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US Election: What Happened In Pennsylvania Yesterday And Why It's Devastating For Donald Trump

Chris York
·Senior Editor, HuffPost UK
·3 min read

On Saturday a US judge dismissed in extraordinary terms, yet another lawsuit critical to Donald Trump’s bizarre, desperate and long-shot bid to overturn his election defeat to Joe Biden.

The Trump campaign had sought to prevent state officials from certifying the results of the election in the state of Pennsylvania where Biden won by 81,000-votes.

This is as mad as it sounds and unsurprisingly the Trump campaign has already failed in similar bids in courts in Georgia, Michigan and Arizona.

In the latest ruling in Pennsylvania, US District Judge Matthew Brann described the case as “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations”.

He added that he “has no authority to take away the right to vote of even a single person, let alone millions of citizens”.

“This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together.”

Since Biden was declared the winner two weeks ago, Trump has launched a barrage of lawsuits and mounted a pressure campaign to prevent states from certifying their vote totals.

The Pennsylvania case had been presented by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani who presented no evidence of the voter fraud he has repeatedly said was rampant during the election.

Giuliani did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on Saturday evening.

Asked earlier whether he had made a deal with Trump in exchange for a preemptive pardon, Giuliani told a HuffPost reporter, “get lost”.

Biden got 6 million more votes than Trump in the November 3 election, and also prevailed 306-232 in the state-by-state Electoral College system that determines who will take the oath of office on January 20.

He has spent the past several weeks preparing to take office, though Trump’s administration has refused to provide funding and security clearances to do so.

Critics say Trump’s refusal to concede have serious implications for national security and the fight against the coronavirus, which has killed nearly 255,000 Americans.

<strong>Trump skipped a global coronavirus pandemic meeting to play golf on Saturday.</strong> (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Trump skipped a global coronavirus pandemic meeting to play golf on Saturday. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

In order to remain in office, Trump would somehow need to overturn election results in at least three large states - an unprecedented feat in US history.

A recount in Georgia only affirmed Biden’s win there, and officials certified the result on Friday. Trump’s campaign said late Saturday it would request another recount.

In Wisconsin, election officials have criticised Trump volunteers for slowing a partial recount that is not expected to overturn Biden’s victory.

With recounts and lawsuits coming up short, Trump is now pressuring Republican-led state legislatures to throw out the vote totals and declare him the winner.

“Hopefully the Courts and/or Legislatures will have ... the COURAGE to do what has to be done to maintain the integrity of our Elections and the United States of America itself,” he wrote on Twitter after the Pennsylvania ruling.

On Friday, he summoned two top Republicans in Michigan’s legislature to the White House. After the meeting, they said they saw no evidence that would lead them to intervene. Biden is leading Trump in Michigan by 154,000 votes.

Election officials across the country say there is no evidence of significant voting fraud, and Trump’s own administration has called the election the “most secure in American history”.

But Trump’s accusations have continued to inflame his hard-core Republican base.

Half of Republicans believe the election was stolen from Trump, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling, and supporters have staged rallies across the country to protest the outcome.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.