President-elect Donald Trump and Michigan state Attorney General Bill Schuette have filed suit to stop a recount requested by former Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.
Schuette filed an emergency motion with the state supreme court — the court of final appeal in Michigan — while Trump lodged a complaint with the Michigan Bureau of Elections.
Schuette, a Republican, called Stein’s request “frivolous.”
Like Trump, Schuette argues that Stein is not an “aggrieved” candidate, and therefore does not have standing to request a recount.
Stein won approximately 50,000 votes in the state, and cannot realistically hope to prevail via recount. The state also argues there isn’t time to conduct a recount, as the electoral college will formally cast its ballots for president and vice president on Dec. 13. (RELATED: Trump Wins Michigan In Closest Race State Has Ever Seen)
Democrats and lawyers representing Stein called the lawsuit an unprecedented intervention by a partisan attorney general.
Trump made essentially the same argument to the Board of State Canvassers, the body that oversees recounts in Michigan. Trump lawyers pulled no punches in savaging Stein’s credibility.
“Stein, in fact, finished no higher than fourth in any state where she appeared on the ballot. Yet despite being just a blip on the electoral radar, Stein has now commandeered Michigan’s electoral process,” Trump lawyers wrote in their complaint.
“[The law] has never been understood to permit challenges by bottom-dwelling (and thus not aggrieved) candidates like Stein,” they added. The president-elect is represented by heavyweight recount lawyers Gary Gordon and John Pirich, as well as Donald McGahn, the incoming White House Counsel.
The board will consider Trump’s request today and has five days to render a verdict. Before Trump filed his objection, recounts were scheduled to begin in several counties on Friday, and in others over the weekend. If the canvassing board sides with Trump, no recounts will take place.
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