The long-shot lawsuit from Texas, which sought to invalidate the results in four swing states, was not drafted by Republican attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, but by Donald Trump’s own lawyers, revealed a new report.
The extensive New York Times report examined Mr Trump’s attempted coup to subvert the 2020 elections and the “77 democracy-bending days” when the former president propagated the voters fraud theory.
The efforts by Mr Trump’s campaign to help prevent alleged voters fraud were red-flagged by several Republican attorneys general and their senior staff lawyers, the report said.
Republican leaders were also concerned about Mr Trump’s problem in facing the reality of an electoral defeat.
The report revealed that Mr Paxton, who is said to have filed the Texas lawsuit, hired Lawrence Joseph as a special outside counsel through an “unusual contract” on 7 December.
Mr Joseph had earlier intervened in a US court to support Mr Trump’s efforts to block the release of his income-tax returns.
“The same day [7 Dec] the contract was signed, Mr Paxton filed his complaint with the Supreme Court. Mr Joseph was listed as a special counsel, but the brief did not disclose that it had been written by outside parties,” said the report.
Mr Paxton, however, was not the first choice for Trump’s team to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in swing states as he had criminal investigations going on against him.
An appeal was also made to Louisiana’s attorney general, Jeffrey M Landry, but he had declined.
"For every lawyer on Mr Trump's team who quietly pulled back, there was one ready to push forward with propagandistic suits that skated the lines of legal ethics and reason," the report said.
"That included not only Mr [Rudy] Giuliani and lawyers like Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, but also the vast majority of Republican attorneys general, whose dead-on-arrival Supreme Court lawsuit seeking to discount 20 million votes was secretly drafted by lawyers close to the White House, The Times found."
The Supreme Court on 12 December unanimously dismissed the baseless lawsuit filed by Texas that tried to throw out the vote counts in four states that Mr Trump lost — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Days before the court’s decision, Trump allies continued to mount pressure to pull support for the Texas lawsuit. Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana sent an email requesting congressional Republicans’ support for the Texas lawsuit.
The letter with the subject line “time-sensitive request from President Trump” said that the president “specifically asked me to contact all Republican Members of the House and Senate today and request that all join.”
The amicus brief gained support from two-thirds of the Republican attorneys general despite several senior officials raising red flags.
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