Lawyers at firms which have filed Trump’s suits over the election are concerned they are helping to undermine the integrity of American elections – as one attorney quits in protest
- Several senior attorneys at Jones Day and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur have spoken out on the condition of anonymity to the New York Times
- They revealed they were unhappy with their employers’ association with the president and with the efforts to discredit the election process
- Nine partners and associates at Jones Day said they are worried the firm is helping Trump undermine the election
- Several lawyers at Porter Wright said they raised concerns at internal meetings and at least one lawyer has quit the firm altogether because of the suits
- The two law firms are behind four lawsuits in Pennsylvania filed on behalf of Trump, who is filing multiple suits to get votes thrown out
Lawyers at the firms behind Donald Trump‘s ‘election fraud’ lawsuits have raised concerns they are helping to undermine the integrity of American elections, with at least one attorney quitting out of protest.
Several senior attorneys at Jones Day and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur have spoken out on the condition of anonymity to reveal they are unhappy with their employers’ association with the president and with the efforts to discredit the election process, according to the New York Times.
Nine partners and associates at Jones Day told the Times they are worried the firm is helping Trump undermine the presidential election, after the result was called for Joe Biden Saturday.
Meanwhile several lawyers at Porter Wright said they have raised their concerns about their firm’s work on the election lawsuits at two internal meetings and at least one lawyer has left the firm altogether because of the suits.
The two law firms are behind four lawsuits in Pennsylvania filed on behalf of Trump, who is refusing to concede to Biden, has made a series of unsubstantiated claims of widespread election fraud and has filed multiple lawsuits to get votes thrown out.
Lawyers at the firms behind Donald Trump’s ‘election fraud’ lawsuits have raised concerns they are helping to undermine the integrity of American elections, with at least one attorney quitting out of protest
One lawyer in Jones Day’s Washington office said they think the law firm could be damaging its own reputation by getting involved in Trump’s lawsuits which undermine the very rules of law.
‘To me, it seems extremely shortsighted,’ they told the Times.
A former employee also wrote in The Washington Post in September – after they left the firm in August – that ‘the president’s inflammatory language undercuts the claim that Republicans seek merely to uphold statutory safeguards needed to validate the results’ credibility’.
Staff at the firm are also said to be feeling the impact of being associated with Trump’s legal efforts.
Two lawyers told the Times they had been blasted on social media for working at the firm in recent days while demonstrators calling for every vote to be counted painted a huge mural reading ‘Jones Day, Hands Off Our Ballots’ outside the San Francisco office last week.
Several senior lawyers had raised concerns about the firm’s ties to Trump as far back as 2016, according to three Jones Day partners, when it first began working closely with him.
One of the firm’s partners Donald F. McGahn II became Trump’s outside lawyer during his 2016 race for the White House playing a key part in calling for vote recounts in swing states.
Gahn was pictured next to Trump onstage after he won the New Hampshire primary in 2016 and then became Trump’s White House counsel when he took office, before returning to his position at the firm.
Another partner at the firm Noel Francisco also became Trump’s first solicitor general and another Eric Dreiband became assistant attorney general in the Justice Department.
Jones Day partner Donald F. McGahn II (pictured) was Trump’s outside lawyer during his 2016 race for the White House then became Trump’s White House counsel when he took office
However, while many brushed their concerns to one side back in 2016, several attorneys are growing increasingly unhappy with the nature of the current work.
Six attorneys told the Times they believe the firm’s Supreme Court bid to separate ballots that arrived after election day in Pennsylvania – when the secretary of state had already ordered the same move – was done simply to erode public confidence in the election.
Lawyers at Porter Wright in Ohio are equally unhappy with the firm’s links to Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud.
Three current and former employees told the Times they were concerned when they found out in the summer it would be representing the Trump campaign in Pennsylvania.
One lawyer said he quit when he found out while another said he was worried Trump would seek the firm’s help in trying to delay the election.
Lawyers voiced their concerns at two separate meetings but partners sought to reassure them by saying their work was limited to Pennsylvania – despite being a crucial swing state.
Two lawyers at Jones Day told the Times they had been blasted on social media for working at the firm in recent days while demonstrators calling for every vote to be counted painted a huge mural reading ‘Jones Day, Hands Off Our Ballots’ outside the San Francisco office (above)
Several attorneys at Jones Day and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur have revealed they are unhappy with their employers’ association with the president and with the efforts to discredit the election process, according to the New York Times
The two firms have profited significantly from their work with Trump.
Porter Wright has received at least $727,000 in fees from the Trump campaign and RNC and Jones Day has raked in more than $20 million since 2015, according to federal records.
On Monday, the Trump campaign filed another lawsuit in Pennsylvania court against the secretary of state and seven counties making its case to throw out more than 600,000 votes
The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Pennsylvania, claims there was an illegal ‘two-tiered’ voting system where voters were held to different standards depending on whether they voted in person or by mail.
According to the lawsuit, ‘Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties alone received and processed 682,479 mail-in and absentee ballots without review by the political parties and candidates.’
But the suit seems to confirm there were in fact observers present.
It states that ‘Allegheny and Pennsylvania counties conducted the canvassing and tabulation in convention center rooms and placed observers far away from the action.’
It charges that Democratic-run counties engaged in pre-canvassing activities ‘by reviewing received mail-in ballots for deficiencies, such as lacking the inner secrecy envelope or lacking a signature of the elector on the outer declaration envelope.’
Under state law litigated before the election, mail-in votes had to be placed inside a special security sleeve and then placed inside a second envelope to be counted.
Election officials are sometimes allowed to help voters ‘cure’ their ballots by contacting them to avoid their vote being trashed.
STATE-BY-STATE: WHERE TRUMP IS SUING AND HOW IT’S GOING
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 45,646
On Monday the Trump campaign filed their big shot at overturning all mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, claiming that Democratic and Republican counties did not administer them in the same way; instances of fraud; and that poll watchers could not see them being counted.
The case faces an uphill struggle. The Supreme Court has already allowed mail-in ballots to be issued in Pennsylvania, and the claim of poll watchers not seeing them being counted had failed before when a Trump lawyer last Friday agreed that a ‘non-zero number’ of Republicans had observed the count in Philadelphia.
The new suit provided no actual evidence of fraud.
Trump’s campaign last Wednesday filed a motion to intervene in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a decision from the state’s highest court that allowed election officials to count mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday’s Election Day that were delivered through Friday.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday night ordered county election boards in the state to separate mail-in ballots received after 8 p.m. EST on Election Day.
Pennsylvania election officials have said those ballots were already being separated.
The justices previously ruled there was not enough time to decide the merits of the case before Election Day but indicated they might revisit it afterwards.
Alito, joined by fellow conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, said in a written opinion that there was a ‘strong likelihood’ the Pennsylvania court’s decision violated the U.S. Constitution.
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar has said late-arriving ballots are a tiny proportion of the overall vote in the state.
Rudy Giuliani unveiled a ‘witness’ to his claims – a Republican poll watcher – on Saturday but the man, Daryl Brooks, has not been included in any legal papers. He was previously convicted of exposing himself to underage girls.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 16,985
Trump’s campaign said on Saturday it had sued in Arizona, alleging that the state’s most populous county incorrectly rejected votes cast on Election Day by some voters.
The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Maricopa County, said poll workers told some voters to press a button after a machine had detected an ‘overvote.’
The campaign said that decision disregarded voters’ choices in those races, and the lawsuit suggested those votes could prove ‘determinative’ in the outcome of the presidential race.
It is a modification of an earlier suit which was submitted and then withdrawn claiming that Trump voters were given sharpies to mark their ballots and claiming this made them more prone to error. The ‘sharpie-gate’ claims have n basis in fact, Arizona’s secretary of state says.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 36,186
A voter, a member of the media and two candidate campaigns sued Nevada’s secretary of state and other officials to prevent the use of a signature-verification system in populous Clark County and to provide public access to vote counting.
A federal judge rejected the request on Friday, saying there was no evidence the county was doing anything unlawful.
No new suits have been lodged so far.
Trump campaign officials have also claimed evidence that non-residents have voted but have not sued.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 10.620
The Trump campaign on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in state court in Chatham County that alleged late-arriving ballots were improperly mingled with valid ballots, and asked a judge to order late-arriving ballots be separated and not be counted.
The case was dismissed on Thursday. No new suits have been filed. The state is going to a recount.
The two Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, called for the GOP Secretary of State to quit claiming there were election irregularities Monday. They offered no evidence and he scoffed: ‘That’s not going to happen.’
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 146,123
Trump’s campaign on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Michigan to halt the vote count in the state. The lawsuit alleged that campaign poll watchers were denied ‘meaningful access’ to counting of ballots, plus access to surveillance video footage of ballot drop boxes.
On Thursday, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens dismissed the case, saying there was no legal basis or evidence to halt the vote and grant requests.
No new suit has been filed.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
The U.S. Postal Service said about 1,700 ballots had been identified in Pennsylvania at processing facilities during two sweeps on Thursday and were being delivered to election officials, according to a court filing early Friday.
The Postal Service said 1,076 ballots, had been found at its Philadelphia Processing and Distribution Center. About 300 were found at the Pittsburgh processing center, 266 at a Lehigh Valley facility and others at other Pennsylvania processing centers.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington is overseeing a lawsuit by Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates.
Sullivan on Thursday ordered twice-daily sweeps at Postal Service facilities serving states with extended ballot receipt deadlines.
The judge plans to hold a status conference on Monday.