Monday, November 30, 2020
Politics

Donald Trump tries last-ditch measures in Michigan as Georgia loss certified in US election

Donald Trump tries last-ditch measures in Michigan as Georgia loss certified in US election
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US President Donald Trump’s bid to overturn the November 3 election result has been dealt another blow as the state of Georgia certified results declaring president-elect Joe Biden the winner.

Mr Biden, a Democrat, is preparing to take office on January 20, but Mr Trump, a Republican, has refused to concede and is searching for a way to invalidate or overturn the results in a number of states, claiming widespread voter fraud.

Georgia’s final results, certified by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, saw Mr Biden leading by a margin of 12,670 votes or 0.25 per cent.

“The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office or courts, or of either campaigns,” Mr Raffensperger, a Republican and Trump supporter, told reporters.

Mr Biden is the first Democrat to carry Georgia since 1992.

With the door slammed shut in Georgia and having been stung by a series of court defeats, the Trump team is resting its hopes on getting Republican-controlled legislatures in other battleground states won by Mr Biden to set aside the results and declare Mr Trump the winner, according to three people familiar with the plan.

It is focusing on Michigan and Pennsylvania for now, but even if both those states flipped to the President he would need to overturn the vote in another state to vault ahead of Mr Biden in the electoral college.

Such an extraordinary event would be unprecedented in modern US history.

Mr Trump not only would need three state legislatures to intervene against vote counts as they stand now, but then also have those actions upheld by Congress and, almost certainly, the US Supreme Court.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger looks up towards the ceiling as he speaks during a news conference.
Mr Raffensperger, a Republican and Trump supporter, certified Mr Biden’s win in Georgia.(AP: Brynn Anderson)

Trump makes final push for Michigan

Michigan state legislators, who are yet to certify unofficial results that put Mr Biden ahead by more than 154,000 votes, headed to the White House on Friday.

Mr Trump and his allies have been trying to convince judges and politicians in the state to set aside the popular vote and swap in Republican-chosen electors.

“No matter the party, when you have an opportunity to meet with the President of the United States, of course you take it,” Representatives Speaker Lee Chatfield wrote on Twitter as he headed to the White House.

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Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, who was also meeting with Mr Trump, told a Michigan news outlet earlier this week that the legislature would not appoint a second slate of electors.

Upon arriving at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport outside Washington, Mr Shirkey and his colleagues were met by a swarm of protesters.

Some held signs that read “SHAME” while others chanted “Certify the results” and “respect Michigan voters”. One protester asked, “What has Trump promised you?”

US Representative Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, called the meeting “totally inappropriate” in a news conference with other lawmakers from the state and vowed that Democrats would resist any attempt to overturn Mr Biden’s victory.

A Republican election challenger at right watches over election inspectors as they examine a ballot.
Michigan state legislators are yet to certify unofficial results in favour of Mr Biden.(AP: David Goldman)

Mr Biden, who turned 78 on Friday, continued to lay the foundation of his administration, naming Louisa Terrell as the incoming director of the White House’s office of legislative affairs, the main liaison with Congress, and announcing other appointments.

Ms Terrell worked as a deputy chief of staff for Mr Biden in the Senate and was a special assistant to President Barack Obama.

Mr Biden was also due to meet US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leaders in Congress.

Democrats are pushing for another multi-trillion-dollar coronavirus relief package to blunt the economic pain of an intensifying US pandemic.

More than 252,000 people have died in the country from COVID-19.

ABC/wires

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A large crowd of Donald Trump supporters marched into the State Capitol building in Georgia, as election officials recount the vote.



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