Trump mounts legal battle in several states, Biden inches closer to victory

PTI, Nov 5, 2020, 8:11 AM IST

Washington: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris of Indian origin inched closer to the magic figure of 270 Electoral College votes, even as incumbent Republican President Donald Trump moved ahead with his plan to mount a massive legal battle.

Biden is falling short of six to 17 Electoral College votes, according to the projections made by various media outlets. Trump”s count for the Electoral College votes stood at 214, with his path to victory getting narrower.

By late Wednesday, Trump declared victory in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina and Georgia.

“We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won”t allow legal observers), the State of Georgia and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead. Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact … there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!” the president said in a series of tweets.

“Our lawyers have asked for ”meaningful access”, but what good does that do? The damage has already been done to the integrity of our system, and to the Presidential Election itself. This is what should be discussed!” he said in another tweet.

Biden exuded confidence in winning the race. “Keep faith in the process and in each other. Together, we will win this,” he said in a tweet.

The Trump campaign went ahead with lawsuits in Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania and has demanded a recounting of votes in Wisconsin. Mainstream media has projected Biden as the winner in Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump has maintained a lead in Pennsylvania.

Trump desperately needs to win three other battleground states — Georgia, North Carolina, where he has a narrow lead, and Nevada, where Biden has a very slim lead. While the Trump campaign is hoping that the president would be able to win Arizona, many media outlets have projected Biden as the winner in that state.

“We are going to win Pennsylvania, but they are trying to cheat us out of it because they know it is their only path to victory,” Eric Trump, the younger son of the president, told reporters at a news conference in Philadelphia.

“We are going to file a suit in Pennsylvania. It is the last thing that we wanted to do, it is the last thing my father wanted to do. But this is rampant corruption. It cannot happen. It is not fair. This is not democracy,” he said at the press conference, which was joined by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.

“This is beyond anything I have ever seen before. Do you think we are stupid? Do you think we are fools? You know something, Democrats do think you are stupid. And they do think you are fools. That is why you get called ”deplorable” and ”chumps”. We are going to stick with this. We are going to win this election. We have actually won it. It is just a matter of counting the votes fairly,” Giuliani said.

He also hinted at filing a federal lawsuit against voter fraud. The New York Times described it as a last-ditch effort by the Trump campaign.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Trump campaign said they have filed a lawsuit challenging the Pennsylvania actions to extend the voter ID deadline set by law, circumventing state law and bringing more chaos and uncertainty to the process.

“Shrouded in secrecy, Democrats continue to make voting changes in the eleventh hour that will only dilute the integrity of the vote, delay results and diminish confidence in the outcome. The RNC and the Trump campaign are prepared to take all legal actions to ensure the integrity of the election, and that includes holding rogue Democrat officials accountable,” RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said.

“We will not allow Democrat election officials to steal this election from President Trump with late, illegal ballots. President Trump and the Georgia Republican Party have filed a suit to require all Georgia counties to separate any and all late-arriving ballots from all legally cast ballots to ensure a free, fair election in which only legal, valid ballots count,” Justin Clark, deputy campaign manager of the Trump campaign, said.

In a separate statement, Clark said Trump is taking these actions to ensure the integrity of the election. “With these key actions, President Trump is telling all Americans he will do whatever it takes to ensure the integrity of this election for the good of the nation,” he said.

Meanwhile, both the Biden and Trump campaigns have reached out to their respective support bases to raise funds for the legal battle.

“Since we last reached out, Donald Trump has already tweeted misleading claims about his position in key states and his campaign is already questioning the results in Wisconsin — a state we are fully confident that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have won,” said the Biden campaign, which has created the Biden Fight Fund for the purpose.

“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will stand for the right of all Americans to have their votes counted — no matter who they voted for. And we remain confident that when that process is completed, Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States. But as always, we can only do it with your help,” it added.

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