Presidential races

Conservative activist sues the RNC, alleging delegate fraud

Greg Nash/The Hill

The founder of the conservative group Freedom Watch filed a lawsuit against the Republican National Committee and chairman Reince Priebus on Thursday, accusing the national party of “conspiring to defraud” GOP primary voters. 

The lawsuit, filed by conservative activist Larry Klayman, also targets the Republican Party of Florida and Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, alleging that party leaders have colluded to deprive Donald Trump of his victory in the Sunshine State.

{mosads}The lawsuit claims that national party leaders and Republican officials in Florida led voters to believe that the state’s 99 delegates would be bound to the winner for every ballot at a potential contested convention. 

“Defendants, each and every one of them, fraudulently held out to Florida voters, and the public at large, that their votes cast at the Florida Republican Presidential Primary would be counted and not nullified in nominating a presidential candidate,” the lawsuit reads.

“In fact, Defendants are conspiring to make delegates free to disregard the popular vote and support whichever candidate they desire after the first ballot of the Republican National Convention.”

Trump won the Florida primary in March and is entitled to all 99 of the state’s delegates through the first three ballots at the national convention in July. After that, the delegates are free to support whomever they choose.

Klayman alleged that the state party is seeking to reduce the delegates’ commitment to Trump from three ballots to only one.

Furthermore, he asserted that party leaders have arranged a system that allows them to bribe delegates to sway their votes.

“Unsurprisingly, Republican Party insiders, known colloquially as the ‘Republican Establishment,’ have defrauded and engaged in election misconduct and thus illegally manipulated the election system to end up with a candidate that fits their own political and financial agendas,” the lawsuit states.

“As a result, the votes cast by Florida citizens and taxpayers are diluted, disenfranchised and nullified, and subsequently, Florida Republican voters are substantially deprived of their fundamental right to vote.”

RNC members are meeting this week in Florida to plan the GOP convention in July.

The meetings are closely watched as many are anticipating a contested convention, where alterations to the process could impact which candidate emerges as the nominee. 

Klayman has a history of bringing lawsuits, mostly against Democrats.  

He has sued Hillary Clinton for racketeering related to her use of a private email server, President Obama over his executive actions on guns and the nuclear deal with Iran, and the former head of the National Security Agency over violations of Americans’ constitutional rights.

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