Trump, allies make frantic steps to overturn Biden victory; Biden flips Georgia; It’s his birthday, at 78, he’ll be oldest U.S. president
Refusing to countenance the clear reality of a comprehensive election defeat, Donald Trump and his allies are taking increasingly frantic and desperate steps to subvert the results.
That includes summoning Republican state legislators from Michigan today for an extraordinary meeting at the White House as part of a longshot bid to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. Trump also has personally called local election officials who are trying to rescind their certification votes in Michigan.
His legal team has suggested that a judge order Pennsylvania to set aside the popular vote there. And his allies are pressuring county officials in Arizona to delay certifying vote tallies.
Election law experts see this as the last, dying gasp of the Trump campaign and say there is no question whatsoever that Biden will walk into the Oval Office come January. Colleen Long, Zeke Miller, Jill Colvin and David Eggert have the latest developments.
It seems Trump hasn’t perhaps assembled a team of legal eagles to do his electoral bidding. He has launched a barrage of lawsuits across at least five states. But his attorneys have repeatedly made elementary errors in those high-profile cases: misspelling “poll watcher” (P-O-L-L) as “pole watcher” (P-O-L-E), forgetting the name of the presiding judge during a hearing, filing a Michigan lawsuit before an obscure court in Washington by accident and having to refile complaints after erasing entire arguments they’re using to challenge results, Nomaan Merchant reports.
AP FACT CHECK: Trump legal team’s batch of false vote claims. Trump attorney Sidney Powell spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez” — the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013. She also said Trump beat Biden “by a landslide,” which he decidedly didn’t — Biden was the clear winner. Ali Swenson reports.
- Sen. Mitt Romney, one of Trump’s most vocal Republican critics, tweeted, “It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President.”
- Republican Sen. Ben Sasse went after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani: “Rudy and his buddies should not pressure electors to ignore their certification obligations under the statute. We are a nation of laws, not tweets.”
Biden Birthday: It’s the president-elect’s 78th birthday today. In exactly two months, he’ll take the reins of a politically fractured nation facing the worst public health crisis in a century, high unemployment and a sustained reckoning on racial injustice. As he wrestles with those issues, Biden will be attempting to accomplish another feat: demonstrating to Americans that age is but a number. Biden will enter office as the oldest president in U.S. history, displacing Ronald Reagan, who left the White House in 1989, when he was 77 years and 349 days old, Aamer Madhani reports.
Biden has met with governors from both parties and criticized Trump’s unprecedented attempt to block the peaceful transition of power, saying it was hindering the flow of information about programs to develop a vitally important virus vaccine.
Biden also had a damning assessment of Trump, saying he is likely to go down as the nation’s most irresponsible president— not just for his four years in office but also for his refusal to concede the election and cooperate in the transition, Steve Peoples and Will Weissert report.
VIDEO: Biden: Trump is the ‘most irresponsible president’.
Biden flipped Georgia and won its 16 electoral votes. It’s an extraordinary victory for Democrats who had pushed to expand their electoral map through the Sun Belt. Biden’s win pads his Electoral College margin of victory over Trump to 306 to 232.
EXPLAINER: Why AP called Georgia for Biden. The AP called the race for Biden after state election officials there said a hand tally of ballots cast in the presidential race confirmed the Democrat leads by roughly 12,000 votes out of nearly 5 million counted, Brian Slodysko reports.
Progressives: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, leaders of the Democratic Party’s left-wing, are at risk of being excluded from the senior ranks of Biden’s administration as the incoming president balances the demands of his party’s progressive base against the political realities of a narrowly divided Senate. The liberal New England senators remain interested in serving in Biden’s Cabinet, but even some of their allies recognize they face major political hurdles getting there, Steve Peoples reports.
Trump’s Legal Troubles: His legal entanglements are likely to intensify when he leaves the White House and loses immunity from prosecution. Manhattan’s district attorney is leading an investigation into his business dealings. There are New York state inquiries into whether he misled tax authorities, banks or business partners. Two women alleging sexual assault are suing. And some Democrats are calling for the revival of a federal campaign finance investigation, Michael R. Sisak reports.