Federal judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit seeking to halt Georgia election certification

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump and his lawyers seeking a temporary restraining order to halt certification of Georgia's election.

"It is well established that garden-variety election disputes do not rise to the level of a constitutional deprivation," Judge Steven D. Grimberg ruled. "The fact that his candidate didn’t win doesn’t rise to the level of harm."

Judge Grimberg was appointed by the president in 2019.

Well-known Atlanta area attorney Lin Wood filed the 188-page suit against Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger to stop the certification scheduled to be completed by Friday.

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A poll monitor, who described herself as being active in the Republican Party, testified in court. She described how she saw one batch of votes that looked "pristine," "uniform," and "looked like it was put on a copying machine." She said among the 100 ballots, 97 were for President-elect Joe Biden and two were for President Trump.

Lawyers said she is the only witness to testify for the hearing, but Ray Smith, who said he has been retained for this case by President Trump, said the poll watcher's testimony and some 15 affidavits are enough evidence to temporarily halt Georgia's certification.

State attorney Russ Willard argued the argument to halt the certification is moot, they lack standing, and there is no violation of due process. He asserted all state laws were followed at all times during this election.

"The plaintiff attempts to change the rules at the end of the game to alter the score," Willard told the judge. "The plaintiff seeks the largest disenfranchisement of eligible [voters] since the abolition of the poll tax and the vestiges of Jim Crow in the state of Georgia."

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Kevin Hamilton, a lawyer for the Democratic Party of Georgia, argued the lawsuit sought to invalidate millions of lawful ballots "on the flimsiest of evidentiary records" and "no court has ever entered such sweeping relief."

Smith argued the rejection rate for signatures on mail-in ballots dropped dramatically even with the huge increase of mail-in ballots. The state attorney countered that Smith was using the wrong numbers and the mismatched signature rejection rate was the same as 2018.

According to the Secretary of State's Office, the number of rejected signatures did increase by approximately 350% from the 2018 election, but the reject rate remained at about 0.15%. A little more than 2,000 absentee ballots were rejected in this election out of the 1,322,529 mail-in ballots cast. In 2018, 454 absentee ballots were rejected out of the 284,393 mail-in ballots received.

RELATED: Floyd County terminates election director after state audit uncovers uncounted votes

Two previous lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign in Georgia were both dismissed, but during a press conference on Thursday, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said another lawsuit will be filed on Friday citing specific evidence uncovered in Atlanta.

Court watchers said this case makes 32 lawsuits filed as part of the president's post-election litigation to have been dismissed.  


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