Despite dozens of judges and courts rejecting challenges to the election, Republican attorneys general in 17 states on Wednesday backed President Trump in his increasingly desperate and audacious legal campaign to reverse the results.
The show of support, in a brief filed with the Supreme Court, represented the latest attempt by Trump loyalists to use the power of public office to come to his aid as he continues to deny the reality of his loss with baseless claims of voter fraud.
The move is an effort to bolster a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by the pro-Trump attorney general in Texas that seeks to delay the certification of the presidential electors in four battleground states the president lost. Mr. Trump has been holding out hope that the Supreme Court will hear the case and ultimately award him a second term. Legal experts are skeptical, however, and have largely dismissed it as a publicity stunt.
Late Tuesday, the president asked Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican, if he would be willing to argue the case, according to a person familiar with their conversation. Mr. Cruz agreed, this person said. And the president has filed a motion with the court to intervene, which would make him a party to the case.
The willingness of so many Republican politicians to publicly involve themselves in a legal campaign to invalidate the ballots of millions of Americans shows how singular a figure Mr. Trump remains in the G.O.P. That these political allies are also elected officials whose jobs involve enforcing laws, including voting rights, underscores the extraordinary nature of the brief to the court. Even in defeat — a reality that a significant number of Republicans refuse to accept, polls show — allegiance to Mr. Trump is viewed as the ticket to higher office.