Even in response to a federal judge, the Trump campaign was unable to provide evidence of voter fraud in its crusade against drop boxes in Pennsylvania.
Last week, a Trump-appointed federal judge ordered the campaign to show examples to back up their argument that drop boxes, where voters can deposit their ballots, will open the door to widespread voter fraud.
In their response, campaign lawyers declined to do so.
“Neither the original Complaint nor the Amended Complaint contains an allegation that ‘ballot harvesting,’ ‘manipulating and destroying ballots,’ double voting, and/or voter fraud from mail-in and absentee ballots actually occurred during the Primary Election,” the lawyers wrote.
“The claims asserted by the plaintiffs do not hinge on evidence of voter fraud actually occurring,” they added. The campaign argued that though it has no proof that fraud of this type has happened, it could — and that’s grounds enough for barring the boxes.
The campaign then loaded the 524-page document with articles about a handful of cases of voter fraud unrelated to mail-in voting or drop boxes.
U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan asked the Trump campaign to respond last week after the Sierra Club and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, two intervenor-defendants in the case, argued that the campaign “should not be permitted to raise such spectacular fraud-related claims, particularly in this national climate, and refuse to provide discoverable information to substantiate those claims.”
In his order, Ranjan said that “If there are no responsive documents, Plaintiffs must state as such.”
The embarrassment is par for the course for the Trump campaign, which, led by President Donald Trump, frequently attacks mail-in voting as rife with widespread fraud. Experts of all stripes deny that assertion, and Trump himself often votes absentee.
He has openly admitted that he refused to negotiate on a COVID-19 relief package because it would fund the U.S. Postal Service and help the agency process mailed ballots this fall.
The Trump administration and campaign’s crusade against mail-in voting became a theme of the Democratic National Convention, where many power-brokers in the party urged voters to disregard his fear mongering and get their ballots in as early as possible.
“Right now, folks who know they cannot win fair and square at the ballot box are doing everything they can to stop us from voting,” said former first lady Michelle Obama during her keynote speech. “We’ve got to request our mail-in ballots right now, tonight, and send them back immediately and follow up to make sure they’re received. And then make sure our friends and families do the same.”
Read the Trump campaign’s response here: