Pat Toomey joins a handful of Senate Republicans in congratulating Biden on president-elect after Pennsylvania court rules


Hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden gathered on November 7 at the state capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A federal judge on Saturday issued a scathing order dismissing the Trump campaign’s futile effort to block certification of votes in Pennsylvania, dismissing claims of widespread irregularities with mail-in ballots.

Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, said Trump’s legal team had exhausted all legal options in hopes of overturning the state’s election result and sent congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden.

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The deal has always been a long one to stop Biden’s nomination, but it was President Donald Trump’s best hope to affect election results through the courts, mainly because of the number of electoral votes, 20, at stake. in Pennsylvania. His personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, entered a courtroom for the first time in decades to argue the case last week.

“One might expect that when looking for such a surprising result [as disenfranchisement of millions of votes], a complainant would be formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual evidence of rampant corruption. This does not happen. ”

– U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann

U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his order that Trump had asked the court to deprive nearly 7 million voters.

“One would expect that, in seeking such a surprising result, a plaintiff would be formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual evidence of rampant corruption,” Brann wrote, so much so that the court would have to Any choice but to stop certification itself would impact so many people. “It didn’t happen.”

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Even if he had won the lawsuit in Pennsylvania, Trump should have won other lawsuits in other states where he had also asked to delay certification. The campaign has peppered states with battlefields with litigation in the days following the election, alleging widespread electoral fraud without evidence, but the majority of those cases have already been dismissed.

The president has deployed his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results beyond the courtroom in recent days, directly to local lawmakers. Some Trump allies have expressed hope that state lawmakers could intervene in the selection of Republican voters.

With that in mind, Trump invited Michigan lawmakers to the White House on Friday, hoping that an Oval Office meeting would persuade them to overturn the popular vote for Biden by more than 154,000. But lawmakers released a statement afterwards. the meeting that they would follow the law and the “normal process” regarding voters. Trump has been said to be considering sending a similar invitation to lawmakers in Pennsylvania.

Time is running out for Trump and his campaign, as state after state certifies results, showing Biden won the 270 votes needed by the Electoral College to take office.

Brann has ruled that Pennsylvania officials can certify election results which currently show Biden winning the state by more than 80,000 votes. He said the Trump campaign presented “unfounded strained legal arguments and speculative accusations … unsupported by evidence.”

“In the United States of America, that cannot justify the deprivation of the right to vote of only one voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populous state”, according to the opinion. “Our people, our laws and our institutions demand more.”

Trump tweeted after the ruling that he couldn’t understand why Biden was forming a cabinet after the president’s investigators found “hundreds of thousands of fraudulent votes,” a baseless claim for which Trump provided no evidence.

Supporters of President Donald Trump rally in Harrisburg, Pa. To protest for claim that there has been significant fraud in the vote count despite failure to provide evidence that survives scrutiny . Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Giuliani and a Trump campaign lawyer said in a statement they welcomed the dismissal because it would allow them to appeal more quickly to the United States Supreme Court, where Trump has repeatedly said he has concerns. sympathetic judges. But, judges heard a state case ahead of the election, on a three-day extension on mail-in ballots, and allowed the extension over GOP objections.

Toomey, who helped put Brann on the bench under the Obama administration as part of a bipartisan compromise, said the decision showed Trump had exhausted all possible legal avenues in the state and then praised Biden for his victory. The Republican Senator called Brann a “long-time conservative Republican who I know is a fair and impartial lawyer.”

Giuliani, former federal prosecutor and mayor of New York, showed rust at this week’s hearing by tripping over the meaning of “opacity,” mistaking the judge for a federal judge in a separate district and provoking an opposing lawyer.

Giuliani has repeatedly claimed in court that it was illegal for counties to help people vote. Opposition lawyer Mark Aronchick suggested that Giuliani should not know the Pennsylvania electoral code.

Lawyers aligned with Trump had argued that the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law was violated when counties in Pennsylvania took different approaches to educating voters ahead of the election of technical issues related to their postal ballots.

The judge rejected the argument entirely.

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and the seven-majority Biden counties pursued by the campaign had argued that the popular vote’s rejection on isolated allegations of mail fraud was far too extreme, especially after the most of them have been counted.

“There is no justification at any level for the drastic deprivation of their voting rights,” Boockvar’s lawyers wrote in a brief filed Thursday.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, tweeted shortly after Brann’s decision that “another bites the dust.”

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“These claims were baseless from the start and for an audience of one,” Shapiro said in a statement. “The will of the people will prevail. These baseless lawsuits must end. “

Counties are to certify their results to Boockvar by Monday, after which it will do its own certification. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf will notify voters of the winning candidate that they are expected to vote on Capitol Hill on December 14.

MarketWatch contributed.