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Biden’s margin of victory widens as Trump’s subversion efforts grow more frantic

Overturning elections sounds like the stuff of secret deals in smoke-filled rooms, but President Donald Trump's not even trying to hide his effort to subvert the results of the election as President-elect Joe Biden's margin widens to more than 6 million votes.

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Donald Trump has had a fresh setback in his bid to overturn his loss in the US election as Michigan lawmakers indicated they would not seek to undo Joe Biden’s projected win in the state.

Two Republican legislators pledged to follow “normal process” in validating the vote after a White House meeting.

“As legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election,” Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield said in a joint statement after their meeting at the White House.

Earlier on Friday, Georgia dealt the US president another blow by certifying Mr Biden’s razor-thin margin of victory.

Mr Biden’s victory in the Electoral College system, which determines who becomes president, is projected to be 306 to 232 – far above the 270 he needs to win. His lead in the public vote overall stands at more than 5.9 million.

What is the president’s next move?
After a string of court defeats in his efforts to challenge the election results, Mr Trump’s team is hoping to convince legislatures controlled by his fellow Republicans in key states to ignore the outcome and declare Mr Trump the victor, according to multiple US media outlets.

Mr Trump has also expressed interest in inviting legislators from Pennsylvania, another battleground won by Mr Biden, to the White House, a senior campaign official confirmed to the BBC’s US partner, CBS News.

But he has no such meetings currently listed on his public schedule for this weekend, and counties in the Rust Belt state, along with Michigan, are due to certify their vote totals on Monday.

It is seen as highly unlikely that the president’s team would be able to flip Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Trump’s efforts to deny Biden the White House traveled from the courts to state legislatures on Friday with Trump’s personal reception with Republican lawmakers from Michigan — and their counterparts in Pennsylvania may be next on the list.


But there were signs, even among Republicans, that Trump’s efforts need some evidence.
Importantly, they acknowledged there is no actual evidence of wrongdoing, a blow to a President and his allies who’ve been peddling baseless claims about fraud.


“Allegations of fraudulent behavior should be taken seriously, thoroughly investigated, and if proven, prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And the candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan’s electoral votes. These are simple truths that should provide confidence in our elections,” the Michigan lawmakers said.


Another blow for Trump came on Friday in Georgia, where Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the paperwork that officially grants the state’s 16 electoral votes to Biden. A federal judge on Thursday had rejected a last-ditch lawsuit that tried to block certification, and Biden’s victory was certified Friday afternoon by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican.


Other setbacks came in Nevada, where a district judge on Friday denied a request brought by a conservative activist to halt the certification next week of the state’s election results — which show Biden leading by more than 33,000 votes — and in Wisconsin, where elections officials in the Democratic stronghold of Dane County rejected requests from the Trump campaign to throw out tens of thousands of absentee ballots on Friday as the state kicked off its partial presidential recount.


Testing out loopholes
To succeed, Trump would need to bulldoze the Electoral College system. But for all the angst he’s sparked about a coup, the President doesn’t seem to have a plan so much as a shameless sense of entitlement to the White House. What he’s doing is exploiting loopholes and prying at technicalities to see if any of them will give.
He’s clearly trying to generate the heat and noise he craves. But he’s also casting about for an unexpected opening, as he’s done so many times before.


Trump refused to take questions at the White House Friday at what he had falsely billed a “press conference,” where he discussed prescription drug prices and gave a business-as-usual veneer to the democratic subversion he’s orchestrating from the Oval Office and the raging pandemic he appears to be largely ignoring. The appearance came just as Covid hospitalizations and new daily cases hit a record again and news emerged that his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., has tested positive. Cases to continue to climb in Congress, too, with Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida — a staunch Trump ally — becoming the latest to test positive.

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