Biden Launches Presidential 'Transition Team', Trump Asks SCOTUS To Intervene

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Nov 05, 2020 - 04:22 AM

Update (1820ET): President Trump is still reportedly up by hundreds of thousands of votes in PA, but as more absentee ballots are opened his lead appears to be shrinking. With Biden winning some key calls in Michigan and Nevada (calls that, notably, don't reflect final vote tallies), his campaign has decided to launch its transition team website, adopting what one might call a "fake it 'till you make it" approach to the presidency. 

Biden's team has been planning for months for the possibility that the Trump administration won’t cooperate with his aides, and deliberately try to stonewall him, breaking years of tradition when it comes to presidential transfer of power.

"The crises facing the country are severe—from a pandemic to an economic recession, climate change to racial injustice—and the transition team will continue preparing at full speed so that the Biden-Harris Administration can hit the ground running on Day One,” a transition official said, echoing a statement on the transition team’s newly launched website.

As officials prepare to count votes for a third day, Fox News is calling Trump ahead in Georgia, while the NYT is saying that Biden may have squeaked ahead after appearing to take Michigan, Wisconsin (two of the three "blue wall" states) along with Nevada. Still, the final vote tallies aren't yet in, and as we saw with Arizona, early calls risk embarrassing reversals later on.

Sourcce: WaPo

Now that Trump has asked SCOTUS to intervene in PA, Axios has come forward with a deep dive into Trump's court push, saying the Supreme Court is unlikely to decide this election, even as Trump's team unloads with the lawsuits.

Text courtesy of Axios...

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The big picture: The Trump campaign has filed multiple lawsuits in the hours since the president declared that “we will be going to the Supreme Court."

But election-law experts say it's still a long shot that the justices will decide the next president.

What they're saying: Experts say they simply don’t see strong vehicles emerging for a Bush v. Gore sequel — with the important caveat that it’s too early to reach any firm conclusions while votes are still being counted.

Where it stands: In Pennsylvania, the biggest controversy is the state's decision to count mail-in ballots that were mailed by Nov. 3, but arrived later.

A challenge to that extension is already pending at the Supreme Court and in a legal filing Wednesday the Trump campaign sought to participate in that case. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien told reporters Wednesday afternoon that they are "declaring a victory in Pennsylvania" and "have a high degree of certainty the margin won't be close."

Between the lines: Four conservative Supreme Court justices have already expressed deep misgivings about extended ballot deadlines, and could take up a challenge to Pennsylvania’s extension at any time. But that’s only likely to happen, experts said, if those late-arriving votes are the tipping point in Pennsylvania — and if Pennsylvania is the tipping point nationwide.

While the overall number of mail-in ballots this year is huge, the number of late-arriving mail-in ballots is believed to be pretty small, and that’s where the controversy is. If Biden wins the state without those ballots, then a lawsuit over them wouldn’t change the outcome.

And depending on outcomes in Arizona and Nevada, Biden might not need Pennsylvania at all, making protracted litigation there even less meaningful.

In Wisconsin, the Trump campaign has already said it intends to seek a recount.

Wisconsin conducted a recount after the 2016 election; it ended up only changing 131 votes.

There could be more than that this time because mail ballots have more opportunities for error than in-person voting.

But finding enough irregularities to overcome a 20,000-vote deficit would be a hard road.

In Michigan, the campaign is suing for access to vote-counting operations, and to stop the counting until then. It has filed a similar suit in Pennsylvania.

Filing a lawsuit is no guarantee that it’ll win, that it’ll find anything scandalous if it gets that access, or that anything it does find would change the outcome in the state. The bottom line: As more votes are counted and potentially recounted, it's possible that a controversy over a razor-thin margin in a tipping-point state will be powerful enough to propel the election all the way to the Supreme Court. But that doesn't mean it's likely.

Source: Axios

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Update (1805ET):  It looks like investors worst fears about the election's results being subjected to a lengthy court battle may soon come to pass. The AP and NYT and others have just called Michigan and Nevada for Joe Biden. This comes on top of Wisconsin, which was called for Biden

Trump won both states four years ago, and his campaign has already filed lawsuits demanding a recount in one, and a halt to counting new votes in the other.

The Trump Campaign has asked the Supreme Court to intervene in the PA vote count to stop late arriving ballots from being counted. The SCOTUS has responded to the request by asking Democrats and their lawyers to deliver a response by 1700ET tomorrow.

PA Gov Tom Wolf has denounced Trump's lawsuit as "simply wrong" and insisted that the lengthy vote count was a positive sign.

Wolf added that PA will fight against all efforts to throw out any absentee votes.

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Update (1725ET): In one hilarious clips circulating on Twitter, a Trump supporter interruped a br=nreinf

And here we go.

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Update (1700ET):Nevada officials now say that more results will be released this afternoon out of increased interest in the state’s results, according to Las Vegas CBS affiliate 8 News, which means the state should have an updated count shortly, which could provide far more insight into the state of the race.

Arizona Secretary of the State has just confirmed that the state has 100,000s of uncounted ballots, but President Trump is chiming in once again to say that "we have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes.

The posts have already been hit with disclaimers from Twitter, as Trump declares Michigan and PA.

Tweets from conservative media platforms were also censord, despite the fact tht

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Update (1615ET): Ironically, given all the hysterics raised about the possibility of President Trump refusing to concede, Joe Biden has effectively done just that, saying "I'm not here to declare that I've won, but I'm here to report that after the count is finished, I believe we will be the winners. After a long night of counting, it appears that we've won enough votes to win the presidency."

While Biden insisted this wasn't a victory speech, one Bloomberg reporter couldn't help but point out that "this sure feels like a victory speech"

Michigan, meanwhile, has been called for Biden by Bloomberg, though it remains a "heavy tossup" according to others, including Real Clear Politics, who have yet to make their call.

Electoral College vote count update: Biden 264, Trump 214.

Finally, David Shafer is tweeting about some potential Democratic skulduggery in certain parts of Georgia, where GOP monitors were sent home, then Dems continued counting ballots.

Meanwhile, in PA, hundreds of Dems have surrounded the building where votes are being counted.

Could we soon be in store for another "Brooks Brothers" riot?

Though Twitter has mostly ignored complaints of Democratic malfeasance, it has affixed new labels to tweets from family members of the president others for violating its policies around elections misinformation.

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UPDATE (1600ET):The Trump Campaign has officially declared victory in Pennsylvania, widely seen as a must-win state for the campaign, while Wisconsin and Michigan are now facing lawsuits to stop the ballot counting.

"We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access," campaign manager Bill Stepien said in an emailed statement about the Michigan suit. Trump’s campaign has filed lawsuits in both Pennsylvania and Michigan, trying to contest the vote counts that have been trending towards Democrat Joe Biden.

In Arizona, more than 400k votes remain to be counted, a wide enough margin That president Trump believed could be large enough to hand him a victory.

So far, the state has seen Biden 2,680,665 49.8% (+1.2) Trump 2,616,170 48.6% Jorgensen 58,972, Hawkins 13,333 0.3% 5,380,071 votes counted. Estimated >95% in Via @DecisionDeskHQ. That means the spread in Michigan is >1%, probably means no recount.

As President Trump's campaign on Wednesday said, they're assembling an all-star legal team to file challenges to election irregularities in several battleground states, according to John Solomon, starting with a Court of Claims lawsuit in Michigan. Among the lawyers the president is activating include his private attorney Jay Sekulow, who will help campaign lawyers with matters before the Supreme Court as well as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, officials said. Sidney Powell, the lawyer for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, may also be called upon, officials said.

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Update (1445ET): ABC News has removed Arizona from the 'Biden' column on its interactive map, prompting many observers to proclaim that the state is 'back in play'.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg senior White House correspondent Jennifer Jacobs claims that Trump's biggest supporterd are "fired up", and they have a strategy to slog all the way back to victory.

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Update (1345ET): The State of Maine has officially been called for Sen. Susan Collins, who fended off a difficult challenge from Democrat Sara Gideon, a well-financed challenger who drew money from big-time Dem donors from all over the country. With Collins seat safe for GOP, the only major uncalled Senate race iis Thom Tillis.

The news comes as Biden prepares to make another statement after Wisconsin called the vote for him.

Over in Michigan, the Trump Campaign is filing a lawsuit to try and immediately halt the counting of ballots.

In other news, CNN has reportedly been told by the PA registrar of voters that more than 1 million ballots remain to be counted.

Notably, news about the lawsuit, and Biden's victory in Wisconsin

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Update (1330ET); Susan Collins of Maine has once again triumphed over Democratic challenger, as the moderate Republican, who has broken ranks with her party on several major issues since Trump took office.

Susan Collins says Sara Gideon called her to concede the race, Collins told reporters on Wednesday. Her victory is the latest win for the GOP, moving Congress closer to a tight margin between the Dems and GOP in the House.

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Update 1250ET: President Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien has issued a statement confirming they will demand a recount in Wisconsin:

"Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor thin race as we always knew that it would be. There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results. The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so."

On top of that, a county in the battleground state of Michigan is reviewing the Election Day vote count after the clerk “became aware of apparently skewed results.”

Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy learned of the skewed results in unofficial tabulations, the county said in a statement.

Since then, her office has been reviewing the results “and the multiple redundancies to search out any possible discrepancies.”

“By this afternoon, we expect to have a clear answer and a clear plan of action addressing any issue,” Guy said in a statement. “Until then, we are asking all interested parties to bear with us while we get to the bottom of this.”

State Rep. Triston Cole, a Republican, told a local radio station that the results were suspect.

“There is no way that we flipped from 62 percent Trump in 2016 to upside-down this time around,” he said.

Additionally, Mark Levin is enraged by what is occurring right in front of our eyes...

1. I thought about waiting until my radio show to state this, but it must be said now:

All night and this morning, the media are playing with the electoral map and their declarations of who won what states, and in virtually every case it assists the Biden campaign.

2. North Carolina, Georgia, Alaska should all be called now for President Trump.  There was no legitimate reason to call Arizona early for Biden with so much of the vote out.  There was no reason to sit on Florida and Ohio for hours when those outcomes were quite clear.

3. The purpose is to make it appear that the President is not close to the 270 electoral vote number to win the presidency and to make it appear that the President was never going to be re-elected.

4. And you can see all the delays through the night and beyond, waiting for mail-in votes -- Philadelphia, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Detroit, etc.  This is followed by commentators telling us that there's nothing unusual about all of this.  Delays in counting votes happens all the time

5. Really, we've experienced this before?  In all these states?  Nonsense.  Meanwhile, the Democrats have been litigating in states for months to change existing election laws to help Biden and the Democrats.

6. They set in place the mail-in voting chaos, some states literally a few months ago.

This will not end well, or peacefully, unless full transparency is granted.

Meanwhile, Fox News's decision desk is reportedly "leaning towards" calling Nevada for Biden, as more votes trickle in, which could be a disaster for Trump.

To be sure, tens of thousands of votes still haven't been counted ACROSS EUREEEE9EE.

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Update (1145ET): Wisconsin has officially been called for Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, Arizona, which Fox News called for Biden last night, might be back in play.

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Now that the 'Blue Wave' has been thwarted, and Democrats look to return in the next Congress with an even weaker hand in the House, (not to mention smaller-than-expected gains in the Senate), both team Biden and the Trump Campaign are claiming victory, as Americans wait for the final vote tallies from a handful of swing states that could once again decide the election.

Biden has reportedly managed to 'flip' Arizona, and while Wisconsin and Michigan are currently leaning Democratic, North Carolina, Georgia and PA (perhaps the most important state of them all) are still leaning red.

As both sides lawyer up, here's the current state of play in the US, along with a rundown of when Americans and the rest of the world can expect the final results, depending on a number of scenarios.


Pennsylvania was long expected to be under scrutiny in a close race, with both campaigns aggressively courting voters in the final days before the election.

Trump led Biden by about 657,000 votes as of 9 a.m., but there were at least 1.4 million uncounted mail-in and absentee ballots that will determine the outcome, according to the Department of State.

The department reported almost 1.1 million mail ballots were counted statewide, with 77% for Biden and 22% for Trump. By contrast, there were 3.9 million votes cast on Election Day, with 66% for Trump and 33% for Biden.

Pennsylvania has tallied 44% of mail-in ballots across the commonwealth, according to a department dashboard. The outstanding ballots are expected to favor Biden because Democrats dominated the requests. Of the 2.55 million ballots reported returned as of Tuesday, registered Democrats accounted for 65% and Republicans 24%, data show.

In Philadelphia, the commonwealth’s most populous county where 76% of registered voters are Democrats, 141,523 of an expected 350,000 to 400,000 mail-in ballots have been reported counted as the processing and counting continues. Allegheny County, the second most-populous, is reporting about half of its almost 350,000 mail-in ballots counted, according to the dashboard. Bottom Line: Philadelphia is expected to report additional mail-in votes on Wednesday morning. State officials say a final result should be ready “within days.”


Biden had a small lead in Wisconsin, which has 10 electoral votes, after several metropolitan areas submitted their absentee ballot counts early Wednesday morning, overturning the lead that Trump had maintained since the polls closed at 8 p.m. By late in the morning, the Biden campaign was calling it for Joe after state officials said all votes had been counted.

Although Biden was ahead by almost 21,000 votes as of 8:40 a.m. local time, no major network had yet called the state. With the two candidates within a percentage point of each other, the loser when the final precinct’s numbers are in has the right to request a recount. Meanwhile, the state’s election commission said that clerks will be randomly selecting 5% of reporting units for voting-equipment audits. The process for official certification of results doesn’t start until Nov. 10.

Bottom Line: Biden is penciling in a win, but the state is still in play as of late Wednesday morning.


Michigan -- a state Trump narrowly won in 2016 -- expects to complete most of its ballot counting by the end of the day, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told CNN Wednesday morning.

Ballots from Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Warren and Sterling Heights were still being recorded. The state likely won’t have final results until later in the day because Detroit is the largest precinct and had a record turnout this year, with a large swath of absentee ballots that take longer to count than in-person votes.

Benson, who has scheduled an update on the counting process later Wednesday morning, did say that other Michigan counties will be reporting in the coming hours, which could give election watchers an idea of where the state is headed. Biden started pulling ahead Wednesday morning as more absentee ballots were tabulated.

Benson said that 3.3 million absentee ballots have been received and are being tabulated and another 2 million to 2.5 million voted at the polls Tuesday.

“We’ll know much more in the hours to come and we’ll have a much more complete picture of Michigan later today,” she said.

Bottom Line: State election officials said Wednesday morning that an 'unofficial' result should be known by Wednesday evening.


All but one of Georgia’s counties had completely reported vote totals as of Wednesday morning. But in Fulton County, which includes most of the Democratic stronghold of Atlanta, only about 77% of the estimated vote has been counted.

Fulton, the largest county in Georgia, suffered a setback earlier Tuesday in counting mail-in ballots, after a water leak forced officials to stop tallying and tens of thousands of ballots were left uncounted.

Trump led Biden by about 102,000 votes on Wednesday morning, though the remaining ballots are likely to break heavily for Biden. As of late Wednesday morning, 200k votes were left to be counted.

Bottom Line: Georgia expects all votes to be counted by the end of the day.

North Carolina

North Carolina’s race was tight on Wednesday morning, with Trump leading by about 77,000 votes.

About 62% of the state’s voters cast ballots before Election Day. More registered Democrats voted early than Republicans, but one-third of the electorate is unaffiliated with either major party.

The state Board of Elections said that 100% of precincts have reported Election Day votes, but that the state still had to count about 25% of the total ballots cast, or roughly 1.9 million votes.

Democrats took some solace in Governor Roy Cooper winning re-election, but it’s not clear if that’s a signal Biden can flip the traditionally Republican state.

Bottom Line: The state has as long as nine days to count mail-in ballots sent before Election Day.


A final count in Nevada isn’t expected for several days as it awaits ballots mailed as late as Election Day to arrive, though it isn’t clear how many people waited that long to vote. With about 82% of votes counted, Biden was holding a lead of less than one percentage point.

“Clerks have until Nov. 10 to receive mail ballots and until Nov. 12 to count them,” said Jennifer Russell, a spokeswoman for Nevada’s secretary of state. Bottom Line: The state began posting partial results late Tuesday, with Biden holding a slim lead over Trump. That count, which included early and Election Day voting, will continue to trickle in on Tuesday.