Trump says he’ll join Texas lawsuit asking Supreme Court to block 62 Biden electors


WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that he’ll join a longshot legal effort by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn election results in four states that helped deliver the presidency to Democrat Joe Biden.

Officials in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin called the lawsuit a baseless stunt.

Texas’ request amounts to asking the high court to negate the votes of 10.4 million people who picked Biden over Trump.

Although Trump’s legal team has lost three dozen cases in federal and state court alleging ballot tampering and fraud, the Supreme Court offered a glimmer of hope in the Texas case, filed Monday, by ordering the four defendant states to respond in writing by Thursday as prelude to a decision on whether it will hear the case.

“We will be INTERVENING in the Texas (plus many other states) case. This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!” Trump tweeted, calling it “the case that everyone has been waiting for…. It is very strong, ALL CRITERIA MET. How can you have a presidency when a vast majority think the election was RIGGED?”

Only the Supreme Court has jurisdiction in controversies between state governments. The court has signaled little interest in second-guessing state election procedures after the fact, though.

Paxton’s lawsuit accuses the other four states of making unlawful changes to their election policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating a “massive opportunity for fraud.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton discusses government's approach to sex trafficking on Feb. 26, 2020 at The Dallas Morning News Auditorium.

Texas is asking the justices to block those four states’ 62 electors from casting ballots on Monday when the Electoral College meets to formalize Biden’s 306-232 win – in effect, asking the court to set aside 10.4 million Biden ballots.

Paxton co-chaired Lawyers for Trump, part of the president’s reelection team.

Democratic critics have speculated that his lawsuit is a bid to curry favor with Trump in hopes of receiving a preemptive pardon. The FBI is investigating allegations by former senior staffers that Paxton used the attorney general’s office to benefit a campaign donor.

Paxton has been under indictment for more than five years on state criminal charges involving securities fraud, though the presidential pardon power only involves federal crimes.

“Rather than focus on his own problems, he’s going all in on the completely unfounded `Trump actually won!’ narrative that has captured the Republican Party. Texans deserve representatives who are rooted in reality, not in conspiracy theories,” read a fundraising email from the House Democratic Campaign Committee, which supports Texas Democrats in legislative contests.

Trump insists the election was rigged or stolen. But dozens of courts have thrown out such allegations as factually baseless. U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said last week that the Justice Department has no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

On Wednesday, 27 House Republicans, including five from Texas, wrote Trump urging him to direct Barr to name a special counsel to investigate election fraud, complaining that Barr and the Justice Department haven’t taken the allegations seriously enough. Rep. Lance Gooden of Terrell led the letter, the latest push from conservatives aimed at spurring a federal criminal inquiry.

In Georgia, Paxton’s counterpart Chris Carr, who chairs the Republican Association of Attorneys General — which includes Paxton — called Paxton’s allegations “constitutionally, legally and factually wrong.” The office of the secretary of state, also a Republican, has certified Biden’s win after three recounts and called Texas’ allegations of unlawful procedures “false and irresponsible.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, called Paxton’s filing a “publicity stunt, not a legal pleading.”

Texas’ pleading refers eight times to “plaintiff states.” But Texas alone is pursuing the case at this time, suggesting that Paxton’s office tried and failed to get other states to join the effort. The state’s top appellate lawyer, who works for Paxton, did not sign onto the brief, an unusual omission for a pleading before the Supreme Court that raised the possibility he wants to distance himself from a dubious claim.

Alabama Attorney…

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