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Georgia Judge Throws Out Trump Campaign Lawsuit That Produced Exactly Zero Evidence of Fraud


President Donald Trump gestures during a campaign rally on October 18, 2020 in Carson City, Nevada.

The day after filing a petition, the Trump campaign lost an election lawsuit in Georgia on Thursday after two witnesses called by Republicans admitted under oath that they did not know whether the challenged ballots were received on time. Two witnesses for Chatham County’s board of elections affirmed that the ballots were on time.

“They have been flatly incapable of proffering competent evidence to prove that point,” Jeff Harris, from the Democratic Party of Georgia, said in closing arguments.

“Courts don’t resolve disputes about whether something may or may not be happening,” Harris added.

Late on Wednesday, the Georgia Republican Party joined forces with the Trump campaign in a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Chatham County in Georgia. The Trump campaign asked that absentee ballots received after 7 p.m. on Election Day not be counted.

“Failing to ensure that absentee ballots received after the deadline are stored in a manner to ensure that such ballots are not inadvertently or intentionally counted, as required under Georgia law, harms the interests of the Trump Campaign and President Trump because it could lead to the dilution of legal votes cast in support of President Trump,” the complaint claimed.

The complaint also contained a sworn declaration by a poll watcher named Sean Pumphrey with a vague account about a stack of 53 ballots. He did not allege, and provided no evidence of, any impropriety.

Sabrina German, the director of Chatham County’s voter registration office, testified that this batch of ballots was received on time. None of them were double votes, she added.

Judge James Bass quickly dispatched the GOP petition in a one-sentence ruling without reciting his reasoning. A written order issued later was clear on the point that there was “no evidence” to support the plaintiffs’ claims:

Before the Court is a Petition to Command Enforcement of Election Laws which was filed by the Georgia Republican Party and Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. The matter was heard via Webex on November 5, 2020. Having read and considered said petition, all argument and evidence of record, including the evidence presented at the hearing, and the applicable law, the Court finds that there is no evidence that the ballots referenced in the petition were received after 7:00 p.m. on election day, thereby making those ballots invalid. Additionally, there is no evidence that the Chatham County Board of Elections or the Chatham County Board of Registrars has failed to comply with the law.

[image via Stephen Lam/Getty Images]

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."