Trump campaign pushes forward in legal challenge of Pa. certification, looks to revive poll watcher claims

Pennsylvania and Nevada certify election results as Trump touts market

President makes two brief appearances Tuesday as Biden transition ramps up; Kristin Fisher reports

The Trump campaign is intent on pushing forward with its challenge of the Pennsylvania election results, claiming that it can still do so despite counties already certifying their results.

In a letter filed with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, Trump campaign attorney Marc Scaringi called for oral arguments as the campaign fights against a lower court’s dismissal of their case, and explained their current approach.

“[F]ederal courts may order the result of the Election decertified, which, as Plaintiffs can explain, would render the Certificate of Ascertainment allegedly issued by Governor Wolf invalid,” Scaringi wrote. “Moreover, the Pennsylvania General Assembly has the power to appoint the Commonwealth’s presidential electors,” he continued, noting that if a federal court determines that Trump received the majority of legally cast votes, it could “have significant impact on the General Assembly.”

The lower court had dismissed the campaign’s case and denied them the ability to file a second amended complaint based on undue delay. The campaign had moved to file that complaint two days after a previous amended complaint had removed key claims they had initially made about poll watchers being kept from adequately observing the counting process.

In a footnote to the letter, Scaringi explained that those claims — which were based on allegations that more than 680,000 ballots were counted without proper monitoring — were taken out due to “confusion” after other attorneys withdrew from the case. He said that the law firm Porter Wright left “because of threats, including economic retaliation,” and that attorney Linda Kerns left after former opposing counsel verbally harassed” her.

Scaringi said that after this and while dealing with a tight schedule, “there was confusion regarding the filing of the Amended Complaint, which incorrectly withdrew certain allegations and claims.”

There also appeared to be confusion after the filing of the amended complaint. After the Washington Post and Politico reported that the complaint eliminated allegations, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani accused the reporters of failing to read the complaint, noting that it still refers to the 680,777 ballots that allegedly were not observed. While the amended complaint did refer to those ballots early on, the list of counts and the request for relief did not contain any reference to them or to poll watching.

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Instead, it only sought preventing the certification of election results that included the counting of ballots that allegedly were "improperly permitted to be cured." This is a reference to allegations that voters in some counties who submitted invalid mail-in ballots were notified before Election Day so that they could cast provisional ballots instead, even though state law says that ballots should not be processed before Election Day.

Scaringi's letter also requested for Giuliani to be permitted to appear in court for any oral arguments, despite being unable to process the necessary paperwork due to complications with New York government entities resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

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