President Trump on Thursday accelerated his efforts to interfere in the nation’s electoral process, taking the extraordinary step of reaching out directly to Republican state legislators from Michigan and inviting them to the White House on Friday for discussions as the state prepares to certify President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. the winner there.
For Mr. Trump and his Republican allies, Michigan has become the prime target in their campaign to subvert the will of voters backing Mr. Biden in the recent election. Mr. Trump called at least one G.O.P. elections official in the Detroit area this week after she voted to certify Mr. Biden’s overwhelming victory there, and he is now set to meet with legislators ahead of Michigan’s deadline on Monday to certify the results.
The president has also asked aides what Republican officials he could call in other battleground states in his effort to prevent the certification of results that would formalize his loss to Mr. Biden, several advisers said. Trump allies appear to be pursuing a highly dubious legal theory that if the results are not certified, Republican legislatures could intervene and appoint pro-Trump electors in states Mr. Biden won who would support the president when the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14.
The Republican effort to undo the popular vote is all but certain to fail, as even many Trump allies concede, and it has already suffered near-total defeats in courts in multiple states, including losses on Thursday when judges in Georgia and Arizona ruled against the Trump campaign and its allies….
High-level Republicans in key battlegrounds said they had not been pressured by Mr. Trump.
The office of Butch Miller, the Republican leader of the Georgia Senate, said he had received no overtures from the White House. Both Jake Corman, the State Senate majority leader in Pennsylvania, and Bryan Cutler, the speaker of the House there, said they had not heard from Mr. Trump.