Longtime Republican election lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg in a new op-ed issued a blunt rebuke to GOP claims of widespread voter fraud as President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign manager tests positive for COVID-19 Trump given Remdesivir as treatment for COVID-19 infection ICE launching billboard campaign highlighting ‘at-large immigration violators’ MORE looks to cast doubt over election procedures heading into November.
Ginsberg, who has represented four Republican presidential candidates and played a key role in cases like Bush v. Gore in the 2000 election, wrote in The Washington Post that a “lack of evidence” makes claims of fraud from Trump and other Republicans “unsustainable” and that the GOP is needlessly inciting concerns over the presidential race.
“The truth is that after decades of looking for illegal voting, there’s no proof of widespread fraud. At most, there are isolated incidents — by both Democrats and Republicans. Elections are not rigged. Absentee ballots use the same process as mail-in ballots — different states use different labels for the same process,” Ginsberg wrote.
“The president’s rhetoric has put my party in the position of a firefighter who deliberately sets fires to look like a hero putting them out,” he added. “Calling elections ‘fraudulent’ and results ‘rigged’ with almost nonexistent evidence is antithetical to being the ‘rule of law’ party.”
The op-ed comes after a string of comments from Trump criticizing mail-in voting. The president has suggested, without evidence, that it is ripe for widespread fraud.
Trump raised eyebrows in July when he said he’d “have to see” about accepting the results in November and has said he’d only lose if the election is “rigged.” Earlier this month, he suggested that people should vote twice, even though it is illegal, forcing the White House to backtrack.
“They will vote and then they are going to have to check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way because if it tabulates then they won’t be able to do that. So let them send it in, and let them go vote. And if the system is as good as they say it is, then they obviously won’t be able to vote,” Trump said in a local news interview at the time. “If it isn’t tabulated, they will be able to vote. So that’s the way it is, and that’s what they should do.”
Ginsberg in the new op-ed said Trump’s latest remarks put the GOP in a tough spot in court cases they are currently litigating on more legitimate claims.
“The president’s words make his and the Republican Party’s rhetoric look less like sincere concern — and more like transactional hypocrisy designed to provide an electoral advantage. And they come as Republicans trying to make their cases in courts must deal with the basic truth that four decades of dedicated investigation have produced only isolated incidents of election fraud,” he wrote.
“Many of the GOP’s litigation concerns are meritorious in principle. But the president’s inflammatory language undercuts the claim that Republicans seek merely to uphold statutory safeguards needed to validate the results’ credibility.”