Judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit in Pennsylvania


A federal judge on Saturday dismissed the Trump campaign's lawsuit in Pennsylvania seeking to invalidate millions of votes, issuing a scathing opinion saying that the state can move forward with certifying its election results.

U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew Brann ruled that the campaign presented “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations" that were "unsupported by evidence."

"In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state. Our people, laws, and institutions demand more," the judge wrote.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) celebrated the ruling on Twitter.

"These claims were meritless from the start and for an audience of one. The will of the people will prevail. These baseless lawsuits need to end," he tweeted.

Saturday's ruling is a major blow to the Trump campaign’s efforts to overturn election results, with President-elect Joe Biden leading Trump by more than 81,000 votes in Pennsylvania.

After the judge's ruling, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) joined a growing number of GOP lawmakers who have recognized Biden as president-elect, saying Trump "has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result of the presidential race in Pennsylvania."

“This ruling follows a series of procedural losses for President Trump’s campaign. On Friday, the state of Georgia certified the victory of Joe Biden after a hand recount of paper ballots confirmed the conclusion of the initial electronic count. Michigan lawmakers rejected the apparent attempt by President Trump to thwart the will of Michigan voters and select an illegitimate slate of electoral college electors. These developments, together with the outcomes in the rest of the nation, confirm that Joe Biden won the 2020 election and will become the 46th President of the United States," Toomey said in a statement.

The Trump campaign filed its suit in Pennsylvania earlier this month, alleging irregularities in the voting process in counties across the state.

Specifically, the campaign claimed that ballots were treated differently depending on whether they were mailed or cast in person. They asked to halt certification while the case played out.

The president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani represented the Trump campaign in federal court this week, arguing that the commonwealth should not certify its results.

In a statement on Saturday evening, Giuliani asserted that the ruling from Brann, an appointee of former President Obama, "turns out to help us in our strategy to get expeditiously to the U.S. Supreme Court."

"Although we fully disagree with this opinion, we’re thankful to the Obama-appointed judge for making this anticipated decision quickly, rather than simply trying to run out the clock," Giuliani said in a joint statement with Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis. 

They said the campaign would seek "an expedited appeal to the Third Circuit," claiming that Democrats hindered their efforts to bring forward witnesses and other evidence the campaign claims to have.

The Trump lawyers said the case "appears to be moving quickly to the United States Supreme Court.”

The ruling comes two days after Giuliani joined other Trump campaign lawyers for a roughly 90-minute press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, where Giuliani made unsubstantiated claims about election fraud and described a widespread effort to deny the president reelection.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), a vocal GOP critic of Trump, dubbed the press conference a "train wreck" while Christopher Krebs, the top federal cybersecurity official who was fired by Trump last week, called the presser "the most dangerous 1hr 45 minutes of television in America history."

The president also sparked backlash this week after he personally reached out to Michigan officials as he and his attorneys stepped up their campaign to shift the outcome of the election.

Several Republican lawmakers have come out and called for the Trump campaign to release evidence to back up its electoral claims in the wake of the Giuliani press conference.

Pennsylvania has until Monday to certify its election results, and Gov. Tom Wolf (D) will notify electors that they should show up to vote on Dec. 14.

Comments