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Trump attorneys seek to take lawsuit directly to Wisconsin’s highest court

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 10:53 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Supreme Court is expected to announce whether it will be the first to hear President Trump’s lawsuit challenging election results.

Tuesday, The Trump campaign filed a petition of original action to the court, requesting the case bypass the lower courts. The legal challenge seeks to withdraw Governor Tony Evers’s certification of votes and disqualify more than 221,000 ballots. Hours later, the governor also responded to the court.

“It just takes too much time. There’s not enough time,” Jim Troupis, the lead counsel for the Trump campaign, told NBC15 on Wednesday.

The former Dane Co. judge also led Wisconsin’s partial recount efforts. Scott McDonell, the Dane Co. clerk, has said as a result of the recount, “There was absolutely no evidence of voter fraud in this election.”

Troupis explained that a recount is required before a lawsuit. “We have found names, exact numbers, by ward, in Milwaukee and in Madison of votes that we believe were illegally cast,” he said.

The purpose of the lawsuit, Troupis described, is not only to potentially change the outcome of Wisconsin’s election but also to “demonstrate to the rest of the country the kinds of fraudulent activities, the kinds of illegal activities that went on.”

Gov. Evers has said the lawsuit is “without merit,” as his legal team wrote to the court, the petition “is a shocking and outrageous assault on our democracy.”

Jeff Mandell, who’s the special outside counsel for the governor, said, “All that the litigation is about is the president’s desire to overturn the role of the voters, so there’s nothing to do but to play defense and to protect fundamental principle of democracy, which is majority rule.”

He also took aim at the petitioners’ request to change the hearing procedure. “In this instance it’s entirely inappropriate,” he said, adding lower courts are meant to present the facts and the state supreme court should determine whether the right laws were applied.

If the state’s highest court decides not to take the case now, Troupis said he would immediately file in the circuit court.

Meanwhile, the electoral process is set to move forward with the Electoral College meeting on Dec. 14. Congress is to count the votes on Jan. 6.

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