Trump Campaign Says It Will Sue Michigan Again, Claiming Irregularities

People wanting to be election challengers yell as they look through the windows of the central counting board as police were helping to keep additional challengers from entering due to overcrowding, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT (CN) — President Donald Trump’s legal team announced plans for a federal lawsuit against the Michigan Secretary of State and Wayne County as it continues to deny that Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential election fair and square.

Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh declared as much when he opened an evening press conference.

“This election is not over,” he said. “As we sit here tonight, a week after Election Day, Joe Biden has been certified as the winner in exactly zero states.”

Murtaugh claims there were rampant irregularities and confirmed reports of deceased people participating in the process.

“In some cases, people registered to vote while dead. Requested a ballot while dead, and then submitted that ballot while dead. I know that modern medicine has come a long way, but I don’t think it has come quite that far,” he said.

Matt Morgan, Trump 2020 general counsel, said the intent of the forthcoming lawsuit to be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan was to determine if constitutional rights of voters and poll watchers were violated and suggested it could be the catalyst to discover more issues.

“These irregular activities could be the tip of the iceberg,” he opined.

Morgan said the complaint is based on affidavits claiming Republican poll watchers were denied meaningful access to the counting process and were intimidated by election officials in downtown Detroit who cheered when they left the area.

“Because these were Republican poll watchers who were pushed out, harassed, intimidated and denied their right to perform meaningful observation, there may have been more unconstitutional practices,” he warned.

Morgan wants state elections officials to hold off on certifying the election until a thorough review can be performed.

The campaign’s local attorney Thor Hearn said Wayne County had “so many” irregularities that he was able to gather 100 affidavits that detail violations of election law like ballots counted more than once.

“That suggests that the canvassing boards in Michigan cannot certify what was released as preliminary, unofficial results in Wayne County. And that is what the lawsuit is asking the federal judge to enforce,” he said.

This is second legal action filed on behalf of the Trump campaign in Michigan. When CNN called the presidential race for Biden on Nov. 6, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien announced a lawsuit filed in the Michigan Court of Claims by the campaign and election inspector Eric Ostergren. They accused Michigan election officials of denying them access to inspect ballots and observe the count in progress.

“President Trump’s campaign has not been provided with meaningful access to numerous counting locations to observe the opening of ballots and the counting process, as guaranteed by Michigan law,” Stepien said at the time. “We have filed suit in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted. We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access.”

The filing was quickly dismissed by Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens, who said she was was highly skeptical of the allegations and repeatedly asked attorney Hearne how an affidavit filed by a Republican vote challenger was not hearsay.

“It’s an out of court statement,” Stephens admonished. “You want me to find truth, at least a scintilla of truth in what she says the contents of that communication were, right?”

Michigan Assistant Attorney General Heather Meingast argued at the hearing that the complaint was meritless since the vote count was complete.

“There isn’t any relief that can be granted at this time. The counting boards have completed their functions, so the ship has really sailed on the relief they are requesting,” she said. 

An affidavit by Director of Elections Jonathan Brater said election inspectors are appointed and present in each precinct and that no complaints about exclusion from the counting boards were received.

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