Trump’s reelection campaign has suffered another blow after a Pennsylvania federal appeals court rejected the sitting president’s attempts to invalidate the outcome of the state’s election.
CNBC reports that the three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit—who were nominated by Republican presidents—ruled that the Trump campaign’s “claims have no merit.”
The decision made by the appellate court confirmed a ruling from U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann last Saturday, who dismissed Trump’s challenge that deemed millions of Pennsylvania mail-in votes as fraudulent, as an attempt to prevent the state from certifying President-elect Joe Biden as the winner. Trump has not yet conceded the election to Biden and is falsely claiming he won the race.
Trump placed Rudy Giuliani in charge of the campaign lawsuits, who has alleged that massive voter fraud pushed the election results in Biden’s favor. In its 21-page opinion, the appeals court wrote that last week, Giuliani told Brann that the campaign “doesn’t plead fraud” in the case.
“Calling an election unfair does not make it so,” the appellate court’s opinion said. “Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”
Jenna Ellis, who’s also a lawyer on Trump’s campaign, tweeted a joint statement with Giuliani, writing, “The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud.” She then said that they are headed to “SCOTUS,” or the Supreme Court of the United States.
Instead of disputing fraud in the appeals court, the Trump campaign contended that mail-in ballots were treated differently in Democrat-leaning counties as opposed to Republican ones. Additionally, the campaign claimed that observers were unjustly barred from watching votes being counted at polling places.
Brann wrote in his ruling that campaign lawyers weren’t able to prove “rampant corruption.” Rather than the campaign asking to overturn Brann’s decision, they requested to present a modified version of its complaint to “restore claims which were inadvertently deleted” from a previous iteration. The appeals court rejected the argument.
The appellate court’s opinion said that “most of the claims” in the Trump campaign’s newest complaint “boil down to issues of state law.” The court wrote, “Pennsylvania law is willing to overlook many technical defects. It favors counting votes as long as there is no fraud.”
“It never alleges that anyone treated the Trump campaign or Trump votes worse than it treated the Biden campaign or Biden votes. And federal law does not require poll watchers or specify how they may observe. It also says nothing about curing technical state-law errors in ballots. Each of these defects is fatal.”
It was also noted that the amount of mail-in ballots contested by the campaign is “far smaller” than Biden’s margin of victory in the state. “Plus, tossing out millions of mail-in ballots would be drastic and unprecedented, disenfranchising a huge swath of the electorate and upsetting all down-ballot races too.”
Biden defeated Trump in Pennsylvania by over 81,000 votes, landing the state’s 20 Electoral College votes. It’s now anticipated that Biden will win 306 electoral votes, while Trump will get 232. Key swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Nevada certified their ballots for Biden.