Schumer tells Trump to stay out of Florida recount

Schumer tells Trump to stay out of Florida recount

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi orders Capitol flags at half-staff to honor Ginsburg Ginsburg in statement before her death said she wished not to be replaced until next president is sworn in Democrats call for NRA Foundation to be prohibited from receiving donations from federal employees MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday said if President Trump wants an honest and fair election, he “will stop bullying, harassing and lying about the vote in Florida and let the election precede without the heavy hand of the president tipping the scales of justice.” 

He urged Florida election officials to count every vote in the Florida Senate race currently undergoing a recount and predicted that Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonDemocrats sound alarm on possible election chaos Trump, facing trouble in Florida, goes all in NASA names DC headquarters after agency's first Black female engineer Mary W. Jackson MORE (D-Fla.) will be reelected if they follow through.

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“The hallmark of our democracy is simple: Every vote must count. That’s what Democrats believe, that’s what we’re trying to get done,” he told reporters at a Capitol press conference, alongside Nelson. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE and Gov. Scott seem dead set against counting every vote. Why? Because they’re worried if every vote is counted, Bill Nelson will be reelected as senator from the great state of Florida,” he said, referring to Nelson’s opponent, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R).

Schumer accused Trump and Scott of “attempting to bully the election officials in Florida out of doing their jobs in an attempt to win this election.”

Nelson accused Scott of “using his power as governor to try to undermine the voting process. He’s thrown around words like voter fraud, with no proof.”

“He’s tried to get the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to intimidate local supervisors of elections,” he added.

He noted that both Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement and the secretary of state have both said there’s no credible evidence of voter fraud.

Scott has filed emergency motions in Palm Beach and Broward county courts calling on the Department of Law Enforcement to impound all voting machines and tabulating devices that aren’t in use. 

“It’s become obvious that Mr. Scott cannot oversee the process in a fair and impartial way and he should remove himself from the recount process,” Nelson said.

Trump has called on Florida officials to end the recount because ballots have become “massively infected by fraud” although he has provided no evidence to back up that claim. 

“The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisKey swing-state election lawsuits could help shape the presidential race First death reported from Hurricane Sally in Alabama Trump tells Gulf Coast residents to prepare for 'extremely dangerous' Hurricane Sally MORE in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!” he tweeted on Monday.

Schumer argued the Sunday deadline for the hand recount, a rule that stems from the contested presidential election between George W. Bush and Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreFox's Napolitano: 2000 election will look like 'child's play' compared to 2020 legal battles Who calls an election? Why we need patience and nonpartisanship this time Universal mail-in voting jeopardizes the equal right to vote, but absentee voting protects it MORE in 2000, shouldn’t apply to the Senate race. 

He argued the rule was put in place because in 2000 Florida officials weren’t able to finish their recount before the Electoral College met to vote on the next president and that no similar time pressure is on determining the outcome of the Senate race.

“Supervisors of the election should have all the time they need to count every Floridian’s ballot to make sure the candidate with the most votes is actually seated in January, even if the vote count has to go beyond Sunday,” he said.

Schumer also backed up Nelson’s call that Scott should recuse himself from any decisions about the recount.

“Gov. Scott needs to recuse himself from any involvement in the recount and do it now,” he said. “He’s a contestant in this election and can’t possibly be trusted to be a neutral and fair arbiter as the votes are tallied.”