U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey on Wednesday put some distance between himself and President Donald Trump’s efforts to throw out hundreds of thousands of votes cast in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, trying to flip a state carried by Joe Biden.
Asked at the U.S. Capitol about the legal arguments by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Toomey, R-Pa, said simply: “Let me just say, I don’t think they have a strong case.”
The suit before U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann seeks to invalidate around 700,000 votes on the grounds that Republican poll watchers could not watch them being counted. But the Trump campaign earlier dropped those charges from its court case.
And Giuliani was in court only because two other law firms decided to no longer represent the Trump campaign in the Pennsylvania lawsuits.
The goal is to delay Pennsylvania from certifying the vote in the hope that the Republican-controlled state Legislature instead would step in and appoint a pro-Trump slate of electors in a state that The Associated Press had Biden ahead by more than 82,000 votes.
But election law expert Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine, said that even if the Legislature acted, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf could name a slate of Biden electors, which would be the one that prevailed under the Electoral Count Act.
The bottom line, Hasen said, was that the election was over.
“Trump may still say he has won the election,” Hasen wrote on his blog. “But there is no path. Even the two key federal cases in Pennsylvania do not involve nearly enough votes to overturn the results there even if they were successful (and I don’t expect them to be).
“Rudy Giuliani can say what he wants and the president can keep declaring that he’s won, but there’s no plausible legal way this election gets overturned. We are not talking three Hail Marys anymore. We are talking done.”
Jonathan D. Salant
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