Trump’s team, seeking to keep his slim path to victory alive, has launched a flurry of sometimes contradictory and scattershot legal challenges, without offering evidence of irregularities, demanding vote counts continue in states where he is behind and wanting them shut down in those where he leads.
“STOP THE COUNT,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning, even though taking such action would freeze the race and give an advantage to his opponent and the fact that carrying out his demand would be akin to voter disenfranchisement, with tens of thousands of legally cast ballots still being counted.
As one piece of his legal strategy, the Trump campaign plans to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in a case challenging a Supreme Court decision that allowed Pennsylvania ballots to be counted after Election Day. The justices had refused to expedite the appeal before the election and are considering whether to take up the case.
Trump and his campaign team also sought to raise doubts about how Biden made a late surge to victory in the vital state of Wisconsin, where the Democrat rose on the strength of mail-in and early votes that were counted after most of the ballots cast in person on Election Day.
The Trump campaign said Wednesday that it will demand a recount in Wisconsin while mounting legal challenges in Michigan and Georgia.
The campaign’s state-by-state approach revealed the glaring inconsistencies in its strategy: it appears to be trying to stop vote counts in states where Biden is trailing, like Pennsylvania and Georgia, while demanding that all the votes are counted in states where it believes the President has a chance of catching up to Biden, like Arizona and Nevada.
Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon has called the legal suits “meritless” and emphasized “our data shows that Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States.”
Trump offered a less-than-enthusiastic endorsement of his team’s legal strategy in phone calls with some of his allies on Wednesday, sounding resigned to the plan falling short and questioning why his team hadn’t successfully challenged voting rules before the election, even as he remained willing to see it through, CNN reported.
A court in Pennsylvania on Thursday said Trump campaign observers could stand closer to watch ballot processing in Philadelphia — a relatively inconsequential ruling that Trump campaign associates quickly touted as being a massive win, as votes are still being counted there that could decide the state.
No court has found wrongdoing in the ballot counting process in Philadelphia.