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James Baker says White House should stop trying to end vote counting

James Baker says White House should stop trying to end vote counting
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Former secretary of State James Baker said that the White House should stop trying to end vote counting across the country. 

Baker told The New York Times in an interview that President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE may have valid issues to address, but that they should not be used to try and stop ballot counting.

Baker, who famously led the political and legal team during the Florida recount in 2000 that resulted in former President George W. Bush’s election victory, said “there are huge differences” between that recount and the multi-state legal fight the Trump campaign has mounted. 

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“We never said don’t count the votes,” Baker told the Times. “That’s a very hard decision to defend in a democracy.”

“For one thing, our whole argument was that the votes have been counted and they’ve been counted and they’ve been counted and it’s time to end the process,” Baker said. “That’s not exactly the message that I heard on election night. And so I think it’s pretty hard to be against counting the votes.”

President Trump's campaign this week filed lawsuits in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia to halt vote counting as part of a multi-state legal fight.

The suits in Michigan and Georgia were both tossed on Thursday, and election officials in Philadelphia are currently appealing a ruling which allows the campaign to monitor the counting process more closely. 

Baker said the president can challenge results after they have been counted if there are legitimate reasons for doing so. He also said that Trump needed someone who would help lead any disputes like Baker did in 2000. 

Baker also said that he objected to the GOP trying to throw out 127,000 ballots in a Democratic-leaning Harris County in Texas that were cast by drive-thru voting. 

A federal judge ruled against Republicans in the case on Monday, ruling that the plaintiffs lacked standing in the case. That ruling came one day after the Texas Supreme Court rejected the bid

“I didn’t think that was a particularly wise thing to do and as it turns out it wasn’t wise legally because they’ve lost in state court and in federal court,” he said.