Trump tries to leverage power of office to subvert Biden win

www.startribune.com
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fairly difficult
President Donald Trump sought to leverage the power of the Oval Office on Friday in an extraordinary attempt to block President-elect Joe Biden's victory, but his pleas to Michigan lawmakers to overturn the will of their constituents appeared to have left them unswayed.
WASHINGTON —

Trump summoned a delegation of the battleground state's Republican leadership, including the Senate majority leader and House speaker, in an apparent extension of his efforts to persuade judges and election officials to set aside Biden's 154,000-vote margin of victory and grant Trump the state's electors. It came amid mounting criticism that Trump's futile efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 election could do long-lasting damage to democratic traditions.

Trump's efforts extended to other states that Biden carried as well, amounting to an unprecedented attempt by a sitting president to maintain his grasp on power, or in failure, to delegitimize his opponent's victory in the eyes of his army of supporters.

Rick Hasen, an election law expert and professor who has been meticulously chronicling the 2020 race, wrote that there would be "rioting" in the streets if an effort was made to set aside the vote in Michigan, calling it tantamount to an attempted coup.

"We should worry because this is profoundly antidemocratic and is delegitimizing the victory of Joe Biden in a free and fair election," Hasen wrote on his blog. "It is profoundly depressing we still have to discuss this. But it is extremely unlikely to lead to any different result for president."

In a joint statement after the White House meeting, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield said allegations of fraud should be investigated but indicated they were unmoved by Trump's claims thus far. "We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan and as legislative leaders, we will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan's electors, just as we have said throughout this election," they said.

"The candidates who win the most votes win elections and Michigan's electoral votes," they added, saying they used the meeting with Trump to press him for more pandemic aid money for…
ZEKE MILLER, COLLEEN LONG, DAVID EGGERT, Associated Press
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