by Christen Smith
A federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed the president’s “meritless” election fraud lawsuit on Friday, leaving the door open for an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephanos Bibas said arguments made by Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, that fraudulent mail-in ballots in Philadelphia tipped the scales for former Vice President Joe Biden were unsubstantiated.
“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious,” he wrote Friday. “But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”
Trump’s legal team wanted millions of votes invalidated after it claimed that some of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties allowed residents to “cure” ballots with defects that would otherwise be uncountable. The state’s election law doesn’t spell out such a process, leading to an inconsistent application across the state, Giuliani said.
A federal judge dismissed the case over the weekend and accused the campaign of attempting to disenfranchise 6.8 million voters. Trump’s campaign sought an appeal with the 3rd Circuit, only to face a similar denial. The Department of State certified Pennsylvania’s election results three days later that showed Biden beat Trump by more than 80,000 votes.
“Biden can only enter the White House as President if he can prove that his ridiculous ’80,000,000 votes’ were not fraudulently or illegally obtained,” Trump tweeted Friday. “When you see what happened in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia & Milwaukee, massive voter fraud, he’s got a big unsolvable problem!”
Giuliani argued the same before state legislators on Wednesday, claiming that nearly 700,000 mail-in ballots – mostly for Biden – appeared “out of nowhere” overnight in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, erasing Trump’s substantial lead. Republican poll watchers were denied access to the canvassing process, he alleged, further obfuscating the fraudulent votes from the public eye.
“The judge said we want to disenfranchise 6 million people,” he said. “We want to disqualify 682,000 votes so that 74 million people aren’t disenfranchised by the cheating that went on here.”
Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, one of the campaign’s senior legal advisors, released a joint statement on Twitter Friday after the 3rd Circuit ruling that thanked the state legislature for hearing them out.
“The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” Ellis tweeted. “We are very thankful to have had the opportunity to present proof and the facts to the PA state legislature. On to SCOTUS!”
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Christen Smith follows Pennsylvania’s General Assembly for The Center Square. She is an award-winning reporter with more than a decade of experience covering state and national policy issues for niche publications and local newsrooms alike.