18 States Now Aim to Sue Wisconsin
Trump campaign also joins last chance effort to overturn the election in four swing states.
The list of states looking to overturn election results in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia became long quickly. Attorneys general from 17 states joined on to a motion filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Each is a Republican.
President Donald Trump also tweeted his desire to join Paxton’s case, and his campaign has since filed to intervene in the case.
His campaign filed a motion to join the suit on Wednesday.
Trump still has pending state and federal cases in Wisconsin, but without Pennsylvania, a victory in either suit wouldn’t give him an election win.
The Paxton case is viewed as a last chance effort to have the presidential election thrown out. It targets four states that went narrowly for President-elect Joe Biden.
The legal strategy also faces another challenge: convincing Republican-controlled state legislatures to throw out election results. Wisconsin Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukana) tweeted a photo on November 29th of Dana Carvey playing George H.W. Bush on Saturday Night Live with the caption “Not Gonna Do It.”
But Trump and his allies continue to pursue the strategy.
Led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia signed onto a brief filed with the Supreme Court of the United States.
“The four states exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 General Election,” wrote Paxton in a news release. He argues that each state ignored rules enacted by its Legislature.
Some of the attorneys general signing onto the brief had previously endorsed Paxton’s suit while others have been quiet.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall would bring his state into the case, should it become one. “The unconstitutional actions and fraudulent votes in other states not only affect the citizens of those states, they affect the citizens of all states – of the entire United States,” said Marshall, without presenting any evidence of fraud or unconstitutional actions.
Eight Republican attorneys general have not joined the suit. Nor have any of the 24 Democratic attorneys general.
“I feel sorry for Texans that their tax dollars are being wasted on such a genuinely embarrassing lawsuit. Texas is as likely to change the outcome of the Ice Bowl as it is to overturn the will of Wisconsin voters in the 2020 presidential election,” tweeted Kaul.
Paxton alleges an irregularity because Trump was winning as of 3 a.m. and Biden had “less than a one in quadrillion to the fourth power” chance of winning. Paxton’s motion ignores that Wisconsin and other states announced the number of absentee ballots that were outstanding in their largest cities and that they would not be reported until the morning of November 4th at the earliest.
Paxton also advances a conspiracy theory from a United States Postal Service subcontractor Ethan J. Pease that even if true, wouldn’t have impacted election results. Based not on direct observation, but second-hand knowledge, Pease says that USPS employees were backdating ballots received after November 3rd in Madison. Wisconsin law requires absentee ballots to be received by a clerk by the close of polls (8:00 p.m.) on election day. Madison and its surrounding communities reported their results on November 3rd or shortly after midnight on November 4th. Each counted the ballots in a public location and no allegations of a post-8:00 p.m. mail delivery to any location have been made.
Paxton, a Tea Party Republican first elected in 2015, is under indictment for securities fraud prior to taking office in 2015. He was in the Texas State Legislature at the time and has pled not guilty. In October 2020 he was accused of “bribery, abuse of office and other crimes” by seven of his senior aides.
“Think of the irony here,” said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers in response to Paxton’s motion. “We have a Texas attorney general, who’s being investigated by the FBI for various improprieties. Numerous newspapers in Texas calling for his resignation. And he teams up with President Trump to try to take away the votes of the people of Wisconsin.”
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