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GOP election lawyer says ‘there’s not evidence’ to support Trump’s legal claims

President Trump refuses to concede his electoral defeat, and his campaign is launching an all-out legal campaign to challenge the results. So far, efforts have gained little traction in the courts. Benjamin Ginsberg, a Republican election lawyer whose career spans decades and includes work on the landmark Bush v. Gore dispute after the 2000 election, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    So far, the fact that President Trump will not concede underscores his campaign's all-out legal effort to challenge the results.

    But those efforts have had little traction in the courts so far.

    We turn to Benjamin Ginsberg. His work as a Republican election lawyer spans decades, and includes work on the landmark Bush v. Gore dispute after the 2000 election.

    Ben Ginsberg, thank you so much for joining us.

    The president and the people around him are saying there was widespread fraud. They are saying this election was stolen. Is there evidence that you see to back that up?

  • Ben Ginsberg:

    There is not evidence so far to back that up.

    And it's worth remembering, Judy, that those were allegations that were made before this election, based on past elections, with absolutely no proof of that.

    And so the credibility of these statements now are being called into question by courts.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    I'm hearing some of the people around the president say, well, we gave Al Gore 37 days to contest the election result back in 2000; you can at least do the same for us.

    Is it an appropriate comparison?

  • Ben Ginsberg:

    Well, I think that a candidate taking his or her time to pursue recount and contest remedies, as allowed under state law, is appropriate.

    Remember, the Hillary Clinton campaign intervened in three Jill Stein very long shot recounts on December 26 of 2016, so that the president does have the ability to pursue those remedies.

    The difference here is that he is alleging fraudulent elections and rigged results that there is no evidence for.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So, we're seeing lawsuits in at least five states that I can think of, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, or, if not lawsuits, the beginning of some sort of legal challenge.

    Pennsylvania seems to be the main focus because of the number of electoral votes it could give the president if the results were overturned. Do you see anything that is the making of a legitimate complaint there?

  • Ben Ginsberg:

    The case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which has to do with the absentee ballot deadline being extended for three days by the state Supreme Court, rather than the legislature, is a real, legitimate issue.

    But there aren't enough votes involved in that to change the outcome of the election. And the question of a legislature's role, as opposed to a state Supreme Court's role, does not have to be answered for the 2020 election.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So, what about some of these other allegations? In Michigan, they're saying they were alleging backdating of ballots. In Georgia, they were talking about late-arriving ballots.

    Do any of these add up to something that could materially change the results?

  • Ben Ginsberg:

    Well, certainly not so far.

    I have been involved in trying to put together challenges to elections. And the truth is, you really need same-day, Election Day affidavits, attesting to individual ballots being mishandled or fraudulent or somehow improper.

    And trying to create a case after an election is very difficult. They are allowed some time to try and get that together. But, in reality, these cases tend to dissipate over time and not be successful.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So, what is your best thinking, estimation, at this point, Ben Ginsberg, about what could happen?

  • Ben Ginsberg:

    I think the margins to make up in too many states are too great.

    And, in fact, the processes that the individual states have in place require ballot-by-ballot, precinct-by-precinct, county-by-county findings of the illegal ballots and fraud. And, so far, in the evidence presented by the Trump campaign, there is not close to enough to over turn the results of the election.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Not for lack of trying.


    But, Ben Ginsberg, we thank you very much.

  • Ben Ginsberg:

    Thank you, Judy. Nice to be with you.

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