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Trump asks Pennsylvania lawmakers to ‘turn around’ election results during GOP event in Gettysburg

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Chris Matthews

President Donald Trump addressed an audience of Republican state legislators and other supporters at the Wyndham Hotel in Gettysburg, Pa., on Friday, imploring the lawmakers to attempt to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

The Pennsylvania election was “an election that we won easily, we won by a lot,” the president said, via telephone. “The election was rigged, and we can’t let that happen, and this election has to be turned around.”

President-elect Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by 81,660 votes, or 1.2 percentage points, according to the Associated Press.

The Gettysburg event was organized by Republican state lawmakers to publicize allegations of election fraud in the Keystone State, where Pennsylvania native Biden was certified the winner Tuesday.

The so-called hearing was not an official act by the Pennsylvania legislature but organized by the PA Senate Majority Policy Committee, a policy arm of the Pennsylvania Senate’s Republican conference.

Jenna Ellis, a lawyer for the Trump campaign, suggested that the state legislature, controlled by Republicans, should ignore the election results and select a pro-Trump slate of electors instead, and that the right to do this is enshrined in the Constitution.

“You the legislature, without judicial oversight, can direct and take back that power,” Ellis said. “That is a provision and the protection that is embedded in the Constitution to make sure that when there are instances of corruption in a state, that the state legislature … has that remedy.”

Many constitutional experts disagree with this interpretation, and argue that state legislatures cannot change the manner in which electors for president are chosen after an election they previously authorized has taken place.

Josh Shapiro, the attorney general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, derided Trump’s statements and the hearing in general on Wednesday:

Shapiro is a Democrat.

According to a statement from the Trump campaign, the Wednesday event was to be the first in a series, with Republican state legislators in Arizona and Michigan set to follow suit, as part of, in the campaign’s words, “an effort to provide confidence that all of the legal votes have been counted and the illegal votes have not been counted in the Nov. 3 election.”

The news comes on the heels of a series of court losses for Trump and allies. On Saturday a federal judge in Pennsylvania threw out a suit in which the Trump campaign sought to disqualify millions of votes .

“This court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations … unsupported by evidence,” Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his decision.

“In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populous state,” he added.

The Trump campaign is appealing the decision.

See: Trump’s legal team continues to cry vote fraud, and courts continue to see matters differently

Meanwhile, the Michigan Supreme Court on Monday rejected an effort to block certification of the results there and order a new election.

The Trump campaign relied “on numerous affidavits [that] paint a picture of sinister fraudulent activity,” wrote lower court judge Timothy Kenny in the original decision on the case, but it was actually misunderstanding of the vote-counting process among the people who signed the affidavits that led to perceptions of fraud, he said.

“Perhaps if plaintiffs challenger affiants had attended the Oct. 29 walk through … questions and concerns could have been answered in advance of Election Day,” Kenny observed. “Regrettably they did not.”

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