Trump’s comment came after a string of legal defeats, including a rejection by a Pennsylvania federal judge on Saturday who said the Trump team had produced no evidence of electoral fraud or wrongdoing despite attempting to invalidate millions of votes. Trump’s senior attorney on the case, Rudy Giuliani, said he intended to appeal the case to the Third Circuit and, if appropriate, the Supreme Court.
However, with few cases pending in court, Trump’s options have narrowed and he is increasingly reliant on Longshot scenarios where election results are not confirmed and Republican-controlled state houses in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, and Georgia step in to help him to be declared a winner.
The GOP legislators in these states have not approved this approach. Trump called Michigan lawmakers to the White House on Friday but later made a statement saying they saw no reason to intervene on Trump’s behalf.
To be successful, Trump’s plan would require several unprecedented legal steps. First, Republican-led legislation in the Biden-won states would have to suspend their state’s referendum and appoint a list of Trump voters when the electoral college meets on December 14. In Pennsylvania and Michigan, such maneuvers would surely result in vetoes from Democratic governors, so lawmakers would also have to make a legal decision giving them sole power to appoint voters – a controversial legal premise that has never been examined.
Trump’s call to lawmakers to hand him over the election is the most blatant call he has made to state lawmakers to reverse the election results. But it also underscores its dwindling opportunities: Michigan will confirm its vote Monday, as will Pennsylvania counties, which would hand over statewide certification to Democratic Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar. Georgia confirmed Biden’s win on Friday.
On Friday night, Pennsylvania GOP leaders said they had not received an invitation to meet Trump at the White House, but last month they said they would not step in to change the election results.