Donald Trump’s last-minute campaign legal efforts have focused on witnesses who allege they have witnessed election fraud and other suspicious activity in battlefield states across the country. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany held up stacks of papers detailing what she said were hundreds of affidavits from allegedly aggrieved voters or tellers in television appearances, and the MAGA worshipers have taken these allegations as proof that Trump secretly won the election.
But when those claims actually reach a judge, the allegations often fall dramatically – putting yet another roadblock in Trump’s attempts to push the election away from President-elect Joe Biden.
The latest deadly response to Trump’s election witnesses came on Friday in an order from a Michigan state court. The Trump campaign had asked Chief Justice Timothy M. Kenny to block Michigan’s certification of votes, citing a number of witnesses who claimed to have seen suspicious things happen with the vote count, primarily at the TCF Center in Detroit.
But when Kenny saw the witness’s claims, he was not impressed. In his opinion on Friday, Kenny rejected the Trump campaign’s request, describing a witness’s affidavit as “full of speculation and assumption on sinister grounds.”
Instead of alleging voter fraud, Kenny said, many of the accusations made by witnesses actually described routine counting procedures. If the Republican challengers had attended only optional training at the site, according to Kenny, they wouldn’t have been so alarmed.
“There is no evidence to attribute evil activity by virtue of the city using a rental truck with out-of-state license plates,” Kenny wrote in response to a complaint.
Kenny also dismissed allegations of voting irregularities made by Melissa Carone, an IT contractor for Dominion Voting Systems, whose voting machines were in the election vote theft conspiracy theories that were spurred on. by Trump. Carone has made appearances in right-wing media as some sort of star witness in the Trump campaign supporting the “rigged” election narrative, but Kenny decided his claims did not match any other witness statements.
“The allegations are just not credible,” Kenny wrote.
Carone encountered similar issues during his pro-Trump media tour. In an appearance Thursday on Fox Business host Lou Dobbs’ show, Carone told a strange story about pollsters not getting enough meals that left even Dobbs confused.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Witnesses to the Trump campaign have also encountered problems in Arizona. On Thursday, the campaign gathered false allegations that Sharpie pens were used to invalidate votes in court in Maricopa County. Once again, their alleged witnesses of electoral fraud failed to make the case for the campaign.
Sharpie’s conspiracy theory – dubbed “Sharpiegate” by Trump allies – centers on the idea that election officials deliberately gave Republican Sharpies voters to make their ballots countless. But the use of Sharpie would not invalidate the ballots, state election officials say.
Instead, many witnesses cited by Trump’s attorneys in Maricopa County only allege after the fact that they may have seen something suspicious – even though they couldn’t say exactly what was that thing. Some, for example, have complained about election officials pressing different buttons, but they were not able to prove that there was anything wrong with pressing the buttons.
The Maricopa Superior Court judge also withdrew from the record various Trump campaign charges, collected via an internet forum, questioning whether soliciting “evidence” over the internet could reliably yield credible claims. To make matters worse, a lawyer for the Trump campaign finally admitted that the campaign did not alleviate fraud, instead pointing to “good faith mistakes.”
The judge dismissed the Arizona case on Friday, since Biden had racked up such a lead that the ruling would not affect whether Biden or Trump won the state.
Even outside of courtrooms, alleged witnesses to Trump’s election fraud failed to substantiate their claims. US Postal Service mailman Richard Hopkins briefly became a star on the Right in the aftermath of the election, after alleging that Pennsylvania postal workers were revoking ballots to meet the November 3 deadline. Hopkins’ claims were defended by Conservative Agent James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas group, and Hopkins raised more than $ 100,000 on GoFundMe.
In an interview with postal investigators, however, Hopkins retracted his claims. While he later claimed in an interview with O’Keefe that he felt misled by investigators, the released audio of the interview released by Project Veritas confirmed that Hopkins had retracted at least some of his allegations of electoral fraud.
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