A separate conservative group also wants the Michigan Supreme Court to invalidate the results that show President-elect Joe Biden won the state.
The latest lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Michigan and before the state’s highest court, rely on unfounded allegations of widespread fraud and misconduct that judges in the state and across the country have previously rejected. Neither has a high likelihood of success.
There is no evidence of mass fraud or wrongdoing that affected election operations in Michigan or elsewhere. Biden earned roughly 154,000 more votes than Trump in Michigan.
Last week, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers formally certified the results.
But the federal lawsuit, filed by Trump-affiliated attorney Sidney Powell and a cadre of other lawyers, wants a judge to force Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to “decertify” those results. They want to act before Dec. 14, when the Electoral College is set to meet and Biden will receive the more than 270 votes needed to formally secure the presidency.
“The multifaceted schemes and artifices implemented by defendants and their collaborators to defraud resulted in the unlawful counting, or manufacturing, of hundreds of thousands of illegal, ineligible, duplicate or purely fictitious ballots in the State of Michigan, that constitute a multiple of Biden’s purported lead in the State,” the lawsuit reads in part.
Although the city of Detroit is not named in the lawsuit, it’s seeking to intervene. Lawyers for the city argue the allegations of misconduct focus on Detroit, so the city should be allowed to have a say in the proceedings.
“This lawsuit dredges up baseless conspiracy theories that have been debunked and rejected every time they have been reviewed by a court. This particular suit is filed by an attorney whose claims are so detached from reality that even the Trump campaign has disavowed any association with her,” said David Fink, lead attorney representing Detroit.
On Sunday, those filing the lawsuit reiterated their request for a judge to take immediate action. They also asked the judge to let them file several additional documents under seal, meaning they would not be widely accessible. They argue the people making the documents have such sensitive information that being named publicly and providing these details would risk endangering themselves and their families.
The lawsuit relies on a series of debunked or discredited theories. That includes allegations that ballot tabulating software crafted by confederates of deceased Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez helped further a massive international conspiracy against Trump, carried out in Michigan and other swing states in order to secure Biden’s victory.
While the lawsuit provides hundreds of pages of exhibits with the filing, no judge or impartial authority has found any of the statements or reports to be credible or consider them actual evidence of wrongdoing.
Tiffany Brown, communications director for Whitmer, reiterated comments the governor made after the state certified its election results.
“We will not comment on pending litigation, other than to say that the people of Michigan have spoken and the votes have been certified for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Brown said in a statement Monday.
“President-elect Biden won the State of Michigan by more than 154,000 votes — more than 14 times Donald Trump’s 2016 margin. It’s time to put country over party, and time for us to put this election behind us and unite together to defeat our common enemy: COVID-19.
Ryan Jarvi, a spokesman for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, said their office is reviewing the lawsuit and determining appropriate action.
Powell has asserted similar allegations in lawsuits in several other states. Although she made some of these allegations at joint appearances with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani later disavowed her in a national news release.
Republicans, including Trump supporter and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, have criticized the president’s legal team.
The Trump campaign and its supporters have either lost or withdrawn each of their lawsuits. In cases where judges have ruled, they have determined the campaign lacked evidence. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny determined allegations made by supporters about conduct at TCF Center in Detroit were “incorrect and not credible.”
Last week, Giuliani announced a series of hearings involving state lawmakers in Michigan and other states related to election results. While the Senate Oversight Committee does plan to met Tuesday to discuss vote counting at TCF, a Senate committee spokeswoman has said the meeting was previously scheduled and “is not at all related to Trump.”
State lawmakers already issued subpoenas and scheduled hearings in relation to election operations.
Also last week, a conservative law firm asked the Michigan Supreme Court to invalidate state election results. The Amistad Project, part of the Thomas More Society, made similar allegations of fraud and misconduct in a news release, focusing on the uptick in absentee ballot requests in the state.
Benson and the state have won other lawsuits focused on absentee ballots; earlier this year, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled the state acted legally when Benson’s office sent unsolicited absentee ballot applications to registered voters in the state.
Contact Dave Boucher: email@example.com or 313-938-4591. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Boucher1.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Trump allies to Michigan judge: Force Whitmer to overturn election