“What Is Trump’s Legal Strategy? Try to Block Certification of Biden Victory in States; Effort to get state Republicans to appoint pro-Trump Electoral College votes is a long shot, president’s advisers and election-law experts say”


President Trump’s campaign is pursuing a patchwork of legal attacks in key states that have been called for President-elect Joe Biden to mount a long-shot effort to try to prevent officials from certifying the results, advisers and lawyers involved said.

Trump advisers have grown more vocal in conversations with Mr. Trump in recent days that they don’t see a path to victory, even if his legal efforts meet some success, a White House official said, though some advisers have continued to tell the president he still has a shot. An official said Mr. Trump understands that the fight isn’t winnable but characterized his feelings as: “Let me have the fight.”

One potential strategy discussed by Mr. Trump’s legal team would be attempting to get court orders to delay vote certification in critical states, potentially positioning Republican-controlled state legislatures to appoint pro-Trump electors who would swing the Electoral College in his favor, according to people familiar with the discussions.

It isn’t known how seriously the campaign has considered this idea, one of the people said.

Many of the advisers and lawyers said they doubt the effort would succeed and say it is aimed largely at appeasing Mr. Trump, who believes the election was stolen from him and expects his legal team to keep fighting.

Some of Mr. Trump’s advisers and lawyers said there isn’t an overarching legal theory or coordination behind the campaign’s efforts. The legal battle likely will conclude with Mr. Trump claiming the election was rigged against him and that he fought the outcome, the White House official said.

“I don’t think there’s really a coherent strategy,” said one Republican official.

The Trump campaign hasn’t presented evidence of widespread fraud in any of its legal claims.

Aside from the fact that trying to get state legislatures to submit alternative slates of electors is extremely likely to fail, I’d add that trying to get states to choose electors for Trump and overturn the will of the voters is not just “a long shot:” it is profoundly anti democratic and would trigger national protests and unrest.

Reporters reporting on this story should not normalize something that would mark the end of American democracy.

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