Conservative group withdraws demands for US elections

HOUSTON (AP) – A conservative group on Monday dropped its lawsuits for alleged electoral fraud in four states, days after the organization’s director made unsubstantiated accusations in which she questioned the integrity of the elections.

Attorneys for True the Vote filed motions to dismiss the cases in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, less than a week after lawsuits were filed in all four states. Jim Bopp Jr., the group’s attorney, declined to explain the reasons for ending the lawsuits, but confirmed that the organization has no other pending litigation.

The move highlights President Donald Trump’s few legal options as he insists that he won the election and that his defeat is due to fraud, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Houston-based True the Vote is one of several conservative groups that have tried to cast doubt on the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. Following Trump’s lead, True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht accused, without evidence, of illegal vote counting in states that Biden won.

“All we want is the facts – regardless of the bottom line – so that we can determine where the electoral system’s vulnerabilities lie and take steps to correct them,” Engelbrecht said in a statement released Friday, announcing the lawsuit for the group in Wisconsin.

But Engelbrecht’s group dismissed that and other claims before they could proceed. Engelbrecht did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Several other lawsuits brought by the Trump campaign and its supporters have been rejected by judges, voluntarily dismissed, or settled through settlements. Other processes are still open.

Also Monday, attorneys who filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Trump campaign in Pennsylvania filed a motion to withdraw from the case. They were replaced by Marc Scaringi, a Harrisburg-area attorney who volunteered for the president’s 2016 campaign. He is a conservative activist with a radio space and unsuccessfully ran for federal senator in 2012.

Trump has scored at least two victories in court. A Pennsylvania judge ordered authorities in Philadelphia to allow observers to move closer to follow the vote count by mail. Another state judge ordered counties to disregard ballots by mail or absent voters who did not present valid identification within six days of the election. However, that ruling is anticipated to affect just a few thousand votes.

Biden leads Trump in Pennsylvania by 67,000 votes.