Stein Using Recount to ‘Line Her Pockets,’ Trump Lawyer SaysBy
Attorney says Green Party candidate scared voters to donate
Her lawsuit argues voting machines are hackable, cites Russia
Former Green Party candidate Jill Stein is using her Pennsylvania recount effort to “line her pockets” with cash from fearful supporters, President-elect Donald Trump’s lawyer said in a court filing.
Stein, who garnered 1 percent of the state’s votes, is raising funds from people she “scared into believing that Pennsylvania’s electoral process was hijacked by nameless foreign entities,” attorney Lawrence Tabas said in a filing Thursday in federal court in Philadelphia. “It would be bad enough if she were wasting only her own time and resources as part of her electoral farce.”
Lawyers for Stein, who sued Dec. 5 for a recount of Pennsylvania’s 6 million ballots, will face off in court on Friday against attorneys for Trump, his running mate Mike Pence, and the state’s Republican party and Electoral College electors. They claim Stein’s lawsuit threatens to disenfranchise the state’s voters and delay Trump’s inauguration, despite not having any evidence of fraud on Election Day.
“Stein cannot change the outcome of the presidential election,” Tabas said in the filing. “She apparently has no qualms, however, with creating chaos in her attempts to do so.”
While Stein is the plaintiff in the case, she’ll start Friday’s hearing on the defensive. In Michigan on Wednesday, a federal judge halted her recount on the grounds that there was no way she could win the election, and therefore didn’t have standing to petition for a review. In Wisconsin, the recount Stein sought is only increasing Trump’s lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Stein compared Pennsylvania’s voting machines to electoral “black sites” with software that can’t be examined by voters or candidates. She’s said the ballot review isn’t an attempt to change the outcome of the election process but instead to ensure its integrity.
A lawyer for Stein said she’s trying ”to get to the truth of who Pennsylvanians voted for in this election” and Trump is attempting to stop her.
“The Stein campaign is calling for a forensic examination that could be completed well before December 13,” the attorney, Ilann Maazel, said in a statement. “Why doesn’t Trump join the effort, instead of delaying at every turn? There is still plenty of time for Pennsylvanians to learn whether this election was conducted with integrity, and whether each vote in Pennsylvania was counted.”
In her recount request, Stein cited the vulnerability of electronic-voting machines to manipulation and reports that senior Russian officials approved hacking of the Democratic National Committee and a top Clinton aide. Trump repeatedly called the election “rigged” before his victory and has blamed Clinton’s popular vote success on millions of illegal votes, without providing evidence.
It should come as “no surprise that a federal court in Michigan just yesterday rejected Stein’s claims there, finding no constitutional right to a speculation-fueled recount,” Tabas said.
The recount efforts come as Clinton leads the popular vote by more than 2 million ballots. There is no indication that the reviews -- if they are completed -- would affect Trump’s comfortable margin of victory in the Electoral College.
Trump won 306 electoral votes on Nov. 8 to Clinton’s 232. The non-partisan Cook Political Report showed Trump won Pennsylvania by about 46,765 votes, Wisconsin by about 22,177, and Michigan by about 10,704, according to vote totals updated Dec. 3. The states represent 46 electoral votes in total.
The case is Stein v. Cortes, 16-cv-06287, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).
— With assistance by Joel Rosenblatt, and Kartikay Mehrotra