THE NEUTRAL ZONE
In remarks Thursday evening, President Donald Trump claimed that he would easily win the presidential race, save for what he referred to as fraud by Democrats and the media. Trump provided no evidence for his assertions that tallies are being rigged or that mail-in ballots are illegitimate. He said in a statement on Friday that the American people deserve to have full transparency into all vote counting and election certification and reiterated that “illegal votes should not be counted.” At an election protection briefing, Bob Bauer, Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign adviser, said the lawsuits have no merit and are nothing more than a distraction.
ABC, CBS and NBC all cut away from Trump’s speech on Thursday. MSNBC’s Brian Williams interrupted the president’s statements to clarify that no illegal votes have been found. Fox News and CNN aired his full address, providing commentary afterward. CNN analysts David Axelrod and Van Jones said they were angered by Trump’s attacks on authorities in Detroit and Philadelphia. Fox News commentators Bill Bennett and Byron York said that the president and his lawyers need to present evidence of vote irregularities.
Republicans’ reactions to the president’s speech were mixed. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah wrote on Twitter that counting every vote “is at the heart of democracy.” Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois called on the president to provide evidence of voter fraud and take it to court rather than spreading “debunked misinformation.” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Philadelphia elections are “crooked as a snake” and donated $500,000 to the Trump campaign’s legal fund. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz similarly supported Trump’s claims of election fraud.
Trump’s reelection campaign filed numerous lawsuits in battleground states over vote counts. The states include Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona and Nevada. Several of the legal efforts have either been unsuccessful or have secured procedural measure changes, such as campaign canvass observers being permitted to observe ballot processes at a closer distance. Former attorney for George W. Bush Barry Richard said none of the current suits are likely to be successful in changing the outcome of the 2020 race.
The president’s lawyers have asked to intervene in a pending Republican appeal to the Supreme Court over the three-day extension for the receipt and counting of mailed ballots ordered by Pennsylvania’s top court. Democrats in the state said the justices should put off granting the request in case Pennsylvania is not critical to the election’s outcome.
Philadelphia Police Investigating Alleged Plot To Attack Vote Counting – HuffPost – 11/6/2020
Philadelphia police arrested two men armed with guns Thursday night after receiving a tip reporting a plot to attack the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where city workers are counting mail-in ballots from the presidential election.
With Biden Up in Pennsylvania, Are We Headed Toward Gridlock? – Reason – 11/6/2020
As Trump’s path to victory vanishes, his campaign and closest allies have been desperately casting about to challenge the legitimacy of the results in federal courts and American minds. And way too many Republican politicians and pundits have been playing along, spreading grave but hysterical warnings about voter fraud for which none of them can muster any evidence. Nonetheless, some of the president’s usual partners in disinformation have suddenly been willing to publicly question Trumpworld’s spin.
Trump Legal Adviser Admits Campaign Hopes for Supreme Court Intervention – Truthout – 11/6/2020
A prominent conservative attorney and co-chair of Lawyers for Trump openly admitted in a television interview Thursday that the campaign’s ultimate hope is for newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to “come through” and decide the election. […] “There’s no guarantee of that… so we have to fight this on the ground and make sure that we challenge in every place, and we are.”
‘Come Back To Haunt’: Pennsylvania Lawsuit Alleges 21,000 Dead People Still On Voter Rolls – Daily Caller – 11/6/2020
The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), which is not associated with President Donald Trump’s campaign, filed the lawsuit Thursday arguing that Pennsylvania has failed to maintain voter registration records in violation of federal and state law, according to a press release. PILF alleged that in an October analysis it found at least 21,000 apparently deceased citizens on the state’s voter rolls, according to the complaint.