Connect with us

Politics

Michigan and Nevada Dismiss Trump Campaign Lawsuits as President Continues To Falsely Claim Election Victory

Published

on

  • President Trump on Wednesday tweeted that he had “claimed” wins in Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, and Michigan, despite the fact that no single outlet had called races in any of the states.
  • Shortly after, Trump again claimed that he had won the election and accused Democrats of fraud, though he provided no evidence.
  • Meanwhile, the Trump campaign filed a flurry of lawsuits in multiple swing states, including challenges that attempted to cut the counting of legal votes short. Several cases have already been dismissed by state courts.

Trump Declares Himself the Winner

President Donald Trump again prematurely declared himself the winner of the presidential election on Wednesday after falsely claiming he had won several key battleground states while his campaign simultaneously filed a barrage of lawsuits against most of those same states.

“We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead,” he said on Twitter. “Additionally, we hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact, there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!”

At the time, none of the states the president “claimed” had been called by any media outlet for either candidate, though shortly after, all outlets projected that former Vice President Joe Biden had won Michigan.

Twitter flagged the tweet, noting that the races had not been called by official resources, and specifically warning that the claim about “secretly dumped ballots” was misinformation.

However, just over an hour later while speaking at the White House, Trump again declared victory and claimed that there had been election fraud without any evidence.

“This is a major fraud on our nation,” he said. “We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we’ll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 in the morning and add them to the list.”

Legal experts have said that Trump cannot simply ask the Supreme Court to intervene in the election and stop counting ballots. In order for the highest court to take action on such questions, a legal case must first go through lower courts and a sometimes lengthy appeals process.

Lawsuits

Notably, the Trump campaign did announce roughly half a dozen legal challenges in multiple swing states on Wednesday, though some have already been rejected or dismissed by local courts.

Several of the lawsuits, including those in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Nevada, were aimed at stopping the counting of legal votes.

In Pennsylvania, which is currently facing the most challenges of any state, the campaign filed a lawsuit it demanding the courts stop all ballot counting until their poll observers were given better access to oversee the process.

A lower court dismissed the case, but an Appeals Court judge overruled that decision Thursday and allowed the observers to stand closer to the officials counting ballots.

In a nearly identical lawsuit, the Trump campaign also alleged their election inspectors did not have proper access to observe the counts in Michigan as well. On Thursday, a local judge dismissed that case, arguing it was basically moot because most of the ballots have already been counted.

In both states, top officials have refused to stop counting ballots and defended how their elections were run.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf described the administration’s legal claims as an attempt “to subvert the democratic process,” and the state’s Attorney General also called the lawsuits “meritless.” The Michigan Attorney General also echoed those remarks, saying in a statement that the state provided access for both parties.

Meanwhile in Nevada, the campaign is taking a slightly different route in its legal challenges.

It first attempted to stop the counting of absentee ballots in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, by filing an emergency injunction demanding that officials there stop using an automatic signature verification machine.

After the state’s Supreme Court denied that request, the campaign decided to file another legal challenge Thursday, filing a federal lawsuit claiming they had evidence of tens of thousands of “illegal votes” cast by non-residents of the state and dead people. However, when asked by reporters about the evidence, the campaign refused to answer any questions. 

As for if any of these cases go to the Supreme Court, many legal experts say it is unlikely because most of them have absolutely zero legal basis. A point echoed by other election officials and Democrats, who accused the president of only filing the challenges to sow discord and undermine legally cast votes.

In another tweet flagged by Twitter Thursday, the president said he would bring fraud-related legal challenges against “all of the recent Biden claimed States.” While yet again not citing any evidence, he claimed there was “plenty of proof” and directed people to “just check out the Media.” 

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (NBC News) (The Associated Press)

Politics

NY Attorney General Says Investigation of Trump Business Found “Significant Evidence” of Fraud

Published

on

The state attorney general’s office accused the former president and his family business of falsely inflating the value of assets and personal worth to lenders, the IRS, and insurance brokers.


New York Attorney General’s Filing

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced late Tuesday she had “significant evidence” that former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization “falsely and fraudulently” misrepresented the value of assets “to financial institutions for economic benefit.”

The allegations mark the first time James has made specific accusations against Trump and his business. They come as part of a nearly 160-page filing asking a judge to order the former president — along with Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. — to comply with subpoenas for the investigation after the family sued James to block her from questioning them.

The filing claims that Trump and the company inflated the value of six properties, including several golf courses and Trump’s own penthouse in Trump Tower, on financial statements to obtain favorable loans, tax deductions, and insurance coverage. 

The document adds that many of the financial statements were “generally inflated as part of a pattern to suggest that Mr. Trump’s net worth was higher than it otherwise would have appeared.”

James outlined several specific examples, such as a financial statement where the value of Trump’s Seven Springs estate in Westchester was boosted because it listed seven mansions on the property worth $61 million that did not actually exist.

That resulted in Trump receiving millions of dollars in tax deductions on that property, as well as another in Los Angeles.

In another notable instance, the attorney general’s office said that the $327 million value of Trump’s penthouse in Trump Tower was calculated off a financial statement that falsely reported his home was nearly triple its actual size.

While the statement claimed the apartment was 30,000 square feet, Trump had signed documents stating it was actually 10,996 square feet.

Alleged Direct Involvement

The allegation regarding the apartment is especially significant because it directly ties Trump himself to the accusations of financial wrongdoing. It is also not the only instance where Trump was implicated.

The filing additionally asserts that Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg — who was indicted last summer on multiple criminal charges relating to the business’ tax dealings — implied the former president was involved in finalizing the false valuations. 

According to the documents, Weisselberg “testified that it was ‘certainly possible’ Mr. Trump discussed valuations with him and that it was ‘certainly possible’ Mr. Trump reviewed the Statement of Financial Condition for a particular year before it was finalized.” 

Another top Trump Organization executive also testified that he was under the impression Trump reviewed the statements before they were finalized.

While the filing provides less direct links to Trump’s children, it does detail their involvement. Specifically, it alleges that Ivanka Trump rented an apartment at Trump Park Avenue and was given an option to buy it for $8.5 million, despite the fact that the property was valued at $25 million.

It also connected Donald Trump Jr. to some of the properties flagged by claiming investigators found evidence he “was consulted” on the Statements of Financial Condition.

Response

Citing these connections, James argued in a series of tweets Tuesday that it is necessary for her inquiry to question Trump and his two children on their alleged involvement.

“We are taking legal action to force Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump to comply with our investigation into the Trump Organization’s financial dealings,” she wrote. “No one in this country can pick and choose if and how the law applies to them.”

The former president has not yet addressed the matter, but a Trump Organization attorney representing Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump responded by arguing the subpoenas violate the constitutional rights of the family and that the filing “never addresses the fundamental contentions of our motion to quash or stay the subpoenas.”

In a statement Wednesday, the Trump Organization denied James’ allegations as “baseless” and accused her of trying to “mislead the public yet again.”

As far as what happens next, James’ office has said it “has not yet reached a final decision regarding whether this evidence merits legal action.”

Because James’s investigation is civil, she can sue Trump, his company, and his children, but she cannot file criminal charges. However, her probe is running parallel to a criminal investigation into the same conduct led by the Manhattan district attorney, who does have that power.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (The Wall Street Journal)

Continue Reading

Politics

Judges Uphold North Carolina’s Congressional Map in Major GOP Win

Published

on

The judges agreed that the congressional map was “a result of intentional, pro-Republican partisan redistricting” but said they did not have the power to intervene in legislative matters.


New Maps Upheld

A three-judge panel in North Carolina upheld the state’s new congressional and legislative maps on Tuesday, deciding it did not have the power to respond to arguments that Republicans had illegally gerrymandered it to benefit them.

Voting rights groups and Democrats sued over the new maps, which were drawn by the state’s Republican legislature following the 2020 census.

The maps left Democrats with just three of North Carolina’s 14 congressional seats in a battleground state that is more evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Previously, Democrats held five of the 13 districts the state had before the last census, during which North Carolina was allocated an additional seat.

The challengers argued that the blatantly partisan maps had been drawn in a way that went against longstanding rules, violated the state’s Constitution, and intentionally disenfranchised Black voters.

In their unanimous ruling, the panel — composed of one Democrat and two Republicans — agreed that both the legislative and congressional maps were “a result of intentional, pro-Republican partisan redistricting.”

The judges added that they had “disdain for having to deal with issues that potentially lead to results incompatible with democratic principles and subject our state to ridicule.”

Despite their beliefs, the panel said they did not have a legal basis for intervening in political matters and constraining the legislature. They additionally ruled that the challengers did not prove their claims that the maps were discriminatory based on race.

Notably, the judges also stated that partisan gerrymandering does not actually violate the state’s Constitution. 

The Path Ahead

While the decision marks a setback to the plaintiffs, the groups have already said they will appeal the decision to the North Carolina Supreme Court.

The state’s highest court has a slim Democratic majority and has already signaled they may be open to tossing the map.

There are also past precedents for voting maps to be thrown out in North Carolina. The state has an extensive history of legal battles over gerrymandering, and Republican leaders have been forced to redraw maps twice in recent years.

A forthcoming decision is highly anticipated, as North Carolina’s congressional map could play a major role in the control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections if they are as close as expected. 

See what others are saying: (Politico) (The New York Times) (The Wall Street Journal)

Continue Reading

Politics

Biden Administration Says Private Insurers Will Have to Cover 8 At-Home Tests a Month

Published

on

The policy will apply to all the nearly 150 million Americans who have private insurance.


New At-Home Testing Policy

The Biden administration announced Monday that private health insurers will now be required to pay for up to eight at-home rapid tests per plan member each month.

Under the new policy, starting Saturday, private insurance holders will be able to purchase any at-home test approved by the FDA at a pharmacy or online. They will either not be asked to pay any upfront costs or be reimbursed for their purchase through their provider.

The move is expected to significantly expand access to rapid tests that other countries have been distributing to their citizens free of charge for months. 

According to reports, nearly 150 million Americans — about 45% of the population — have private insurance. 

Each dependent enrolled on the primary insurance holder’s account is counted as a member. That means a family of four enrolled on a single plan would be eligible for 32 free at-home rapid tests a month.

Potential Exemptions

All tests may not be fully covered depending on where they are purchased. 

In order to help offset costs, the Biden administration is incentivizing insurance providers to establish a network of “preferred” pharmacies and stores where people in the plan can get tests without paying out of pocket.

As a result, health plans that do create those networks will only be required to reimburse up to $12 per test if they are purchased out of that network, meaning people could be on the hook for the rest of the cost.

If an insurer does not set up a preferred network, they will have to cover all at-home tests in full regardless of the place of purchase.

During a briefing Monday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said tests should be “out the door in the coming weeks.”

“The contracts [for testing companies] are structured in a way to require that significant amounts are delivered on an aggressive timeline, the first of which should be arriving early next week,” she added.

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (NPR) (The Washington Post)

Continue Reading