Michigan lawmakers meet with Trump, say they haven’t seen evidence of voter fraud
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump met Friday with Michigan lawmakers as part of an overall effort to reverse election losses in key states – but his guests said later that Michigan’s electoral votes should go to the winner of its popular vote, and that is Joe Biden.
“The candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan’s electoral votes,” said a joint statement from Mike Shirkey, the majority leader in the Michigan state senate, and Lee Chatfield, speaker of the Michigan House. “These are simple truths that should provide confidence in our elections.”
White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Trump did not plan the session as “an advocacy meeting.” But other aides said the president has discussed the long-shot idea of pressuring Republican-led state legislatures to send a pro-Trump slate of electors to the Electoral College – even in states like Michigan where the voters went for Biden.
The statement by the legislative leaders seemed to throw cold water on the idea. Shirkey and Chatfield said allegations of fraud should be investigated, but “we have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome” in Michigan.
The legislators also said they asked Trump for more federal money to help Michigan fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The White House meeting came as Trump continues to dispute the outcome of the Nov. 3 election, filing lawsuits in several states and making baseless allegations about voter fraud.
Numerous legal analysts said Trump has no path to reverse the election results and seems more interested in undermining the emerging Biden presidency by having backers question the integrity of the process.
“This is very dangerous for our democracy, as it is an attempt to thwart the will of the voters through political pressure from the president,” said Rick Hasen, a professor specializing in election law at University of California at Irvine School of Law. “Even though it is extremely unlikely to work, it is profoundly antidemocratic and a violation of the rule of law. It’s inexcusable.”
There have been contested presidential contests in U.S. history, but no sitting president has taken such an active role in fighting an election the way Trump has, historians said.
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If state election officials in Michigan formally certify the results showing a Biden win – by more than 156,000 votes – Trump is expected to demand that the legislature authorize a pro-Trump slate as members of the Electoral College, though numerous lawyers say such a move would be illegal and quickly struck down by the courts.
Barb McQuade, a former federal prosecutor and now law professor at the University of Michigan, said Trump is creating the impression he is pressuring lawmakers to interfere in the election.
“This is beyond inappropriate and possibly illegal if he asks them to engage in misconduct in office,” she said, adding that Trump “has shown no evidence of voter fraud.”
Trump and his campaign have also pressured state officials in Georgia and Wisconsin to block certifications of Biden wins in those states. Republican officials in Georgia moved forward Friday with certification of Biden’s victory in that state.
The Trump team is pursuing a lawsuit in Pennsylvania. It has asked a federal judge to block state officials from certifying the election results, and, in the alternative, to allow the Republican legislature to choose its own slate of (Trump) electors. Read from source….