Trump-Backed Michigan Vote Suit Slammed as ‘Dangerous’ by Lawyer
(Bloomberg) -- A lawyer for Detroit slammed a Michigan state court lawsuit alleging widespread voter fraud in the city as an “absurdity” hours after President Donald Trump’s campaign filed a separate federal suit making roughly the same claims.
President-elect Joe Biden has been declared the winner of Michigan, with a roughly 146,000-vote margin over Trump, who has refused to concede the election and claims he was the victim of voter fraud in the Democratic-leaning cities of several battleground states.
“They’re looking wherever they can to get validation for the unsupported conspiracy theories they have,” David Fink, a lawyer for Detroit, Michigan’s largest city, argued in a hearing on Wednesday in Wayne County Circuit Court.
The state court case filed Monday by Trump supporters Cheryl Costantino and Edward McCall Jr. is seeking to block certification of the vote in Detroit and surrounding Wayne County. The federal case filed by the campaign Wednesday seeks to block the statewide election certification also based on allegations of fraud in Wayne County.
Fink said any delay to certification could mean missing the “ultimate deadline” of Dec. 14, when the Electoral College meets to cast its votes. Stopping the count threatens to throw the outcome to the House of Representatives or open the door to state legislators seeking to appoint electors who don’t represent the will of the people.
“Either scenario is desperately dangerous,” Fink said.
Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny said he will rule Friday on a request to delay the certification or order an audit. Trump voters claim the handling of ballots was plagued by systematic fraud. Two other Michigan judges have ruled against Trump’s campaign in the past week on similar claims. The federal court case also alleges irregularities in the processing of ballots and intimidation of GOP observers.
Read More: Trump’s Challenge to the 2020 Vote: A State-by-State Guide
Trump’s campaign and Republican supporters have sued in at least four states challenging the results. The campaign also sued Monday to block Pennsylvania from certifying its election results, claiming that voting irregularities justify keeping the winner undeclared while the case proceeds. Legal experts say the suits are not backed by real evidence of fraud and are extremely unlikely to alter the results.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Fink sought to refute claims that poll workers backdated ballots and improperly entered fake voters into state rolls. The federal lawsuit made similar claims, and the campaign submitted 100 affidavits from Republicans who claimed they observed irregularities in ballots or the way they were processed.
The state case is Costantino v. City of Detroit, 20-14708, Wayne County Circuit Court. The federal case is Donald J. Trump for President v. Benson, 20-cv-1083, U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan.
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