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Trump Campaign Files Lawsuits Challenging Election Results

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Victor: No concession yet by President Trump. No clear legal strategy from his attorneys, despite a vow by Rudy Giuliani and other allies that his race is not over. Let’s talk about this, the legal claims and their merits. Constitutional attorney Page Pate is with us. Page, good morning to you.

Page: Good morning, Victor.

Victor: So let’s start by just talking about what this concession is and is not. It is a norm. It is a tradition. It is an acceptance, an acknowledgment of a loss. It is not constitutionally required. Correct?

Page: That’s exactly correct, Victor. I mean, traditionally, presidents who have lost an election or who have finished their term have a concession speech. They cooperate with the president elect. They work with their transition team. It’s clear we’re not going to see that, I don’t think, from President Trump, at least as far as the concession is concerned. But it is not required. The Constitution has a very specific process as far as dates as to how we move forward. And no part of that involves a concession from President Trump.

Victor: Let’s go through some of the lawsuits. A lawsuit already before the U.S. Supreme Court that the campaign has joined, intervened, and relating to Pennsylvania, whether votes that arrived at 8:00 p.m. on election day should count. Let’s start, before we talk about the merits, do you expect that the court will issue an opinion in this case?

Page: I think eventually they will. I mean, that is a legitimate legal challenge. It was brought before the election. The Supreme Court denied the Trump campaign’s request for a stay and so they allowed the votes to be cast, and collected, and processed. But there is a legitimate legal question as to whether those votes received after election day should count. The key question is, will there be enough votes? And I don’t think, in this situation, it’s going to matter.

Victor: You got to the merit there in your follow-up. There’s one on… This is the one that the President tweeted about, calling it a big win in Pennsylvania, about the campaign and observers. The President and his supporters, the suggestion was the observers were not allowed in the room. This case got to something specific about distance from processing a ballot. Fill in the blanks.

Page: Yeah, Victor, I mean, I think this is a great example of what we have seen so far in terms of their legal strategy. It’s petty and it’s too late. If you wanna challenge an election, you don’t wait until after the election is over to bring your challenge. I honestly expected we would see more lawyers in more states watching things like this. You know, are we being allowed access to observe the counting, observe the canvassing?

Especially, when you have absentee ballots. That’s a critical part of the process because there are a lot of step you have to go through to make sure a mail-in ballot is appropriate [inaudible 00:02:54] correctly, but they didn’t do that. They waited until after the fact, and now suggesting, “Hey, wait a minute. We weren’t close enough to see that.” Well, what is a judge gonna do with that?

We saw, here in Georgia, one judge threw it out. He’s like, “Basically, you’re not presenting solid evidence and, two, it’s just petty. It’s not enough to show evidence of fraud and it’s certainly not enough to change the vote.”

Victor: Yeah, the…I heard from someone who heard that they received a note that someone added 53 ballots to a stack. The judge said, “That’s hearsay, on hearsay, on hearsay and none of it is admissible.” Thrown out, suits in Michigan rejected, denied in Nevada as well. Is there anything that you see that the President has filed that will derail a president-elect Biden inauguration 73 days from now?

Page: The short answer, Victor, is no. And looking at this as a litigator, as somebody who’s actually in court challenging things like this on a day-to-day basis, it almost looks like they’re just going through the motions. Like, perhaps, the Trump campaign needs to appear like they’re challenging this to satisfy some part of his base. But I really expected to see a lot more in terms of a legal fight from Trump. More coordination, certainly more effective lawsuits.

But this has just been weak, disorganized, and now they’re saying they’re gonna bring all these lawsuits on Monday. Well, what is a judge gonna do with that? The voting is over. The counting is almost completely over. And so far, the legal claims have been meritless.

Victor: Page Pate, always good to have your expertise and your analysis. Thanks so much. Enjoy the morning.

Page: Thank you, Victor.