With No Evidence of Fraud, Trump Fails to Make Headway on Legal Cases

first_imgUpdated Nov. 6, 2020, 7:47 p.m. ET The former Republican Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, echoed the president’s son on Fox News, calling for the jailing of poll workers and more involvement from Attorney General William P. Barr.But in the days since the election, Mr. Barr and the Justice Department have been largely silent. After initially echoing Mr. Trump’s warnings about electoral fraud, Mr. Barr muted his statements, and Mr. Trump complained to aides about the department’s lack of action.But a supportive outside group, True the Vote — one of the most prominent promoters of the false narrative that “voter fraud” is rampant in the United States — sought to help Mr. Trump build his cases. On Friday, it announced it had formed a $1 million “Whistleblower Defense Fund” to “incentivize” witnesses to step forward with charges of malfeasance. Officials with the Biden campaign said they would meet every legal challenge Mr. Trump brought but said they were confident that none of the cases they had seen so far seemed likely to loosen Mr. Biden’s tightening grasp on the presidency.“The Republican legal claims are utterly baseless and have failed and will continue to fail in the courts,’’ said Bob Bauer, a senior adviser to the Biden campaign. “They serve no purpose other than to echo Donald Trump’s discredited and shameful attack on the democratic process.”In a statement, the Republican Party’s chief counsel, Justin Riemer, said, “We are focused on protecting the integrity of the vote and ensuring all legally cast ballots are counted,” but he was not made available for further comment on the particulars of the party’s legal strategy.The intensive Trump effort was the endgame of a long-planned contingency in which the president planned to challenge any possible loss through claims that the voting system was “rigged” against him. The campaign has been abetted by a robust pro-Trump media ecosystem, with Mr. Trump’s own social media accounts at its center, amplifying his false claims.As the legal push has failed to make substantial headway this week it has taken on an urgent, at times desperate, tone. In Pennsylvania, the two top Republicans in the legislature called on Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, to conduct “an immediate audit” of the election. No state was seeing more legal activity than Pennsylvania, where the Trump campaign and local Republicans had brought at least a half-dozen lawsuits immediately before and after Election Day.The case that had the potential to affect the most votes was the one filed at the Supreme Court on Friday seeking an order that would force election officials in Pennsylvania to separate mailed ballots that arrived after Election Day from other mailed ballots. In its emergency application, the party acknowledged that the secretary of state’s office had already ordered election officials to do so but said it had no way to know if they had complied. President Trump’s bellicose pledge to fight the outcome of the election in the courts crashed on Friday into skeptical judges, daunting Electoral College math and a lack of evidence for his claims of fraud.On a day that began with vote tallies in Georgia and Pennsylvania tipping in Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s favor, Mr. Trump’s campaign declared, “This election is not over,” as the Republican National Committee announced it had activated “legal challenge teams” in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And the Trump forces named a new general to lead the effort, the hardened conservative political combatant David Bossie.- Advertisement – On Thursday, Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, said on Twitter, “I truly hope the @FBI/@DOJ engages immediately.” But even if the court were to take the case and rule in favor of the Republicans to wipe out all of the ballots in question — votes from mail ballots have overwhelmingly gone to Mr. Biden — it would not affect the current vote totals, which do not include the ballots that came in after Election Day. By early Friday evening, Mr. Biden had a lead of about 17,000 votes in Pennsylvania.Other suits in Pennsylvania sought to knock out votes that were the result of a decision by Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar to allow county officials to give voters a chance to fix mistakes in their rejected mail-in ballots or to cast provisional votes instead.A federal judge dismissed one of those cases on Friday, in Montgomery County outside Philadelphia, two days after implying during a hearing that he viewed the effort as a move to disenfranchise voters who were following state instructions.But even if that case had succeeded, it would have affected only 93 votes. Similarly, in Michigan, a judge dismissed a Republican suit challenging the vote count in the state, noting the counting was already effectively over and dismissing some of the evidence as based on hearsay.Frustrated supporters of the president like the talk radio host Mark Levin called on Republican legislatures in states including Pennsylvania to use their constitutional authority to send a pro-Trump delegation of electors to the Electoral College regardless of the popular vote. But none of the dozen or so lawsuits they had brought in battleground states appeared to be gaining any traction in the courts. And in any case, none seemed likely to give Mr. Trump the edge he would need in vote counts in the states that will determine the outcome.In seeking to foment widespread doubt about the legitimacy of the election, Mr. Trump and his surrogates seemed less focused on substantive legal arguments that could hold up in court than on bolstering the president’s political narrative, unsupported by the facts, that he was somehow being robbed of a second term. The most high-profile step of the day came when Pennsylvania Republicans asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and require election officials in the state to segregate ballots that arrived after Election Day to keep them from being counted toward the total in the largest and most critical of the swing states.- Advertisement – But the move was almost entirely for show: Pennsylvania is already segregating those ballots, counting them separately and is not including them in the announced vote totals. The secretary of state, over the objections of Republicans and Mr. Trump, has said they can be counted if they arrived by 5 p.m. on Friday, in line with a state court ruling. A state official said those ballots number in the thousands but not tens of thousands.Their lack of progress in stopping the count or making a persuasive case for large-scale ballot fraud left Mr. Trump and his team increasingly reliant for political salvation on recounts — which appeared likely to take place in Georgia, Nevada, Arizona and Wisconsin but which rarely result in big swings in vote counts.The Trump effort may be getting a boost from state legislatures in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which are both controlled by Republicans. In Wisconsin, Robin Vos, the speaker of the State Assembly, directed a legislative committee to “use its investigatory powers” to conduct a review of the election, again raising the specter of voter fraud without offering specific evidence.- Advertisement – At the same time, allies of the president openly suggested an extreme move: to use baseless allegations of Democratic malfeasance to pressure Republican-controlled state legislatures in key states to send pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College regardless of the results of the popular vote. Republicans have been unsuccessfully fighting the secretary of state’s decision to allow election officials in Pennsylvania to count mail-in ballots that arrived at their offices by Friday as long as they had postmarks from Election Day or before. The Supreme Court had twice passed up opportunities to rule on the dispute, though the case is still technically pending, giving the justices the opportunity to weigh in if they saw reason to do so. Asked during a news briefing on Friday if state Republicans would do so, the majority leader of the Pennsylvania senate, Jake Corman, replied, “We want to stay in the tradition that the popular vote winner wins the election.”Even if the state Republicans could make such a move legally — the legislature “cannot simply ignore the popular vote,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania — it was an extreme example of the lengths to which some Trump supporters seem willing to go.In several states Mr. Trump was challenging state voting rules, effectively seeking to nullify votes cast in accordance with official guidelines.Republicans in Nevada asked the Justice Department late Thursday to open an investigation into voter fraud involving 3,000 ballots, a move Democrats said was based on “entirely fabricated” claims.The Justice Department declined to address the matter publicly, but its guidelines generally preclude opening criminal investigations into election-related matters until results are completed.Local Republicans included the allegation in a suit they filed in federal court seeking a change in the way Clark County, Nev., is conducting its count. A judge dismissed the case on Friday evening, when the vote count showed a 22,000-ballot lead for Mr. Biden.Michael S. Schmidt, Katie Benner and Adam Liptak contributed reporting. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Read More →

To fight SARS, China moves to knock civets off menus

first_img After civets were found to carry the virus, restaurants were barred from serving them for several months in 2003. Thousands of the animals were seized from farms and wildlife markets and killed last January after a few new cases of the disease occurred in southern China. The newspaper Beijing Daily reported that the ban was part of new rules issued Nov 1 by China’s Health Ministry, according to the Associated Press and Reuters. The rules ban “the slaughter, cooking, and selling of wild animals like civet cat and advocate civilized dietary habits,” a Reuters story said. SARS emerged in late 2002 in Guangdong, where civets are considered a delicacy. The disease spread from there to Hong Kong in February 2003 and then on to many other countries around the world. The ban came about 3 weeks after a report that Chinese government scientists had concluded that civets are the main animal source of the SARS virus. An Oct 11 Reuters report quoted the SARS Defense and Cure Scientific Group as saying, “Research proves that the civet cat is the primary animal source of the human SARS virus, with the ability to spread the virus.” But the group stopped short of saying civets are the only source of the human virus. The announcement also followed an Oct 23 report that 70% of a sample of 103 civets from southern China’s Guangdong province carried the virus, according to Reuters. The report said no civets from northern or eastern China were found to be infected.center_img Nov 3, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – To guard against SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), the Chinese government has banned the killing and cooking of civets, which have been carriers of the SARS virus in southern China, according to news reports yesterday. See also: Jan 16, 2004, CIDRAP News story, “WHO sees more evidence of civet role in SARS”last_img read more

Read More →

IKEA donates blankets, bed sheets to COVID-19 hospitals

first_imgSweden-based furniture store IKEA has donated household items to the Indonesian Hospital Association (PERSI) to support COVID-19 referral hospitals.The company handed out bed sheets, blankets, towels and trolleys to five hospitals in Banten and Sentul in Bogor, West Java, namely Permata Pamulang Hospital, BUN Kosambi Maternity Hospital, MISI Lebak Hospital, An Nisa Cibodas Hospital and EMC Sentul Hospital.IKEA Indonesia public relations head Ririn Basuki said the hospitals were among the first to receive COVID-19 positive patients in their respective areas. “Hospitals play a crucial role in testing and treating COVID-19 patients and IKEA will support the medical personnel who are on the frontline combating this pandemic,” she said in a written statement on Monday.Read also: We’re all in this together: Companies join hands to mitigate COVID-19 pandemicThe furniture giant also donated hygiene kits to people in Jakarta as an initiative to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.As of Monday, the Health Ministry announced 218 new confirmed cases, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 2,491 with 187 cases in Banten and 263 cases in West Java. While 11 more deaths have been reported, bringing the death toll to 209. (eyc)Topics :last_img read more

Read More →

Hillsman plans to play Taft more after guard’s hot shooting in previous 2 games

first_img Published on February 20, 2014 at 2:27 am Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3 There was only a minute separating Syracuse from one of its worst losses of the season. With the Orange down 31 points to Florida State, the story of the game had already been told. All that needed to happen was the final moments to tick off the clock.But what was a waste of a night for SU, was an opportunity for La’Shay Taft.The seldom-used senior took a pass from Alexis Peterson and swished a 3. Twelve seconds later, it happened again. On FSU’s next possession, she stole the ball and was fouled, and hit both free throws.In the span of 25 seconds she had scored eight points, ballooning her total to a team-high 18 points.“It’s always great to pretty much get an opportunity,” Taft said. “You’ve just got to take advantage of when your opportunity comes.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOpportunities have been limited for Taft this season. After seeing some action in nonconference play, Taft had a stretch where she hit just 4-of-28 shots from behind the arc in Atlantic Coast Conference competition. But the Florida State game last Thursday was her breakout moment, and she followed it up with an efficient 12-point performance in a win over Boston College on Sunday.And now that Taft is heating up, SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said he plans to give the shooter more minutes when the Orange (18-8, 7-6 ACC) travels to Miami (13-12, 5-7) to face the Hurricanes on Thursday at 7 p.m.“If you’re a shooter, you’re going to make shots,” Hillsman said. “I don’t get wrapped up into what the percentages are. Because she could have one of those games where she comes out and she makes five of them.”Brittney Sykes said SU has a saying.“Shooters shoot.”And they do it no matter if they’re hot or cold. When Syracuse hosted then-No. 3 Duke on Jan. 9, Taft did just that. She shot, and shot, and shot again. Thirteen times. It wasn’t until the 12th try that she actually got one to count.It was the worst shooting performance of her Syracuse career and even though Hillsman continued to encourage her to let it fly, that showing relegated her to single-digit minutes in five of the six games following it.“My game’s pretty much been up and down,” Taft said. “I have moments when pretty much everything is going well, and then sometimes I can’t make a shot.“But I don’t just give up. I keep on pushing and continue to shoot, what shooters should do — continue to shoot to get back on the floor.”Sykes told Taft a story when she was struggling. It was about an athlete on the men’s basketball team at Wisconsin, a pure shooter like Taft. He had missed every shot that game, and his teammates were making fun of him for it in the locker room.He shrugged it off and told them he hadn’t missed any because he didn’t start counting until he had made one. It’s an attitude that Sykes told Taft she needed to adopt.“Shooters are going to miss shots. But shoot,” Sykes said. “That’s why God has given that talent in shooting. It’s to shoot the ball.”Taft said she understands that having more scorers is a huge asset to this team. As of now, Skyes and Brianna Butler make up more than 43 percent of the team’s scoring.“It takes a lot off of Brittney, Bri at the guard position,” Taft said. “It definitely means a lot, because it takes pressure off the ones who do so much already, so it opens up more of our offense.”Taft has spent the majority of her four years on the bench, rather than on the court. But with the way she’s been shooting of late, this may be her last and best chance to leave a legacy.Said Taft: “This is it. I’m pretty much done with college, and I’d rather go out on a good note.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Read More →