Donald Trump’s legal woes worsened on Friday, as his bids to overturn the election results in the courts suffered a series of setbacks.
In Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia court rejected five legal challenges by the Trump campaign and Republicans alleging irregularities for mail-in ballots.
The five separate petitions challenged more than 8,300 votes in Philadelphia, alleging irregularities because voters did not print their names under their signature or print their address on their mail-in ballots’ outer envelope.
The Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia rejected each of the challenges.
President Donald Trump has yet to concede to President-elect Joe Biden
The Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia (pictured) rejected all five cases on Friday
A law firm representing the Trump campaign in the state had announced on Friday it has withdrawn from the case.
The Ohio-based Porter Wright Morris & Arthur had brought a suit claiming Pennsylvania’s ‘two-tiered’ voting system was illegal.
Its expansive case called into question millions of votes cast by Pennsylvania residents who voted by mail in accordance with state law.
The firm was facing a backlash for its legal work, was facing public pressure from the Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans that worked to defeat Trump, for seeking to ‘overturn the will of the American people.’
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, will take over running the legal battles.
His key allies in the fight, David Bossie and Corey Lewandowski, have both this week tested positive for COVID-19.
A half-dozen other Trump advisers told the New York Times that Giuliani’s efforts were counterproductive and said that he was giving the president unwarranted optimism about what could happen.
Those advisers have said that they are concerned Giuliani is damaging not only Trump’s remaining legal options, but his legacy and his future opportunities in politics as he considers another campaign in 2024.
Poll workers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are seen counting votes on November 6
Ballots counters and observers in North Carolina continued counting absentee ballots
More bad news came in from Michigan, where a judge denied the Trump campaign’s request to stop the canvassing of ballots in Wayne County, which includes Detroit.
In addition to ruling against Trump, Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny called the campaign’s case ‘not credible.’
‘No formal challenges were filed. However, sinister, fraudulent motives were ascribed to the process and the city of Detroit,” Kenny wrote in an opinion released Friday.
‘Plaintiff’s interpretation of events is incorrect and not credible,’ he wrote, the Detroit News reported.
And in Arizona, Trump’s lawyers abandoned a suit seeking a hand count of ballots after a series of networks called the race for Joe Biden.
Biden’s lead exceeds the number of outstanding ballots now, and dropping the suit acknowledges the state will be in Biden’s column.
Finally, amid the legal retreats and defeats, Trump suffered more glaring losses on the electoral map.
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur has withdrawn from its efforts to help the Trump campaign
TV networks on Friday afternoon called the closely contested state of Georgia for Democrat Joe Biden.
Hours earlier, they called Arizona for Biden. That set up a Biden win that was not particularly close: 306 to 232 in the Electoral Collage, with a lead of about 5 million in the popular vote. Trump himself had crowed about his own margin, which was also 306 to 232 in 2016, as a ‘landslide.’
The suits came as Trump continues to raise allegations of the election being ‘rigged’ but has yet to produce proof of his widespread allegations of voter fraud.
In a stunning statement on Thursday a committee of officials from Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) debunked claims of widespread voting problems, calling the election ‘the most secure in American history.’
One lawyer from Porter Wright Morris & Arthur resigned, in what law.com called a ‘public relations nightmare.’
The firm Jones Day was also under pressure for its work as outside counsel, and said in a statement it wasn’t taking part in ‘any litigation alleging voter fraud’ or to seek to overturn the U.S. election.
Biden’s Pennsylvania lead over Trump approached 60,000 votes, while countries around the world have been congratulating President-elect Biden, even as Trump avails himself of legal maneuvers.
Trump campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski, with former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (L), speaks outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Trump’s campaign attacked the state’s mail-in voting system and leveled allegations of fraud
President Trump claimed he ‘easily win’ Pennsylvania due to unsupported allegations of fraud
View of Porter Wright’s law offices in Columbus, Ohio. Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, the law firm leading the Trump campaign’s efforts to cast doubt on the presidential election results in Pennsylvania, abruptly withdrew from a federal lawsuit that it filed days earlier on behalf of Trump
Biden captured the presidency on Saturday, thanks in part to a win in Pennsylvania. Trump has refused to concede and has repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that there was widespread voter fraud.
In a court filing on Thursday, lawyers at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur said it had agreed that its clients – the campaign and two registered voters – ‘will be best served if Porter Wright withdraws.’
The campaign is in the process of retaining new counsel, Porter Wright said in the filing to U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The lawsuit, filed on Sunday in federal court in Pennsylvania, alleges that the state’s mail-in voting system ‘lacked all of the hallmarks of transparency and verifiability that were present for in-person voters.’
‘We’ve committed to the court to fulfill our obligations as required to ensure transition to substitute counsel, and so as not to cause material adverse effect on the client´s interest. We will have no further comment,’ Porter Wright said in a statement.
Pennsylvania’s secretary of state and four counties asked a judge to throw out the suit, saying it leveled accusations ‘on the basis of repeatedly-rejected legal theories and no evidence.’
‘This Court should see this lawsuit for what it is: a transparent and premeditated attack on our electoral system that broadly seeks to disenfranchise all Pennsylvania voters who legally cast ballots in this election,’ they wrote in a filing.
A Trump campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Facing criticism over its work for the campaign from some Democrats and The Lincoln Project, a group of anti-Trump Republicans, Porter Wright said on Wednesday that it has a ‘long history’ of bipartisan election work which ‘calls for us to take on controversial cases.’
The Trump campaign has filed a flurry of lawsuits, part of a larger strategy to try to overturn the election results in key states.
Another firm, Snell & Wilmer, withdrew on Tuesday from a lawsuit alleging that Arizona’s Maricopa County incorrectly rejected some votes cast on Election Day on Nov. 3.
The firm said it does not comment on client matters.