Former United States Attorney General Neal Katyal said that President Donald Trump’s flood of lawsuits to fight the election results in court would remain vain, calling his strategy “fundamentally un-American.
“He has achieved zero to zero for seven in the lawsuits, and this trend will continue,” Katyal told MSNBC’s Brian Williams. “It’s not going to get any better for him.”
[email protected]_katyal about election disputes: Pres. Trump won the lawsuits 0 to 7, and this trend will continue. It will not get better for him.â https://t.co/zrbH41U1xO
– MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 7, 2020
Katyal, who served under the Obama administration and has argued cases before the Supreme Court, said the best chances for Trump were when the Pennsylvania Republicans asked the U.S. Supreme Court to require election officials to weed out the ballots received after election day and not count them until the court had ruled.
However, Pennsylvania officials had been sorting out the ballots since Tuesday, giving the impression that the request was primarily a show of force.
Assistant Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito granted the request for ballot separation, but did not order the election officials to stop counting the ballots. In a motion filed on Friday with the Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party accused the GOP of “manufacturing evidence” that the districts were not following the rules, after giving them a one-day period to respond.
“They had people like [former White House press secretary]Sean Spicer and others say on Twitter, ‘Oh, this is a great victory for the president,” Katyal said. “It is a victory in the same way if Donald Trump could say the sky is blue […] the Supreme Court would agree: ‘Yes, the sky is blue. That doesn’t help him legally.”
“The reason it doesn’t help him is twofold: First, these ballots have not yet been counted, and yet Biden is well in the lead,” he continued.
“The second problem is that, legally speaking, it is a really dubious theory. Judge Alito didn’t go for it, but basically no Supreme Court has ever accepted it, no Supreme Court majority in over 200 years of our history”.
The Trump campaign has filed several lawsuits in different states as the counting of the elections approaches. The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit on Wednesday together with the Republican Party of Georgia, claiming that the ballots would be processed after the state’s deadline of 7 pm on election day. A Nevada district judge rejected an emergency motion on Friday after the Republicans filed a lawsuit alleging “lax procedures for authenticating postal ballots over 3,000 cases of non-voters casting ballots. Also on Friday, a Michigan judge rejected a lawsuit in which he claimed that rules were broken in the counting of ballots in Detroit, citing lack of evidence.
When asked about Trump’s attempt to stop the counting of legally cast votes, Katyal said it was not only bad looks and bad strategy, but Trump’s attempt was contrary to American democracy.
“It is fundamentally un-American,” Katyal said.
“He is literally trying to take away Americans’ right to vote, and this is, of course, our biggest check our founders gave us against an executive who is heir apparent. That is the power to remove him from office,” he continued. “And that, if the count is right, looks like what the American people did on Tuesday.”
Biden currently leads Trump in states that together are worth more than 300 votes. The former vice president leads Pennsylvania by 0.5 percentage points, with the remaining postal ballots likely to favor the Democrats. Biden managed to overtake Trump’s lead in Georgia on Friday morning, now with just over 7,000 votes in front. Georgian Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger confirmed that the state will proceed to a recount.
“If I’m Joe Biden tonight, I feel really good at the moment about my standing in the vote count, but I also feel really good about the law,” Katyal said.