Dominion employees latest to face threats, harassment in wake of Trump conspiracy – ABC News

National: Trump told ally he’s trying to get back at Democrats for questioning legitimacy of his own election | Dana Bash and Gloria Borger/CNN

President Donald Trump told an ally that he knows he lost, but that he is delaying the transition process and is aggressively trying to sow doubt about the election results in order to get back at Democrats for questioning the legitimacy of his own election in 2016, especially with the Russia investigation, a source familiar with the President’s thinking told CNN on Thursday. The President’s refusal to concede, as CNN has previously reported, stems in part from his perceived grievance that Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama undermined his own presidency by saying Russia interfered in the 2016 election and could have impacted the outcome, people around him have said. Trump continues to hold a grudge against those who he claims undercut his election by pointing to Russian interference efforts, and he has suggested it is fair game to not recognize Joe Biden as the President-elect, even though Clinton conceded on election night in 2016 and the Trump transition was able to begin immediately. Trump is also continuing to process the emotional scars of losing to a candidate he repeatedly said during the campaign was an unworthy opponent whose win would amount to humiliation. He again made no public appearances on Thursday, skipping the first coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in more than six months. He is planning to participate in a virtual Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit Friday, a senior administration official told CNN.

Full Article: Trump told ally he’s trying to get back at Democrats for questioning legitimacy of his own election – CNNPolitics

National: Threats and Tensions Rise as Trump and Allies Attack Elections Process | Nick Corasaniti, Jim Rutenberg and Kathleen Gray/The New York Times

President Trump’s false accusations that voter fraud denied him re-election are causing escalating confrontations in swing states across the country, leading to threats of violence against officials in both parties and subverting even the most routine steps in the electoral process. In Arizona on Wednesday, the Democratic secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, issued a statement lamenting the “consistent and systematic undermining of trust” in the elections and called on Republican officials to stop “perpetuating misinformation.” She described threats against her and her family in the aftermath of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory over Mr. Trump in her state. In Georgia, where Mr. Biden holds a narrow lead that is expected to stand through a recount concluding Wednesday night, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has said he, too, received menacing messages. He also said he felt pressured by Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to search for ways to disqualify votes. In Pennsylvania, statehouse Republicans on Wednesday advanced a proposal to audit the state’s election results that cited “a litany of inconsistencies” — a move Democrats described as obstructionist and unnecessary given Mr. Trump’s failure to present any evidence in court of widespread fraud or other problems. Republicans in Wisconsin filed new lawsuits on Wednesday in the state’s two biggest counties, seeking a recount. Mr. Biden reclaimed both states after Mr. Trump won them in 2016. Nowhere was the confusion and chaos more evident than in Michigan on Tuesday night, when two Republican members of the canvassing board in Wayne County, which includes Detroit, initially refused to certify election results, pointing to minor recording discrepancies. It was a stunningly partisan move that would have potentially disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters from a predominantly Black city, and after a stream of public backlash, the two board members reversed their votes and agreed to certify.

Full Article: Trump Election Results: Tensions Rise as Allies Attack Process – The New York Times

National: No, judges don’t overturn elections because of isolated irregularities. | Jeremy W. Peters/The New York Times

President Trump’s approach to challenging the election has been scattershot and contradictory, as his campaign demands that courts stop ballots from being counted in certain places while insisting that a more thorough review is necessary in other places. Confusing as it may seem, essentially his goal is this: to get judges to invalidate the results in enough counties and states so that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s lead disappears. Would judges ever actually do that? They have before, though never on the scale that the president and his legal team is attempting. There are numerous examples going back hundreds of years in the United States when courts have been asked to toss out the results of elections on the local, state and federal levels. Losing candidates have prevailed for a variety of reasons: because the court determined that the count was off, or that inconsistent standards were applied in processing ballots, or even that there was voter fraud. But these cases are the exception. And election law experts said that judges have set the bar extremely high. It’s not enough to claim — or even prove — that irregularities occurred. The irregularities have to be significant enough to change the outcome of the race, which is extraordinarily rare. “The prevailing view today is that courts should not invalidate election results because of problems unless it is shown that the problems were of such magnitude to negate the validity of which candidate prevailed,” said Edward B. Foley, director of election law at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. This is inherently difficult to do, he added, given how hard it is to provide evidence that disputed ballots were cast in favor of a particular candidate.

Full Article: No, judges don’t overturn elections because of isolated irregularities. – The New York Times