Federal judge dismisses lawsuit that seeks to undo Biden's Arizona win; Trump lawyers to appeal

Conservative lawyer Sidney Powell is appealing the dismissal of her lawsuit seeking to decertify election results that gave Democrat President-elect Joe Biden a victory in Arizona over Republican President Donald Trump.

Powell said in a court filing on Dec. 10 that she was taking her case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which later scheduled the first brief in the appeal to be due two months after inauguration date.

But Alexander Kolodin, a Phoenix attorney who along with Powell filed the challenge, has since said the plan is to instead take the case directly to U.S. Supreme Court on an expedited basis.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Trump’s proposed electors in Arizona was dismissed Dec. 9 by a lower court for failing to provide any evidence to back up its election fraud claims and lacking legal standing to bring the case.

It alleged the state’s election systems have security flaws that let election workers and foreign countries manipulate results and that those systems switched votes from Trump to Biden.

Judge Diane Humetewa said Wednesday that the lawsuit’s allegations “are sorely wanting of relevant or reliable evidence” and that the relief it sought was extraordinary. “If granted, millions of Arizonans who exercised their individual right to vote in the 2020 General Election would be utterly disenfranchised,” Humetewa wrote.

The judge found the proposed Trump electors who filed the lawsuit lacked legal standing to bring the case, waited too long to file their challenge on issues that occurred months and even years ago, and failed to provide proof to back up their fraud claims. 

The decision came a day after the Arizona Supreme Court rejected a separate bid by state GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward to undo Biden’s victory.

The challenge dismissed by Humetewa alleged the state’s election systems have security flaws that let election workers and foreign countries manipulate results and that those systems switched votes from Trump to Biden. 

Attorneys for the state’s election officials have said the lawsuit uses conspiracy theories to make wild allegations against Dominion Voting Systems, one of Maricopa County’s vendors for voting equipment, without providing proof to back up its claims of widespread Arizona election fraud.

Humetewa said the lawsuit doesn’t contain a plausible allegation that Dominion voting machines were hacked in Arizona during the Nov. 3 election, noting the proposed Trump electors “have not moved the needle for their fraud theory from conceivable to plausible.” 

No evidence of voter fraud or election fraud has emerged during this election season in Arizona. 

The lawsuit dismissed on Wednesday was filed by former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell on behalf of proposed Trump electors in Arizona. 

Similar election challenges filed by Powell were dismissed earlier this week in Michigan and Georgia, and a Wisconsin judge is expected to decide a Powell lawsuit as soon as Wednesday.

In all, seven lawsuits challenging the results of the presidential vote in Arizona have been dismissed, including Ward’s lawsuit seeking to overturn Biden’s victory.

In Ward’s challenge, the state Supreme Court said Ward failed to prove misconduct or illegal votes and concluded the margin between the two candidates wasn’t small enough to trigger a recount, even with the small number of votes Trump could have lost due to problems in ballot processing. The state’s highest court cited case law that concludes the validity of an election isn’t voided by honest mistakes.

The state’s election results were certified on Nov. 30, showing Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes. The Electoral College is scheduled to meet on Monday.

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