Kamis, 19 November 2020

US election fallout: Donald Trump’s team claims ‘national conspiracy’ as lawsuits crash - The Australian

Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye runs down his face at a bizarre press conference. Picture: AFP.
Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye runs down his face at a bizarre press conference. Picture: AFP.

The Trump administration has stepped up its claims of election fraud, alleging a vast “national conspiracy”’ by Democrats to steal the election, as the president’s legal team received new setbacks.

The move comes as Mr Trump’s team faces looming deadlines from key swing states which will certify their votes early next week, narrowing an already unlikely legal pathway to overturn the election result.

The president’s legal challenge to the result has frozen the transition process for the president-elect Joe Biden and is placing pressure on leading Republicans to abandon their support for Mr Trump’s quest.

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Mr Biden hit back at the president’s intransigence, saying it sent a damaging message to the world about how democracy works.

“We are witnessing incredible irresponsibility,” Mr Biden said. “(It is an) incredibly damaging message being sent to the rest of the world about how democracy functions … it is totally irresponsible.

“What he is doing now is really going to be another incident where he will go down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents in American history. It’s hard to fathom how this man thinks. I’m confident he knows he hasn’t won. It is just outrageous what he is doing,” he said.

In a bid to shore up flagging support in Washington, Mr Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Friday (AEDT) held a bizarre 90-minute press conference in which he and his team made a raft of wild and unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud.

Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye ran down his face as he started to sweat during a Trump campaign press conference today.

Mr Giuliani said the Democrats had hatched a “national conspiracy” to steal the election “specifically focused on big cities controlled by Democrats.”

Mr Giuliani said the scheme had “centralised” control by “crooked” Democrats and operated with the knowledge of Joe Biden.

“What I’m describing to you is a massive fraud,” he said. “This is enough to overturn any election.”

Mr Giuliani alleged, but did not provide evidence of, widespread voter fraud in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan, saying that more cases would be brought to the courts.

So far courts have dismissed more than 26 lawsuits claiming fraud filed by the Trump team. On Friday, Mr Trump’s lawyers dropped their last lawsuit in Michigan. However in a remarkable move, the president has invited Michigan Republican state legislators to the White House on Saturday (AEDT) as he looks for other ways to overturn the state’s expected certification of a Biden victory.

The president is exploring whether state Republicans might have the legal power to subvert the popular vote and instead send their own representatives to cast their vote at the Electoral College next month.

On Tuesday (AEDT) next week Pennsylvania and Michigan will certify their vote while Nevada will do so on Wednesday, making it much harder for the president to take legal action to challenge the result.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he believed the certification of the result by a state would end any further legal challenges in that state.

Georgia was due to announce the results of its hand-recount but the recount is not expected to overturn Mr Biden’s victory in that state.

Wisconsin will have a recount of the strongly democrat counties of Milwaukee and Madison, with the Trump team alleging that absentee ballots were illegally altered or issued. Mr Biden leads Mr Trump in Wisconsin by 20,000 votes.

Mr Trump continued to claim the election was stolen, tweeting that there were 20,000 dead people in the voter rolls in Pennsylvania.

He said his legal team were on a “very clear and viable path to victory.”

Mr Trump’s refusal to concede defeat in the election had meant that the Government agency that signs off on the formal transition process – the General Services Administration – has to yet to approve the transition.

This means that Mr Biden’s team have not been given access to various agencies, intelligence briefings and funding ended to prepare for Mr Biden’s move into the White House in January.

Mr Biden has warned that any hold-up in the transition process could hamper the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine when it is approved.

“There is no excuse not to share the (coronavirus) data and let us begin planning,” he said on Friday (AEDT).

Mr Biden has tried to keep the focus on the surging coronavirus this week and on Friday he met with state Governors on ways to respond to the latest dangerous stage of the pandemic.

Mr Biden said he discussed with Governors a unified national approach to dealing with the pandemic.

This included the need for an urgent economic relief for families, the safe and free delivery of a vaccine, an increase in testing and the need to wear masks.

(Cameron Stewart is also US Contributor for Sky News Australia)

Washington Correspondent

Cameron Stewart has been The Australian’s Washington Correspondent covering North America since early 2017. This is his second US posting, having previously been The Australian’s New York correspondent the lat...

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2020-11-20 00:05:00Z

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