Elected President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that nothing would stop the transfer of power in the US government, while President Donald Trump continued trials in several states in a long-term attempt to hold on to power.
Trump’s campaign said it would bring a lawsuit to stop Michigan from officially certifying Biden as the winner there until the state could verify that votes were cast legally, the latest in a flood of court battles to try to back up Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of widespread fraud.
Legal experts have said that Trump’s disputes have little chance of changing the outcome, and government officials have said there were no significant irregularities in the November 3 election.
Meanwhile, Trump supporters faced a possible setback in Pennsylvania. A witness who had raised allegations of manipulation of votes withdrew his allegations, according to Democrats in Congress who received information about the investigation.
BREAKING NEWS: Erie, Pa. # USPS-whistleblower HAS FULLY RECOMMENDED his allegations that a supervisor manipulated submission votes after being questioned by investigators, according to IG.
Monitoring Committee (@OversightDems) November 10, 2020
Trump’s allegations of fraud did not seem to be gaining traction among the public. Nearly 80% of Americans, including more than half of Republicans, recognize Biden as the winner, according to a Reuters / Ipsos survey.
The best Republicans in Congress, including Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, said Trump had the right to challenge Biden’s victory, and others reiterated the president’s unfounded allegations of widespread fraud. Privately, some aides said Trump would soon need to produce credible evidence to retain his support.
Biden secured more than the 270 votes in the Electoral College needed to take the presidency by winning Pennsylvania on Saturday after four tense days of counting, which was delayed by a sharp increase in turnout votes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden said in a speech in Delaware that his team continued to form a new administration to take over on the inauguration day on January 20, 2021, no matter what.
“We will go, continue in a consistent manner, put together our administration, the White House, and review who we will choose for the cabinet positions, and nothing will stop it,” he said on Tuesday. Biden said it was an “embarrassment” that Trump did not agree to the election.
With questions from the media for the first time since his victory, Biden was asked what he would say if Trump watched. He said, “Mr. Mr President, I look forward to speaking with you. ”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo predicted a “second Trump administration”, in comments contrary to congratulatory phone calls from the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Ireland to Biden.
Trump installed loyalists in top positions in the Pentagon, a day after he fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, which could potentially make it easier to use US troops to respond to domestic protests.
The Biden transition team has not been able to move into federal government offices or use funds to hire staff because a Trump nominee who heads the federal office responsible for recognizing election results has not yet done so.
“The entire Republican Party has been placed in a position with a few notable exceptions to be mildly intimidated by the incumbent president,” said Biden, who laughed when asked about Pompeo’s remarks.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a Conservative whose windy style is often compared to Trump’s, said he spoke to Biden on Tuesday by telephone about working together on priorities such as climate change, promoting democracy and recovering from the pandemic.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan also congratulated Biden, a former vice president who is now about to take over the White House after nearly five decades in politics.
Judges have thrown out trials in Michigan and Georgia brought by the Trump campaign.
The Trump campaign and Republicans have mostly sued allegations of procedural problems with the counting of votes and have not presented evidence of fraud in their lawsuits.
Bob Bauer, a senior adviser to Biden, on Tuesday dismissed the dispute as “theater, not really trials.” He said stories across the country since 2000 had resulted in an average of 430 votes exchanged, not at all enough to change the outcome in the states where Biden won this year.
The law firm Jones Day, which has served as an external adviser to the Trump campaign, said it no longer works with the campaign or others who dispute the election results.
The campaign sued a federal court on Monday to block officials in Pennsylvania, one of the hardest-fought states in a deeply divided nation, from certifying results there.
Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania called for a review of the election results. “We have just received many accusations,” State Representative Dawn Keefer told reporters.
Some of these allegations are based on a whistleblower report from a US postal official who claimed that illegal back-dated stamps may have been added to some late submission votes.
However, Democrats in the House Monitoring Committee said the worker had withdrawn his allegations, according to the postal service’s internal watchdog. That office declined to comment.
Democrats voted more by post than Republicans did in large parts of the country after Trump repeatedly and without proof called postal voting unreliable.
Attorney General William Barr, a Trump nominee who heads the Justice Department, told federal prosecutors on Monday to continue “substantial” allegations of election irregularities, in a break from previous policies.
Barr told prosecutors they should not pursue “imaginative or far-fetched claims.”
The Ministry of Justice’s highest election representative, Richard Pilger, resigned in protest.