Trump team withdraws baseless vote fraud lawsuits in Georgia

Trump team withdraws baseless vote fraud lawsuits in Georgia
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Trump’s legal team withdrew four lawsuits challenging the election results in Georgia yesterday. Then, it lied about why it was withdrawing the lawsuits, claiming Georgia had agreed to settle the case, when it has done no such thing. In reality, Trump’s legal team had no choice but to dismiss its lawsuits or face sanctions for filing frivolous lawsuits under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. If Trump’s team had evidence of widespread fraud, it could have presented it at a trial scheduled for Jan. 8 in Cobb County Superior Court. But it didn’t have any such evidence, so it dismissed its lawsuits.

As conservative blogger Ed Morrissey notes, the dismissals make clear that Trump’s claims about massive election fraud were false: “The obvious conclusion here is that [Rudy] Giuliani was lying about the blockbuster new evidence of massive election fraud at the rally yesterday. If they had such evidence, they would have submitted it in court just to vindicate their public claims.”

As Morrissey notes:

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Team Trump abruptly withdrew the four outstanding lawsuits relating to the 2020 general election in Georgia, claiming in a press release that the state settled the case by agreeing to review Team Trump’s evidence. Nonsense, Georgia attorney general Christopher Carr responded — the state made no such deal, and Trump’s team withdrew rather than submit [its] evidence in a court of law.

That’s because Trump’s team didn’t have the needed evidence. And as Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger noted, a trial would have started today, meaning Trump’s team would have had to present any evidence of widespread vote fraud if it existed:

Raffensperger said there was a trial scheduled for Friday in front of Cobb County Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs.

“Rather than presenting their evidence and witnesses to a court and to cross-examination under oath, the Trump campaign wisely decided the smartest course was to dismiss their frivolous cases,” said Raffensperger.

“Spreading disinformation about elections is dangerous and wrong,” said Secretary Raffensperger. “It was wrong when Stacey Abrams and her allies made false claims about Georgia’s election processes following the 2018 election and run-up to the 2020 election, and it’s wrong when the President and his allies are doing it now.”

Trump’s legal team also lied to the court. It filed a “Notice of Voluntary Dismissal” in Trump v. Kemp, claiming it was dismissing the lawsuits due to an “out of court settlement.”

But the state attorney general noted to the court that there has been no such “out of court settlement.” If there were, Trump’s legal team would certainly have filed it in response to the state attorney general pointing out that it does not exist. But his legal team has not done so, because the “out of court settlement” does not exist. Such lying is a breach of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.

Trump has apparently known for a while that he actually lost the election. But he continued to make wild claims of massive vote fraud anyway. It must have been hard for Trump’s ego to accept that he lost.

Trump’s vote fraud claims cost Republicans control of the Senate, by making them lose two senate seats in Georgia. His fraud claims reduced turnout in Georgia, by making voting look futile to some Trump supporters. His vote fraud claims also caused some centrists to vote for the Democrats in the runoff election, as those centrists became angry about Trump’s wild and unproven vote fraud claims. Thus, Trump’s claims made Republicans lose the Georgia Senate election on January 5.

As a lawyer noted:

Trump caused conservative turnout to fall in the Georgia senate races, by peddling wild conspiracy theories, and making exaggerated claims of vote fraud without any concrete evidence. As an LU blogger pointed out earlier, Trump “suppressed conservative turnout by making it seem like voting was futile.”

Ryan Saavedra is a staunchly conservative columnist for the Daily Wire. What he found is that Trump’s rhetoric robbed Republicans of victory in Georgia. As he explained on Twitter:

“Have spoken to people who were knocking on doors in Georgia trying to get out the vote for Perdue and Loeffler and they said that the one thing they heard consistently from Republican voters was that they were not going to vote because the system was rigged.”….

“And they believed that because of what *Trump* was saying.”….

Trump wildly exaggerated the fraud way beyond what was needed to challenge the election outcome, to the extreme level of making voting itself seem pointless.

Around 60 court rulings have rejected challenges to the 2020 presidential election results. That includes at least a dozen rulings by judges appointed by Donald Trump himself.

Some lawyers have dropped out of court challenges to the election results, realizing that they are baseless. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “A lawyer who represented President Donald Trump’s campaign in challenges to Philadelphia’s election sought to withdraw his representation Thursday, saying the president had used his services ‘to perpetrate a crime.’”

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department. Hans writes for and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Contact him at


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