As Donald Trump’s legal challenges continue to be knocked back by courts in several states, the President and his lawyers have promised “next week” is when the real cases will be filed.
Two weeks after election day, time is running out for the Trump campaign and Republicans to prove their allegations of wide-ranging election fraud by Democrats, which they say swung enough votes in key battleground states to “steal” them for Joe Biden.
So far, out of the countless lawsuits – no one is quite clear on the exact number – filed in various state and federal courts, at least 12 have been thrown out by judges or withdrawn.
On Sunday, Mr Trump tweeted that “many of the court cases being filed all over the country are not ours, but rather those of people that have seen horrible abuses”.
“Our big cases showing the unconstitutionality of the 2020 election, and the outrage of things that were done to change the outcome, will soon be filed!” he wrote.
The deadline for Mr Trump to substantiate any of his allegations is fast approaching – December 14 is when the electoral college meets in each state to formally vote to elect the President based on the popular vote.
The Trump campaign and the Republican Party currently have a number of ongoing cases against individual states at a variety of levels, making different legal arguments – including one that is pending before the Supreme Court which could determine whether Pennsylvania’s changes to mail-in voting were illegal.
Now it appears there will be a new prong in the legal attack based on wild claims about Dominion Voting Systems, a Canadian company that supplies voting machines and software used in the contested states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, among others.
Last week, Mr Trump sensationally claimed on Twitter that Dominion machines “deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide”, citing a report on right-wing cable network OANN. He continued to attack the company over the weekend.
Dominion has denied any allegations of wrongdoing, saying that the company continued to “reliably and accurately count ballots” and that “state and local election authorities have publicly confirmed the integrity of the process”.
Members of Mr Trump’s legal team, which is being led by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and now includes former Assistant US Attorney Sidney Powell, have been making a number of similarly wild claims on social media and in TV appearances.
They claim that Dominion “whistleblowers” have come forward about election rigging – but so far have not produced any of their evidence.
“We’re getting ready to overturn election results in multiple states,” Ms Powell told Fox News on Sunday, saying that there was enough evidence to launch multiple criminal investigations and that Dominion software had switched “millions” of votes from Mr Trump.
“I don’t make comments without having the evidence to back it up,” she said.
“President Trump won this election in a landslide. It’s going to be irrefutable. We have staggering statistical evidence, we have staggering testimony from witnesses, including one who was personally in briefings when all of this was discussed and planned.”
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Victoria Toensing, who is on the legal team along with her husband Joe DiGenova, said in a tweet on Sunday that “court filings start next week”.
“Had to interview witnesses and draft declarations to make sure all facts accurate,” she wrote.
Also appearing on Fox News, Mr Giuliani said he had “proof that I can’t disclose yet” of Dominion’s election rigging, which he said was connected to a subcontractor called Smartmatic that was “founded by (Venezuelan dictator Hugo) Chavez, and by Chavez’s two allies who still own it”.
“It’s been used to cheat in elections in South America, it was banned by the United States about a decade ago,” he said. “It’s come back now as a subcontractor to other companies, it sort of hides in the weeds, but Dominion sends everything to Smartmatic.”
Asked by host Maria Bartiromo whether the Trump legal team actually had any of the Dominion voting machines or software in its possession, Mr Giuliani would not answer.
“We have people that I can’t really disclose that can describe the hardware in great detail,” he said.
“We have some of the people, former government employees and others, that were there at the creation of Smartmatic that can describe it, they can draw it, they can show it, and then we have proof that I can’t disclose yet.”
Mr Giuliani insisted “I can prove it” and that “right now our cases are the most developed in Pennsylvania and Michigan”.
But he said even without the alleged Dominion vote switching, “we have more than enough illegal ballots already documented to overturn the result”, referring to claims Republicans were prevented from observing mail-in ballots being processed.
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“I’ve done many absentee ballot elections, there’s a Republican on one side, a Democrat on the other – (on election night) the Republican was outside getting pushed around by goons,” he said.
“When they finally get in, they’re 20 feet away and they’re told to use binoculars. The only way you can tell whether a mail-in ballot is valid is by examining the outer envelope. The minute you remove the outer envelope it’s gone, you can no longer validate it. That’s why, under the law of every state, if you don’t inspect it the vote is invalid.”
Mr Giuliani said the Trump campaign could “prove” 632,000 ballots were handled that way in Pennsylvania alone.
“It’s enough to have the President win the state by 300,000,” he said. “Each one of those states he lost narrowly, he won those states probably by 2 or 3 per cent.”
In Detroit, Mr Giuliani said the Trump campaign had “evidence 100,000 ballots were brought in at 4.30 in the morning and counted, and to the extent that our (four) witnesses saw it – and one of them is an ex-employee of Dominion – according to them every single ballot was for Biden”.
“And not only that, every ballot they could see just had Biden’s name on it, nobody else,” he said.
“Why does that happen? It happens because you know you’re behind, Dominion notifies you, you call off the counting, and then you start doing ballots like this.
“You can’t do the down-ticket, that’s why you have Biden and no down-ticket because they just had enough time to get Biden’s name in. We never got a chance to inspect a single one of those.”
Mr Giuliani appeared to be referencing some of the same testimony contained in a separate lawsuit, filed in Michigan on behalf of two Republican poll watchers, that was thrown out by a state judge last week.
In that case, Chief Judge Timothy Kenny found that many of the allegations of fraud were based on an unfamiliarity with the vote counting process. “Sinister, fraudulent motives were ascribed to the process and to the City of Detroit,” he wrote.
“Plaintiffs’ interpretation of events is incorrect and not credible.”
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Speaking on Fox News, Mr Giuliani insisted that the election “will be overturned”.
“I can’t imagine how a state legislature can certify based upon ballots where we had no opportunity to inspect, and it was done deliberately,” he said.
“The fact that it happened in all those states tells you it was a plan. The crooked Democratic leaders in those 10 or 12 places where we were shut out didn’t all develop that idea by themselves – this was a plan.”
In a series of tweets late on Sunday evening, Mr Trump slammed the media for assuming “Joe Biden will ascend to the Presidency”, saying his side was ”getting ready … to show” the election was “attacked”.
“From large numbers of poll watchers that were thrown out of vote counting rooms in many of our states, to millions of ballots that have been altered by Democrats, only for Democrats, to voting after the election was over, to using radical left-owned Dominion Voting Systems, turned down by Texas and many others because it was not good or secure, those responsible for the safeguarding of our Constitution cannot allow the fake results of the 2020 mail-in election to stand,” he wrote.
“The world is watching!”