After weeks in which President-elect Donald Trump made the baseless claim that “millions” of illegal voters lost him the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, Trump’s own lawyers in Pennsylvania and Michigan claimed there was no evidence of voter fraud, in filings objecting to recount efforts from Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.
As the Washington Post’s Philip Bump noted Monday, court filings from lawyers representing Trump have flown in the face of his own unproven proclamations that “millions” of illegal voters cost him the popular vote on Election Day.
“On what basis does Stein seek to disenfranchise Michigan citizens? None really, save for speculation,” lawyers for Trump noted in a court filing in Michigan. “All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake.”
Trump–with help from Vice president-elect Mike Pence, Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, and many others–has claimed without evidence that millions of people voted illegally on Election Day. In an interview on Thursday, Trump supporter Scottie Nell Hughes pointed to Trump’s voter fraud allegation as proof that, “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore, as facts.”
The Trump campaign’s Michigan filing, on the other hand, cited Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and a Poitico article, in which an unnamed senior administration official said, “The federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on election day.”
In Pennsylvania, lawyers for Trump similarly claimed there was no basis for Stein’s recount efforts. “There is no evidence—or even an allegation—that any tampering with Pennsylvania’s voting systems actually occurred,” their court filing read.
And while Trump himself tweeted that millions of people voted illegally just days after a similar claim was made—again without any evidence—on Alex Jones’ conspiracy website InfoWars, Trump’s own lawyers in Pennsylvania seemed to have a higher standard for making such claims.
“As noted, proponents of an election contest must plead specific, actual instances of fraud,” their filing read. “Petitioners, however, believe they have no obligation to allege any actual fraud, the identity of the fraudster, or the impact of the fraud. Rather, they invoke Stein’s apparent beliefs that election results are unreliable, foreign nations are diabolical, and election officials are corrupt or incompetent, until proven otherwise. That view is evident in the expert affidavit, which treats the absense of evidence of tampering as evidence of tampering, because ‘a skilled attacker would leave no outwardly visible evidence of an attack.’”
“That approach defies both common sense and experience,” the filing continued.