Following the defeat of the Pennsylvania court docket, Trump is going through renewed strain to permit elections
© Reuters. President-elect Joe Biden meets with Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer in Wilmington, Delaware
By Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After a devastating setback in Pennsylvania, President Donald Trump faces increased pressure from fellow Republicans to halt efforts to overturn the U.S. presidential election and allow Democrat Joe Biden.
Since Biden was declared the winner two weeks ago, Trump has launched a flurry of lawsuits and a pressure campaign to prevent states from confirming their vote counts.
So far, attempts to thwart certification have failed in courts in Georgia, Michigan, and Arizona.
On Saturday, Matthew Brann, a Republican federal judge appointed by former President Barack Obama, dismissed a similar effort in Pennsylvania, writing that the case presented "strained legal arguments with no merit or speculative allegations."
For Trump to have any hope of staying in the White House, he must remove Biden's 81,000-vote lead in Pennsylvania. The state is due to begin certifying its results on Monday.
Trump's attorneys vowed a quick appeal, but attorneys who opposed him in court said he was running out of time.
"This should put the nail in the coffin for all further attempts by President Trump to use the federal courts to rewrite the 2020 election results," said Kristen Clarke, president of the Civil Rights Lawyers' Committee.
Some of Trump's Republican colleagues in Congress are now breaking their ranks.
Republican Senator Pat Toomey said the ruling eliminated any chance of a legal victory in Pennsylvania and urged Trump to allow the election.
Liz Cheney, a member of the Republican leadership team in the House of Representatives, previously urged Trump to respect "the sanctity of our electoral process" when unsuccessful in court.
TRUMP refuses to admit
Biden garnered 6 million more votes than Trump in the Nov. 3 election and stood between 306 and 232 on the state-to-state electoral college that determines who will take the oath of office on Jan. 20.
He has spent the past few weeks preparing for office despite the Trump administration's refusal to provide funding and security clearance.
Critics say Trump's refusal to admit has serious implications for national security and the fight against the coronavirus, which killed nearly 255,000 Americans.
To stay in office, Trump would have to turn election results in at least three major states on their head – an unprecedented feat in US history.
A recount in Georgia only confirmed Biden's victory there, and officials confirmed the result on Friday. Trump's campaign said late Saturday it would request another recount.
In Wisconsin, election officials have criticized Trump volunteers for slowing down a partial recount that is not expected to undo Biden's victory.
With recounts and lawsuits imminent, Trump is now pressuring Republican-led state lawmakers to drop the number of votes and declare him the winner.
"Hopefully the courts and / or lawmakers … have the COURAGE to do what needs to be done to uphold the integrity of our elections and the United States of America itself," he wrote on Twitter after the Pennsylvania ruling.
On Friday, he called two top Republicans in Michigan's legislature into the White House. After the meeting, they said they saw no evidence to intervene. Biden leads Trump in Michigan with 154,000 votes.
Election officials across the country say there is no evidence of significant electoral fraud, and Trump's own administration has called the election "the safest in American history".
But Trump's allegations have further inflamed his die-hard Republican base. Half of Republicans believe the election was stolen from Trump, according to Reuters / Ipsos polls, and supporters have rallied across the country to protest the result.