A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit by the Trump campaign that sought to block the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results. U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann granted a request from Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar to dismiss the lawsuit that alleged Republicans had been unconstitutionally disadvantaged because certain counties permitted voters to cure their mail ballots.
The Trump campaign’s brief tried to rehash claims that the campaign appeared to abandon earlier this week.
The brief filed Saturday, which is littered with spelling errors, including the governor’s name, alleges that illegal votes were counted and poll watchers were unable to access vote counting — allegations that the Trump campaign dropped just last Sunday, before Rudy Giuliani was put in charge of the president’s growing legal challenges.
Attorney’s for the president wrote that certifying the 2020 presidential election would cause “irreparable harm” and set the stage for “Governor Wolfe,” referring to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, to appoint Pennsylvania’s electors before December 8, the “safe-harbor” post-election deadline.
Federal law says states have until six days before members of the Electoral College gather in person to certify election results and determine their electors, a date known as the “safe harbor” deadline. Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida introduced legislation to push back this deadline back from December 8 to January 1, giving states more time to ensure all legal votes are counted, but the measure is highly unlikely to be taken up before Election Day.
The Trump campaign further alleges that Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar “engaged in an intentional scheme to count mail ballots which did not comply with Pennsylvania law in order to favor Joseph Biden over President Donald J. Trump.” Giuliani notoriously told presiding Judge Matthew Brann, of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, just last week: “This is not a voter fraud case.”
The lawsuit, Trump v. Boockvar, U.S. District Court for Middle District of Pennsylvania, seeks to block Boockvar from certifying the election by claiming, thus far without evidence, that the campaign was denied meaningful access to observe and monitor the electoral process through its poll watchers.
The campaign estimates more than 680,000 ballots were processed in two Pennsylvania counties, Allegheny and Philadelphia, “when no observation was allowed.” An amended complaint from the Trump campaign filed on November 15 alleged disparate treatment of mail-in voters among different counties, but dropped claims it was denied access to observe.
Giuliani made baseless allegations about mail-in voting during a hearing on Tuesday, claiming “widespread, nationwide voter fraud, of which this is a part.” Mark Aronchick, who argued on behalf of some county election boards, lambasted Giuliani, calling his arguments “disgraceful.”
Mr. Trump’s lawyers said in a filing with the court that the campaign intended to file a second amended complaint “to restore claims which were inadvertently deleted from their amended complaint, and to add claims based on newly learned facts.”
CBS News projected Mr. Biden as the winner in Pennsylvania on November 7, when he edged ahead of Mr. Trump by over 34,000 votes. Pennsylvania’s 20 Electoral College votes brought him to 273, more than the 270 needed to win the election. After several other states were called, Mr. Biden is expected to win 306 Electoral College votes.
Nicole Sganga and Melissa Quinn contributed to this report.
Judge quashes Trump campaign latest attempt to stop Pa. results The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ CBS News.