A year before President Donald Trump alarmed Americans with talk of disputing elections last week, his team started building a massive legal network to do just that.
Dozens of lawyers from three major law firms have been hired. Thousands of volunteer attorneys and poll watchers across the country have been recruited. Republicans are preparing pre-written legal pleadings that can be hurried to the courthouse the day after the election, as wrangling begins over close results and a crush of mail-in ballots. Attorneys from non-battleground states, including California, New York and Illinois, are being dispatched to more competitive areas and trained on local election laws.
A 20-person team of lawyers oversees the strategy, which is mainly focused on the election process in the 17 key states the Trump campaign is targeting, like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.
In total, it means the Republican Party will have thousands of people on hand to shape every element of voting — both on Election Day and in the days after.
It’s a massive undertaking — one the RNC calls its largest election-year legal effort ever. And it’s one that could determine the winner of the pandemic-beset 2020 election. Both political parties are bracing for the Nov. 3 election to spill over into the days and perhaps weeks after Election Day, given the drawn out process of counting what’s expected to be a historic number of mail-in votes. Since Republicans and Democrats vehemently disagree over how — and when — those ballots should be counted, the court system might be the ultimate arbiter. [Continue reading…]