Trump campaign drops Michigan case, three other states toss election challenges

Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's campaign legal advisor, holds an envelope representing mail-in voting as he speaks on the election results, at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's campaign legal advisor, holds an envelope representing mail-in voting as he speaks on the election results, at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 19 (UPI) -- The litigious effort by the Trump campaign and Republican Party to challenge the results of the general election continued to deflate on Thursday as judges in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania ruled against them while they pulled a case from Michigan.

The campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump has filed more than 20 lawsuits in the battleground states in an attempt to invalidate results that say he lost the presidency to his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.


Trump has yet to concede defeat and continues to fervently promote widely discredited claims of voter fraud on Twitter.

On Thursday, the judges in three states added to a growing list of cases that have been decided against Trump.

In Arizona, a state judge dismissed an Arizona Republican Party case seeking to expand a hand audit of votes.


Judge John R. Hannah, Jr., of the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County, dismissed the case with prejudice.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and the Arizona Democratic Party in court documents argued that the Republican Party had filed the case two days after the state had completed a hand-audit recount of a sampling of ballots that found zero discrepancies.

The document argued that if the GOP challenge was successful it would "significantly and unnecessarily delay the processing of ballots well past the 11th hour."

"This lawsuit was frivolous and rightfully dismissed," Geoff Burgan, the communications director of the Biden campaign in Arizona, said in a statement. "It's time for Gov. [Doug] Ducey to move forward and recognize the will of the voters."

Kelli Ward, the GOP party chairwoman for Arizona, rejected Hannah's decision in a statement, saying "I stand by my call for a full hand-count audit of our state's election results."

Meanwhile, Arizona House Democrats called on Trump to concede.

"Trump's unfounded election rhetoric -- dangerously amplified by his elected and non-elected supporters -- could lead to physical violence and further division," Rep. Lorenzo Sierra said in a statement that was issued a day after Hobbs said she and her family have been receiving escalating threats of violence.


"These are a symptom of a deeper problem in our state and country -- the consistent and systematic undermining of trust in each other and our democratic process," she said.

In Georgia, Trump-appointee U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg threw out a case seeking to halt the certification of the state's results over improper procedures by election officials.

Grimberg found no evidence of irregularities.

"It harms the public interest in countless ways, particularly in the environment in which this election occurred. To halt the certification at literally the 11th hour would breed confusion and significant disenfranchisement," he said.

In Pennsylvania, Judge Robert Baldi rejected a case to invalidate 2,177 absentee ballots the Trump campaign called "legally insufficient" due to technical issues with their envelopes or lacked a handwritten date or address.

Baldi highlighted in his opinion that this case was about language, and not about voter fraud as the other cases with similar ends have been.

He ruled that it would be either improper or an injustice to disenfranchise these voters over these concerns.

In Michigan, the Trump campaign earlier Thursday dropped a lawsuit seeking to halt the certification of election results in Wayne County, which contains Detroit, where nearly 80% of the population is Black.


Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani announced the move after two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers signed affidavits stating they wanted to rescind their votes to certify the results.

"This morning we are withdrawing our lawsuit in Michigan as a direct result of achieving the relief we sought: to stop the election in Wayne County from being prematurely certified before residents can be assured that every legal vote has been counted and every illegal vote has not been counted," Giuliani said in a statement.

Canvassing board members Monica Palmer and William Hartmann initially voted not to certify Wayne County's results, voicing concerns about unproven "irregularities," and deadlocked the board vote in a 2-2 tie.

After widespread criticism that they were attempting to disenfranchise the county's Black voters, Hartmann and Palmer switched their votes to confirm the results. They later signed affidavits saying those votes were made under pressure and sought to rescind them.

Palmer told NBC News that President Donald Trump called her and Hartmann the day before they sought to rescind their votes, but that didn't influence their request.

The president "called to make sure I was OK, that I was safe and to check on me," Palmer told NBC News. "I appreciated that, knowing how busy he is."


The two Republican board members denied racism and said in affidavits that they were promised an independent audit of Wayne County, which lead them to certify the votes, but they now believe the audit will not take place, The Detroit Free Press reported. The audit has yet to be formally requested.

Giuliani's assertion that certification in Wayne County was "stopped" is inaccurate, state officials said.

"There is no legal mechanism for them to rescind their vote," Tracy Wimmer, a spokeswoman for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, told The Detroit Free Press. "Their job is done and the next step in the process is for the Board of State Canvassers to meet and certify."

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