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Judge rejects Trump bid to toss Ga. election results

Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 2:52 PM EST
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ATLANTA (AP) — A federal judge has rejected President Donald Trump’s latest bid to overturn his election loss in Georgia during a hearing that the president’s lawyer blocked members of the public from listening to remotely amid the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. District Judge Mark H. Cohen on Tuesday denied from the bench a motion seeking to de-certify Georgia’s election.

But only those present in the courtroom were able to watch the hearing held via videoconference because the judge’s staff said that Trump’s lawyer did not consent to providing remote access to the public.

Another effort by Trump and his allies is taking place in Washington.

But Republican lawmakers who are orchestrating an unprecedented attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s election win over Trump have not settled on a full strategy ahead of Wednesday’s joint session of Congress to confirm the Electoral College vote.

With mounting desperation, Trump declared at a campaign rally in Georgia on Monday that he would “fight like hell” to hold on to the presidency and he appealed to Republican lawmakers to reverse his election loss.

But those Republicans leading the longshot effort in Congress are still deciding the details of their strategy. A late-night meeting convened by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, reached few conclusions, according to two Republicans familiar with the situation and granted anonymity to discuss it. Cruz will object to electoral results from Arizona, another Republican said. That’s likely to be the first objection considered, in a state Biden won.

Trump’s attempt to enlist his allies to overturn Biden’s 306-232 election win is unlike anything ever attempted in modern times, and it is all but certain to fail. Biden is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20.

Still, the days ahead will be defining for his presidency. Trump is whipping up crowds and people are gathering in Washington, where security is on alert. Lawmakers are being told to arrive early at the Capitol and some are considering sleeping overnight in their offices to ensure they can safely access the building.

Still, the days ahead will be defining for his presidency. Trump is whipping up crowds and people are gathering in Washington, where security is on alert. Lawmakers are being told to arrive early at the Capitol and some are considering sleeping overnight in their offices to ensure they can safely access the building.

Trump, at the evening rally in Georgia for two GOP senators in runoff elections vowed the electors voting for Biden are “not gonna take this White House!”

Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud have been roundly rejected by Republican and Democratic election officials in state after state and judges, including justices on the Supreme Court. Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, also has said there is no evidence of fraud that could change the election outcome.

Vice President Mike Pence will be closely watched as he presides over the session. He is under growing pressure from Trump and others to tip the results in Trump’s favor. But Pence has a ceremonial role that does not give him the power to affect the outcome.

“I promise you this: On Wednesday, we’ll have our day in Congress,” Pence said while himself campaigning in Georgia ahead of Tuesday’s runoff elections that will determine control of the Senate.

Trump said in Georgia: “I hope that our great vice president comes through for us. He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.” He added, “No, Mike is a great guy.”

One of the Georgia Republicans in Tuesday’s runoff — Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who faces Democrat Raphael Warnock — told the crowd she will join senators formally objecting to Biden’s win. The other Republican seeking reelection, David Perdue, who is running against Democrat Jon Ossoff, will not be eligible to vote.

Copyright 2021 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.