November 6, 2020
As Election Day turns into election week, Donald Trump has delivered a simple message to his closest political and legal advisers as they began charting a plan to challenge results in several key states: Give them a court fight that “they’ll never forget.”
The president’s remarks, relayed by two people familiar with them, came as election results seemed trending Joe Biden’s way. And for Team Trump, it was meant as a clarion call to use every possible legal resource and bit of political organizing to help re-tip the balance of the scale, The Daily Beast reported.
Trump told his advisers that, even if Biden were to claw the presidency away from him, he wanted them to “go down fighting” harder than they ever had before, one of the sources with direct knowledge said.
Goaded by White House messaging, his base responded:
- In Detroit, pro-Trump protests showed up at a ballot counting site demanding access to the officials and insisting that the counting be ended.
- In Arizona, one of Trump’s closest congressional allies, Representative Paul Gosar, put out a “call to action” for “red blooded American patriots” to attend a rally to “protect our president” at the Maricopa County election center.
- In Nevada, a Trump supporter interrupted a registrar of voters press conference by declaring “the Biden crime family steals this election.” And throughout the day, the Trump campaign peppered donors and supporters with text messages and emails asking for money to help fund—what it erroneously called—an attempt by Democrats to “steal” the election.
- In Michigan, Trump supporters “ … came down the escalator and came in and started banging on the door, ‘stop the count, stop the count.’ This was a clearly coordinated effort by people wearing official GOP credentials to stop the counting of absentee votes in the city of Detroit,” Jordan Acker, a volunteer poll challenger for the Michigan Democratic Party and an attorney, told The Daily Beast of the Detroit protest. “It was a totally coordinated effort to stop Detroiters from having their voices heard.”
The Michigan Republican Party did not return a request for comment from The Daily Beast.
Trump’s legal team—including George W. Bush campaign veteran Mark “Thor” Hearne—asked a court in Michigan to halt absentee ballot counts because it alleged its observers had not been granted full access to the tally, and were not permitted to watch video footage of “remote and unattended dropboxes.”
It brought a similar suit in Pennsylvania, fighting to stop the tabulation on the grounds that its overseers had not been allowed within 25 feet of the counting effort.
Further, Trump’s lawyers filed to enter an ongoing Supreme Court case, hoping to convince jurists on the highest bench to overturn a state policy that would allow counties to count votes postmarked on Election Day and received as late as Friday. Jay Sekulow, a personal attorney and confidant of Trump’s, is overseeing the Supreme Court effort.
Research contact: @thedailybeast