Trump allies take Pennsylvania vote complaint to Supreme Court
December 4, 2020 01:27 PM
Allies of President Donald Trump sought an emergency order Thursday from the US Supreme Court blocking the certification of election results in Pennsylvania, a key state won by President-elect Joe Biden.
The move follows the Pennsylvania state supreme court's rejection Saturday of a suit challenging expanded mail-in voting in the key northeastern state.
In the motion filed Thursday the top US court is not asked to rule on the merits of the case at this point.
Rather, the plaintiffs ask the court for an injunction to halt any remaining steps in the election certification, which was actually done last week, so the plaintiffs can develop their arguments. They include Mike Kelly, a Republican member of the House of Representatives.
The court is expected to respond quickly in writing and is not obliged to explain whatever ruling it makes.
Trump is still refusing to concede defeat in the November 3 election, alleging without providing evidence that there was widespread fraud in both voting and vote counting, and that the election was stolen from him.
The Trump campaign and Trump allies have filed a flurry of lawsuits in battleground states that he lost, seeking to overturn the results. In some 20-odd cases, however, the courts have rejected these suits.
On Tuesday Attorney General Bill Barr, a close ally of the president, broke with Trump and said there was no evidence of significant fraud to invalidate Biden's win.
Trump appointed three conservatives to the nine-member court during his presidency and said right after the November election he was prepared to go all the way to that tribunal to defend what he called his re-election victory.
In the 2000 presidential election the high court halted a recount in Florida while George W. Bush held a 537-vote lead over Al Gore, handing Bush the presidency.
This time is different: There is not just one but several states that Trump is disputing and the margins of victory for Biden there are much larger than Bush's was.
The Supreme Court is considered unlikely to risk its reputation by getting involved in the Pennsylvania suit, which would not change the overall outcome of the election anyway.
Biden vote lead widens to 7 million
Democrat Joe Biden's election margin over President Donald Trump widened to more than seven million votes Thursday even as Trump and supporters persisted in claims of fraud.
One month after the November 3 election, new local tallies from New York drove victor Biden's total to 81,264,673 votes, compared to Trump's 74,210,838, with a total 158.4 million votes counted so far, according to data compiled by the Cook Political Report.
That gave Biden a solid 4.4 percentage point margin over the Republican president.
Biden has captured 306 electoral votes for his victories in individual states, well past the 270 needed to win the presidency.
Trump continues to insist Democrats engineered a massive fraud in the vote and that he is the real winner, without offering convincing evidence.
Administrative and court challenges lodged by his campaign have repeatedly failed, and Biden, near-universally recognized as the president-elect, will be confirmed as winner by the Electoral College on December 14.
Biden will be inaugurated president and occupy the White House on January 20.
White House communications director resigns
White House communication director Alyssa Farah announced her resignation Thursday, in what appeared to be a tacit acknowledgement of Donald Trump's loss in last month's US presidential election.
"After three and a half incredible years, I will be leaving the White House to pursue new opportunities," wrote Farah, who had also served as spokeswoman for Vice President Mike Pence and at the Pentagon before her current position.
"I am deeply proud of the incredible things we were able to accomplish to make our country stronger, safer and more secure," she said, without mentioning Trump, whose term ends January 20.
Farah has mostly laid low since the November 3 election, in which President-elect Joe Biden defeated Trump.
But Trump has refused to concede, touting conspiracy theories and unfounded claims of fraud to explain his loss.
Farah's attitude stands in contrast with that of White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, who has amplified her boss's baseless claims of fraud and a rigged election.