As Election Day turned into election week early Wednesday morning, Donald Trump had a simple message for his closest political and legal advisers as they began to develop a plan to challenge and temporarily stop the vote count. in several key states: give them a legal fight they’ll never forget.
The president’s remarks, relayed by two people who knew them, came the morning after an inconclusive election night, but one that seemed to be going in Joe Biden’s way. And for the Trump team, it was a clear call to use all possible legal resources and a little political organization to help redress the balance.
Trump told his advisers that while Biden snatched the presidency from him, he wanted them to “fight” harder than they had ever done before, said one of the sources with direct knowledge. On Wednesday afternoon, a semblance of this approach began to materialize.
In Detroit, pro-Trump protesters showed up to a counting site to demand access to officials and insist that the count be over. In Arizona, one of Trump’s closest allies in Congress, Representative Paul Gosar, issued a “call to action” for “red-blooded American patriots” to attend a rally to “protect our president. At the electoral center of Maricopa County. In Nevada, a Trump supporter interrupted a press conference with the Registrar of Electors by declaring that “the Biden crime family is stealing this election.” And throughout the day, the Trump campaign has peppered donors and supporters with text messages and emails asking for money to help fund – what it mistakenly called – an attempt by Democrats to ‘steal’ the election.
Trump’s legal team – including George W. Bush’s campaign veteran Mark “Thor” Hearne – has asked a Michigan court to suspend the counting of mail-in votes because they alleged his observers had failed. not had full access to the tally and were not allowed to watch video footage of “remote and unattended drop boxes”. He brought a similar action in Pennsylvania, struggling to stop the ranking on the grounds that his supervisors had not been allowed within 25 feet of the scoring effort.
In addition, he filed an application to bring a pending case to the Supreme Court, hoping to convince lawyers at the highest level to overturn a state policy that would allow counties to count votes bearing. postmarked on polling day and received as late as Friday.
Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney and confidant, oversees the Supreme Court’s efforts.
And in the afternoon, members of Trump’s family and another of his personal attorneys, Rudy Giuliani, were on their way to Philadelphia for a “press conference,” but they made a late hijack and opted out of it. ” stay at a nearby airport.
During the squeeze, Giuliani declared the city’s tally “totally illegitimate,” citing fabricated data, unfounded anecdotes and fabricated rumors of illegal voters.
The effort to invade venues and demand access to vote counting operations had clear echoes of what Republicans did in Florida in 2000, when a group of young operatives caused a scene in Florida known as the name of Brooks Brothers Riots. These agents insisted that they were only pushing for transparency to ensure a valid recidivism. Officials on the ground in Miami-Dade said they believed it was a bullying tactic.
At least one of the notorious Brooks Brothers rioters is one of President Donald Trump’s main allies. In an interview, Matt Schlapp declined to say if he was involved in an ongoing effort. But he defended what was going on in Detroit, where pro-Trump rallies demanded that workers “stop the tally” on the grounds that it was a matter of electoral integrity.
“I can just repeat that it is perfectly appropriate for voters to report any voting irregularities to officials whose job it is to make sure there are no irregularities,” Schlapp said. “And if citizens want to get involved in this process, I think that’s a positive thing, not a negative.”
But other people involved in this episode said the parallels don’t really hold up. For starters, Biden is currently in the lead in Michigan, which makes it difficult to understand why the Trump side would want the count stopped. Doug Heye, another member of the 2000 crew, said, “We wanted every vote to be counted and counted publicly.”
These inconsistencies did not seem to bother the Trump team. Even before Wednesday noon time, the best players in the presidential campaign were already starting to bet everything on an armada of lawyers. Publicly, the campaign took on a determined and arrogant face, with Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien and other aides assuring reporters that they were all still convinced that as the week wore on, the final tally. in critical battlefield states would give them a decisive, victory.
However, even before the morning was out, three senior officials in the re-election effort were already telling the Daily Beast that they were convinced that the president’s best hope, if not the only one, to lock Biden out of the White House would be so. lawyers could intervene successfully in enough states.
“The City of Lawyers,” said Joe Grogan, former senior domestic policy adviser to President Trump, describing the situation Wednesday afternoon. “It’s going to be really ugly.”
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