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Credit...Steve Mellon/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, via Associated Press

The Trump campaign’s legal efforts to challenge election results in Pennsylvania met with a sharp defeat Saturday night, and some fellow Republicans began to signal their desire to move on, acknowledging that the president had lost both the state and his bid for re-election.

Mr. Trump said in a series of tweets late Saturday that he would continue his effort to overturn the results, including asking state legislatures to intervene on his behalf.

A federal judge’s ruling in Pennsylvania on Saturday night, which dismissed a lawsuit by the Trump campaign that had claimed there were widespread improprieties with mail-in ballots in the state, ended the last major effort to delay the certification of Pennsylvania’s vote results, which is scheduled to take place on Monday.

Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, a Republican, said in a statement released Saturday night that with the decision, President Trump “has exhausted all plausible legal options” to challenge the results in Pennsylvania. He added that the outcome of the challenge and others “confirm that Joe Biden won the 2020 election.”

Mr. Toomey congratulated President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory and urged Mr. Trump to “accept the outcome” for his own legacy and “to help unify our country.”

On Twitter, Mr. Trump hit back at Mr. Toomey, calling him “no friend of mine” and said that he would appeal the decision.

In that decision handed down on Saturday, Judge Matthew W. Brann wrote that Mr. Trump’s campaign, which had asked him to effectively disenfranchise nearly seven million voters, should have come to court “armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption” in its efforts to essentially nullify the results of Pennsylvania’s election.

But instead, Judge Brann complained, the Trump campaign provided only “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations” that were “unsupported by evidence.”

After legal defeats in nearly all of the key swing states — Michigan, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona and Wisconsin — Mr. Trump’s path to overturning the results of the election through the courts has all but vanished.

With his chances diminishing, Mr. Trump on Saturday night made his most explicit call yet for state legislatures to intervene with the aim of reversing the result, once again relying on false claims of fraud. “Hopefully the Courts and/or Legislatures will have the COURAGE to do what has to be done to maintain the integrity of our Elections, and the United States of America itself,” he wrote on Twitter.

The Pennsylvania lawsuit, filed on Nov. 9, accused its secretary of state, Kathy Boockvar, and several counties with largely Democratic populations of unfairly handling mail-in ballots, which were used in unprecedented numbers during this year’s election.

The suit claimed that under Ms. Boockvar’s guidance, the Democratic counties gave voters who had submitted mail-in ballots with minor flaws an opportunity to “cure” or fix them while counties with mostly Republican populations did not alert voters about faulty ballots.

That, according to the Trump campaign, violated the equal protections clause of the United States Constitution.

Judge Brann, a former Pennsylvania Republican Party official and a member of the conservative Federalist Society, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, rejected this argument, likening it to Frankenstein’s monster, which, he noted, had been “haphazardly stitched together.” He ruled that the Trump campaign, lacking standing to make the claim, could not prove that it had suffered any harm if some counties, anticipating a deluge of mail-in ballots, helped their voters to file proper ballots while others did not.

Austin Ramzy contributed reporting.

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/11/21/us/joe-biden-trump

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