As Trump lawsuit is dismissed, James refuses to concede

Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 4:27pm

Republican Senate candidate John James called for an investigation into election results Thursday afternoon.

Republican Senate candidate John James called for an investigation into election results Thursday afternoon. Buy this photo
Michael Bagazinski/Daily

Republican Senate candidate John James called for an investigation into election results, refusing to concede, Thursday afternoon. This comes as the Michigan Court of Claims ruled that a lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign is “unlikely to succeed on the merits” and denied requests for immediate relief to stop counting ballots. 

Despite Democratic opponent Gary Peters being projected to win Michigan’s seat, James will not concede. As of Thursday morning, 48.3% of Michigan’s votes were for James, while 49.9% of the voters chose Peters, according to The New York Times.

“When this process is complete, I will of course accept the results and the will of the people, but at this time there is enough credible evidence to warrant an investigation to ensure that elections were conducted in a transparent, legal and fair manner,” James wrote in a press release Thursday afternoon. “Those who object likely have something to hide.” 

While the Trump campaign has asked the state to halt counting ballots, James is calling otherwise.

“The campaign is not about me, it never has been. It’s about the People of Michigan. Every vote must count, and elections must be fair and honest,” James wrote.

During a hearing Thursday morning, Judge Cynthia Stephens said the Trump campaign’s request to stop counting ballots will be denied in a written order, which will likely be released tomorrow. The bases for denial, according to Judge Stephens, lie in several factors, one being that the lawsuit should not be filed against the Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

“The record before me, at best, is an assertion that the secretary of state has direct authority over the individual precincts and polling places, the counting process, the transport of all AV ballots, the observation process during the counting of those ballots, and that’s an illegal assertion,” Stephens said.

Ryan Jarvi, Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel’s press secretary, released a statement in support of Judge Stephens’ ruling, saying that the lawsuit was filed without basis.

We are pleased with Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens' swift action in today’s hearing on Trump v Benson to deny the relief requested by plaintiffs,” Jarvi wrote. “She identified the same defects campaign's filings as we did, namely a complete lack of any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of election officials, and meritless legal arguments. Michigan’s elections have been fair, transparent and reflect the will of the voters, and we will continue to defend against any challenges that claim otherwise.”

Following the ruling, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes said the lawsuit takes away from the actual outcome of the election.

“We are pleased to see that the Michigan Court of Claims has denied the Trump campaign's challenge to the AV ballot counting process,” Barnes wrote. “This was simply a political stunt meant to distract from the legitimate outcome of the election. Michiganders sent a clear message to this president and no lawsuit or tweet can change the results.”

Daily Staff Reporter Kristina Zheng can be reached at krizheng@umich.edu.


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