Trump campaign files new election lawsuit in Pennsylvania

President Trump’s campaign on Monday filed a new lawsuit against Pennsylvania’s secretary of state and seven counties, seeking an injunction prohibiting them from certifying the state’s results of the 2020 election.

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Pennsylvania, alleges that the commonwealth implemented an illegal “two-tiered” voting system in which voters were held to different standards depending on whether they voted in person or submitted their ballots by mail.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) dismissed the new lawsuit as “meritless.”

“This is the latest meritless lawsuit to challenge Pennsylvania’s election, which was overseen by bipartisan election officials and was lawful, fair and secure. For months, the vast majority of these lawsuits have been dismissed and found to have no merit by Courts at all levels, and this one is no different,” Shapiro said in a statement.

“I am confident Pennsylvania law will be upheld and the will of the people of the Commonwealth will be respected in this election,” he continued.

Among the claims in the lawsuit are that observers were not granted sufficient access to watch vote tabulation in certain counties, and that Philadelphia County failed to comply with an order requiring officials to grant observers closer viewing of the process.

It does not cite specific evidence of electoral fraud. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Equal Protection Clause and the Elections and Electors Clauses.

The suit was filed against Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, and the Board of Elections in Allegheny, Centre, Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia, Montgomery and Northampton counties.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and other Republican officials announced plans for the lawsuit during a press conference Monday evening before it was filed.

McEnany, who said she was appearing at the news conference in her personal capacity, described Pennsylvania as “a case study into how to tip the scales of an election to functionally favor the Democrat Party.” McEnany also claimed that Democrats were “welcoming” fraud and illegal voting, but did not offer specific evidence of votes known to be fraudulent in the election.

Some election law experts expressed skepticism that the lawsuit would prevail.

“This seems very unlikely to succeed,” said Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine. “Some of the claims have already been rejected by the court, others are the kinds of claims that could have been brought months ago and now come too late.”

“And none of the claims seem even slightly likely to lead to a difference in vote outcomes in Pennsylvania, or in the presidential election generally,” he added.

Former Vice President Joe Biden was projected the winner of the presidential race on Saturday, defeating Trump’s hopes for reelection. The president has refused to concede to Biden, instead promising to fight the results in court.

The campaign has also filed a handful of other lawsuits since Election Day, including ones in Georgia, Michigan and Nevada that have been rejected. Trump has leveled unfounded claims of widespread fraud in the election, claiming it was stolen from him. 

John Kruzel contributed. 

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