A group of conservative lawyers is prepared to defend mail ballot and postal votes if President Donald Trump’s campaign files lawsuits to stop the vote count in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
In a statement released Wednesday, 19 members of Checks & Balances – a “group that calls itself lawyers “who would traditionally be considered conservative or libertarian” – criticized Trump for his conduct in this election and pledged to protect the process of postal voting.
“The president shows his continued contempt for the rule of law by trying to declare himself the winner of the election prematurely, stopping the vote count and thereby depriving hundreds of thousands of voters of their right to vote,” the statement said. “The election is not over until every legal ballot is counted, and our state officials responsible for conducting the election will not allow any candidate to steal the election.
The group added that it is “prepared to defend the validity of legally authorized postal ballots, and we urge other lawyers to do the same.
Checks & Balances was formed in 2018 in response to Trump’s presidency. The group, which includes many former Republican administrative lawyers, was organized by George Conway, husband of former White House advisor Kellyanne Conway.
Donald Ayer, a signatory of the statement and former Assistant Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush, told Washington Newsday that the statement was a “high point” in the group’s mission over the past two years.
“At the end of the day, there can be no government where someone says, ‘I’m in charge, and you can’t vote and have a say and have your votes counted,'” Ayer said.
Early Wednesday evening, the presidential race was still too close to make a decision. But Democratic candidate Joe Biden is now only one state away from winning Electoral College after the Associated Press called Michigan in his favor at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The call brought Biden 264 votes compared to 214 votes from Trump.
With millions of ballots yet to be counted, Trump falsely claimed on Wednesday that he had won Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. His campaign is filing lawsuits to stop the counting of votes in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“We filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to stop the vote count until meaningful access is granted. We are also calling for review of the ballots that were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access,” Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, said Wednesday.
In Pennsylvania, the campaign announced that it would intervene in a Supreme Court case related to the extension of the deadline for receiving mailings in that state. Meanwhile, the campaign has filed a lawsuit to temporarily halt the counting of ballots, citing a lack of “transparency.
Meanwhile, Biden has repeatedly stressed that the counting should continue in all states.
“Here the people rule. Power cannot be taken or claimed, it flows from the people. It is their will that determines who will be President of the United States, and their will alone,” the former vice president said Wednesday in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware.