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© Reuters. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden meets with Speaker Pelosi and Minority Chief Schumer in Wilmington, Delaware

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By Simon Lewis and Jonathan Landay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Battered by setbacks in a determined bid to overturn the U.S. presidential election, President Donald Trump repeated unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud on Saturday and his allies tried to dam official recognition of Democrat Joe Biden’s victories in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Two weeks after Biden was declared president-elect, Trump, a Republican, has refused to concede and is searching for to invalidate or change the outcomes by means of lawsuits and recounts in a number of battleground states. His marketing campaign has not supplied proof for its claims of widespread and coordinated electoral fraud.

On Saturday, a gaggle of Republican politicians and voters filed a lawsuit in state court docket in Pennsylvania arguing {that a} 2019 legislation that cleared the way in which for expanded absentee voting was unconstitutional. They sought to dam authorities from certifying that Biden received 81,000 extra votes than Trump within the state, and as an alternative permit the Republican-controlled legislature to resolve who received the election.

A nonpartisan professional mentioned the lawsuit, like dozens of others filed by the Trump marketing campaign and its allies, wouldn’t get far in court docket.

“I do not suppose this case is designed to win,” mentioned Benjamin Geffen, an lawyer on the Public Curiosity Regulation Middle in Philadelphia. “I am involved the case is admittedly extra about stoking conspiracy theories and undermining civic belief in our election course of.”

In Michigan, the Republican Nationwide Committee and the state Republican Get together wrote to the state board of canvassers asking it to adjourn for 14 days to permit for an audit of ballots in Wayne County, which incorporates the majority-Black metropolis of Detroit. The letter cited allegations of “irregularities” that haven’t been substantiated. Biden received 154,000 extra votes than Trump in Michigan.

A spokesperson for the Michigan Division of State famous that Michigan legislation doesn’t permit for audits earlier than certification – resulting from happen on Monday – and mentioned: “Judges initially appointed by each Republicans and Democrats have discovered allegations of widespread fraud to be wholly meritless.”

Two main Republican Michigan lawmakers who got here to Washington at Trump’s behest mentioned after assembly him on Friday that that they had no data that will change the result of the election within the state.

Trump mentioned on Saturday that the media have been misreading the assertion, wherein the pair additionally mentioned that they had religion in a evaluation being carried out by Michigan lawmakers.

“Large voter fraud might be proven!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump’s efforts, which critics name an unprecedented push by a sitting president to subvert the need of voters, have met with little success within the courtroom or on the bottom.

A handbook recount and audit in Georgia confirmed Biden on Friday because the winner within the southern state, the primary Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia in almost three a long time.

The Trump marketing campaign now has two enterprise days to request a recount in Georgia. Trump’s authorized staff has additionally mentioned it plans a lawsuit within the state, however has not supplied specifics.

Trump’s accusations have continued to inflame his hard-core Republican base.

Lots of of supporters gathered on the statehouse in Atlanta on Saturday, with video posted on-line exhibiting audio system denouncing the media for calling Biden the election winner, in addition to some Republicans together with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for certifying the outcomes. A counterprotest had additionally shaped and police in riot gear have been deployed between the 2 teams.

FIGHTING BACK

The Trump marketing campaign’s newest tactic is to persuade Republican-controlled legislatures in battleground states received by Biden to put aside the outcomes and declare Trump the winner, based on three individuals accustomed to the plan.

The long-shot effort is concentrated on Michigan and Pennsylvania for now, though Trump would nonetheless have to overturn the vote in one other state to vault forward of Biden within the Electoral School.

Such an occasion could be unprecedented in fashionable U.S. historical past.

Some teams have been countering with their very own authorized motion.

On Friday, a gaggle of Black voters in Detroit and a voting rights group filed a lawsuit in federal court docket accusing Trump and his marketing campaign of breaching the 1965 Voting Rights Act by falsely claiming voter fraud and attempting to overturn the leads to Michigan and different states by urgent officers to not rely or certify votes or to put in pro-Trump electors.

“Defendants are brazenly searching for to disenfranchise Black voters,” mentioned the lawsuit. Greater than 78% of Detroit residents are Black, based on U.S. census information.

Biden, who has denounced Trump’s try and reverse the election outcomes as “completely irresponsible”, spent Saturday assembly with transition advisers and attending church.

Trump took half in a digital summit of the 20 largest world economies after which went to play golf at his membership in Sterling, Virginia.

Senior Republicans have remained largely silent about Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of election fraud or have defended his proper to hunt redress, however a number of voiced doubts on Friday.

Two Republican sources mentioned a press convention on Thursday at which Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani accused Democrats of partaking in a “nationwide conspiracy” to govern vote totals, whereas conceding that he had no proof, might have been a turning level for some former allies.

The Common Companies Administration, run by a Trump appointee, has not acknowledged Biden’s victory, stopping his staff from getting access to authorities workplace area and funding usually supplied to an incoming administration forward of Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

Critics say the delay and Trump’s refusal to concede have critical implications for nationwide safety and the struggle towards the coronavirus, which has killed almost 255,000 People.