President Trump vowed on Wednesday to press ahead with his campaign to expose voter fraud in several states, saying the nation’s election system “is under coordinated assault and siege” by his opponents.
“We’re going to defend the honesty of the vote by ensuring that every legal ballot is counted, and that no illegal ballot is counted,” Mr. Trump said in an address recorded at the White House. “The constitutional process must be allowed to continue.”
The president didn’t say whether he believes his efforts could overturn the victory of presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden in the electoral vote count. He said Americans “witnessed an orchestrated effort to anoint a winner, even while many key states were still being counted.”
“Ultimately, I am prepared to accept any accurate election result, and I hope that Joe Biden is as well,” Mr. Trump said. “But we already have the proof. We have already have tens of thousands of ballots more than we need to overturn all of these states that we’re talking about.”
He called for a “full forensic audit” of all mail-in ballots in contested states.
Mr. Trump also filed a new federal lawsuit Wednesday accusing Wisconsin election officials of violating that U.S. Constitution and asking the court to remand the election to the state legislature, which is controlled by Republicans.
SEE ALSO: Donald Trump sues Wisconsin Election Commission
The president’s lawyers said the state legislature is the final decision maker on how to treat constitutional violations in an election.
“This lawsuit is one-step in the direction of fairer, more transparent, more professional and ultimately more reliable elections in America,” said Bill Bock, an attorney working on behalf of Mr. Trump in Wisconsin.
In Michigan, a law firm’s analysis obtained by The Washington Times on Wednesday showed that more than half a million illegal votes were cast in the state. The president lost Michigan by 154,188 votes.
In Delaware, Mr. Biden and senior members of his transition team held an event on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to pressure Senate Republicans to approve a costlier coronavirus aid package. The Democrat, who is scheduled to be inaugurated in 50 days, also said Americans must “change the mindset” about wearing masks regularly.
Mr. Trump made his most expansive comments on the election as his attorneys and allies pressed ahead with challenges to Mr. Biden’s win in key states. A day earlier, Attorney General William Barr said he hadn’t seen evidence of significant voter fraud that would change the election’s outcome.
Lead Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani told Republican legislators in Michigan on Wednesday night that “massive cheating,” mainly by Democrats in Detroit, should compel them to step in before presidential electors are awarded to Mr. Biden. State election officials have certified the Democrat’s win.
Trump attorney Jenna Ellis told the state’s House Oversight Committee that “it’s your obligation under the United States Constitution to not allow the corruption to continue.”
Michigan lawyer Ian Northon, who has filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s election, is circulating an analysis showing that 508,016 illegal votes were cast in the state.
The total includes more than 350,000 unsolicited mail ballots, more than 13,000 votes allegedly from out-of-state residents and an estimated 30,000 legal absentee ballots that the requesters returned but were not counted, according to an email obtained by The Times.
Mr. Northon said his firm’s experts used the state’s data, combined with national death and address databases, and election data from other states. He said in an interview that he can’t specify how many votes Mr. Trump might gain through corrective action.
“After surveying Michigan voters and extrapolating the data, the unlawful ballots and illegal vote totals are staggering,” he wrote in the email.
The state Supreme Court is now considering the lawsuit.
Mr. Northon has called for the state Legislature to hold a special session and order a “meaningful independent audit” of the vote count before appointing presidential electors, a decision due Dec. 8.
In his 45-minute video address, the president said states with universal mail-in voting opened the floodgates for fraud.
“Dozens of counties in the key swing states have more registered voters on the rolls than they have voting-age citizens, including 67 counties in Michigan,” Mr. Trump said.
He said Republicans in Michigan were threatened when they questioned why 71% of the precincts had more votes than voters.
Mr. Trump called for a review of the results in states that used Dominion Voting Systems.
Mr. Trump’s legal team has filed lawsuits charging election malfeasance in several states but has yet to win any rulings that would overturn the results. Most judges say the claims lack merit and have rejected the campaign’s lawsuits without evidentiary hearings.
The president said his legal campaign is about “ensuring that Americans can have faith in this election and in all future elections.”
“We used to have what was called ‘Election Day,’” Mr. Trump said. “Now we have election days, weeks and months, and lots of bad things happened during this ridiculous period of time, especially when you have to prove almost nothing to exercise our greatest privilege, the right to vote.”
Mr. Trump has been telling friends privately that he still wants another four years in office, whether his second term begins in January or after another campaign in 2024.
“It’s been an amazing four years,” Mr. Trump told guests at a White House Christmas party Tuesday night. “We are trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years.”
Amid cheers and applause, the president asked his guests to watch the “fraud hearings” in Michigan with his legal team.
“I called it a rigged election, and I always will,” Mr. Trump said.
On other legal fronts, a pro-Trump election lawsuit reached the Supreme Court this week, and allies of the president are praising his campaign’s lawsuit pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, saying it could have a successful outcome and provide a much-needed boost in his reelection fight.
Lawyer Sidney Powell, who is not on the president’s legal team, sued officials in Arizona on Wednesday claiming Dominion Voting Systems software created security risks and statistical anomalies in the election results.
She is asking a federal court to overturn Mr. Biden’s victory there.
In Wisconsin, the president’s campaign has a lawsuit challenging 221,000 ballots. The legal complaint claims absentee ballots were cast in violation of state laws governing ballot applications and identification.
Curt Levey, president of the Committee for Justice, said the Wisconsin lawsuit is “solid.”
“There’s certainly merit to it and more than enough ballots involved,” Mr. Levey said. “It really will come down to if judges — in this case the Wisconsin Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court — has the backbone to follow through.”
The state’s high court has a 4-3 conservative majority.
The Trump campaign fought to make up ground in Wisconsin with a recount in two of the state’s largest counties. The recount wrapped up Nov. 29 without flipping the results, and Mr. Biden ended up netting a few dozen more votes.
Wisconsin certified its results Tuesday with Mr. Biden ahead by 20,427 votes.
The 44-page lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Trump campaign asks the court to halt further certification of the results.
His campaign argues that at least 170,000 absentee ballots were improperly counted because they did not have a written application, which is required under Wisconsin election law.
The lawsuit also argues that 5,517 mail-in ballots were improperly counted because they had missing information, while 28,395 absentee ballots were cast by people claiming “indefinite confinement” who were not qualified for that classification.
Another 17,271 absentee ballots are being challenged because they were cast at a “Democracy in the Park” event, which the Trump team said was held unlawfully to collect mail-in ballots in a place not permitted under Wisconsin law.
The president’s legal team has been presenting arguments of election irregularities surrounding mail-in ballots not just in court filings but also before Republican state lawmakers in Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
They have asked the Republican-majority state assemblies to halt awarding Mr. Biden’s electors ahead of the Electoral College vote, which is scheduled for Dec. 14.
Mr. Trump’s legal team has vowed to take its Pennsylvania case to the Supreme Court after the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected its lawsuit contesting the state’s results. The lawsuit claims some Democratic counties treated voters differently than Republican counties by allowing them to correct mail-in ballots before Election Day, creating a violation of equal protection.
Rep. Mike Kelly, Pennsylvania Republican, brought another pro-Trump case to the Supreme Court this week, asking Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. in an emergency petition to halt the state from further certifying the results. In that legal dispute, he argues that Pennsylvania officials unlawfully expanded absentee voting for the Nov. 3 elections.
In Arizona, the state Republican Party, led by Kelli Ward, has filed a lawsuit attempting to toss out mail-in ballots that weren’t properly reviewed by Republican poll observers and lack proper signature verification.
A judge in Maricopa County on Tuesday said Ms. Ward and her attorneys can review 200 ballots and envelopes to see whether they show any signs of fraud. They have until Thursday to review the documents for any faults before another court hearing.Arizona certified its results Tuesday. Mr. Biden bested the president there by 10,457 votes, or 0.3 percentage points.