President Donald Trump’s desperate coup to overturn the 2020 election was dealt another major blow on Friday when a federal appeals court rejected the Trump campaign’s attempt to rekindle a lawsuit alleging voter fraud in Pennsylvania.
The suit was filed by Rudy Giuliani, New York City’s former Republican mayor and Trump’s reality show attorney.
An panel of three Republican judges for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, led by Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump-appointee, unanimously denied the Trump campaign’s request overturn the will of Pennsylvania voters, who chose Biden over Trump.
The judges said in their ruling that the Trump campaign failed to substantiate its allegations that Biden won because hundreds of thousands of people voted illegally.
“Seeking to turn those state-law claims into federal ones, the campaign claims discrimination. But its alchemy cannot transmute lead into gold,” Bibas wrote. “The campaign never alleges that any ballot was fraudulent or cast by an illegal voter. It never alleges that any defendant treated the Trump campaign or its votes worse than it treated the Biden campaign or its votes. Calling something discrimination does not make it so. The second amended complaint still suffers from these core defects, so granting leave to amend would have been futile.”
Bibas continued: “The Trump Presidential Campaign asserts that Pennsylvania’s 2020 election was unfair. But as lawyer Rudolph Giuliani stressed, the Campaign ‘doesn’t plead fraud. . . … [T]his is not a fraud case.’ … Instead, it objects that Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State and some counties restricted poll watchers and let voters fix technical defects in their mail-in ballots. It offers nothing more.”
Bibas added that “voters, not lawyers, choose the President. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections.”
The judges in their ruling said that “free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy.charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so,” the panel said. “Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”
There was no ambiguiity whatsoever in the panel’s opinion.
“First, for the reasons already given, the Campaign is unlikely to succeed on the merits,” the ruling states. “Second, it shows no irreparable harm, offering specific challenges to many fewer ballots than the roughly 81,000-vote margin of victory. Third, the Campaign is responsible for its delay and repetitive litigation. Finally, the public interest strongly favors finality, counting every lawful voter’s vote, and not disenfranchising millions of Pennsylvania voters who voted by mail. Plus, discarding those votes could disrupt every other election on the ballot.”
Team Trump also hoped to reverse the certification of Biden as the winner of Pennsylvania’s 20 Electoral College votes, which handed him the presidency. But the judges quashed that goal too.
“The Campaign’s claims have no merit. The number of ballots it specifically challenges is far smaller than the roughly 81,000-vote margin of victory. And it never claims fraud or that any votes were cast by illegal voters,” the judges wrote. “Plus, tossing out millions of mail-in ballots would be drastic and unprecedented, disenfranchising a huge swath of the electorate and upsetting all down-ballot races too. That remedy would be grossly disproportionate to the procedural challenges raised.”
After the ruling, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, tweeted that Trump keeps losing because his lawyer’s are unwilling to commit perjury.
“The sitting president & his enablers can lie without penalty in tweets, ‘hearings,’ press events. Where they can’t get away with it is in court,” Shapiro wrote. “That’s why they keep losing—there’s no evidence to back up their claims.”
Hope you’re enjoying some online deals today. But I must say:
The sitting president & his enablers can lie without penalty in tweets, “hearings,” press events. Where they can’t get away with it is in court. That’s why they keep losing—there’s no evidence to back up their claims.
— Josh Shapiro (@JoshShapiroPA) November 27, 2020
Fifty-four days until the inauguration.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.