Trump Campaign’s Epshteyn: Expect a Lot More Legal Action in Pennsylvania

December 18, 2020 Updated: December 18, 2020

Boris Epshteyn, a campaign adviser for President Donald Trump who has been involved in lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results, says to expect a lot more legal action in Pennsylvania.

“I don’t want to get ahead of what we are going to do in actual legal action,” Epshteyn told WarRoomPandemic on Thursday. “But let me just tell you that it takes issues that have been argued—but have not been argued in front of the Supreme Court and have not gone up to the Supreme Court—and it moves forward on those, very importantly.”

Epshteyn said that the legal action will address some of the concerns expressed by the Supreme Court, including their ruling that Texas didn’t have the legal standing to sue Pennsylvania.

The Supreme Court refused to take on the case, offering only a one-sentence explanation (pdf): “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.”

Justice Samuel Alito issued a separate statement to say he would have granted Texas’s request since the Supreme Court is obligated to take up any case that falls within its “original jurisdiction.” Justice Clarence Thomas joined Alito in his statement.

Electoral workers began processing ballots
Electoral workers began processing ballots at Northampton County Courthouse in Easton, Pa., on Nov. 3, 2020. (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)

Legal challenges in battleground states have continued beyond the electoral college voting process on Dec. 14, which resulted in dueling electors—also called alternative slates—being selected in those seven states.

Epshteyn said that the Dec. 14 Electoral College vote was not a deadline for the legal process, citing the 1960 election when Hawaii’s vote count was settled between the electors meeting on Dec. 14 and the counting of their votes in Congress on Jan. 6. “That’s why it was important for them to send two slates—and in Pennsylvania, a Trump slate of electors was sent on Monday to Congress.”

Epshteyn said that they were also pushing for further court action over people in Wisconsin using the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic as a reason to declare “indefinite confinement” status, which allowed them to vote by absentee ballot without any photo ID.

Identifying ‘Indefinite Confinement’ Abuses in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday rejected Trump’s lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s presidential election results. However, the court also ruled that public health restrictions amid the CCP virus pandemic are not valid reasons to claim “indefinite confinement status”—something which had been encouraged by officials.

Epshteyn said they are now working to try to identify as many misuses of this “indefinite confinement” in the state as possible.

“Then we will push for court action on that,” he said. “Also vitally important is for the state legislature to investigate that misuse, that abuse, that election fraud, ” he said. “Don’t forget, that’s … only 20,000 votes difference between President Trump and [Democratic presidential nominee] Joe Biden in Wisconsin.”

The Wisconsin State Capitol building on
The Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison, Wis., on Dec. 24, 2011. (Karen Bleier/AFP via Getty Images)

The state legislators are required by the Constitution to designate which presidential candidate gets their state’s tally of votes.

The mechanism for communicating this choice to Congress is to through a small group of people—electors. Each political party has a group (or slate) of electors equal in number to the electoral college votes given to the state.

The individuals in the slates are generally hyper-partisan picked for party loyalty to avoid the prospect of them turning into “faithless electors.”

The state lawmakers must pick one slate of electors: the slate put forward by Republicans or the slate put forward by the Democrats.

Those electors then individually cast their votes—certificates of ascertainment—which are sent to Congress to be counted on Jan. 6 in a joint session.

In seven states on Dec. 14 this year, a slate of Democratic electors chose Biden. Republican electors, even though Biden was certified as the winner in the states, also cast votes for Trump.

The phenomenon created seven sets of so-called dueling electors, or alternate slates. Both groups are sending certificates of ascertainment to Congress.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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