Donald Trump’s efforts to overthrow the US presidential election The result suffered significant setbacks on Friday after Georgia officially certified Joe Biden’s victory and top Republican lawmakers in Michigan rejected the idea of returning the state to the president.
The developments were the last blows to Mr. Trump unprecedented and long-term effort to retain power by rejecting or ignoring millions of votes that led Mr. Biden to victory by a clear margin in several battlefield states and the Electoral College.
Georgia’s Secretary of State and his Governor Brad Raffensperger and Brian Kemp, both Republicans, certified his election results on Friday, officially making Biden the first Democrat to win the state since the early 1990s.
The certification came after an audit and manual recount of all the 5 million votes in a state Mr Biden won with just over 12,000 votes. Mr. Trump could still ask for a formal recount, which would be done by machine.
The US President attacked Mr. Raffensperger and Mr. Kemp on Twitter, repeating unsubstantiated allegations of “hundreds of thousands of illegal votes” in the state. “Why are they so quick to certify a meaningless count?”
Meanwhile, the top two Republicans in the Michigan state legislature met with Mr. Trump in the White House, but stepped outside to pour cold water on the idea that they would try to intervene and cancel the 150,000-plus voting margin by which Mr. Biden won the state.
“We have not yet been notified of any information that would change the results of the Michigan election and as legislative leaders we will follow the law and go through the normal process regarding Michigan voters,” said Mike Shirkey and Lee Chatfield , Michigan. Leader of the Senate and Speaker of the House respectively.
“The candidates who win the most votes win Michigan’s election and electoral votes,” the statement added.
The White House meeting came after a Trump campaign adviser raised the idea that battlefield state lawmakers could unilaterally declare Mr. Trump the winner if the votes were not certified.
Earlier in the week, a bipartisan election commission in Wayne County, Michigan, which includes Detroit, stalled to certify its results after two Republican members refused to give approval.
Republicans ultimately voted to certify, but then sought to recapture those votes, a move that came after Mr. Trump personally called them out, US media reported.
Jenna Ellis, legal counsel for the Trump campaign, had applauded the initial failure to certify as a “huge victory” for Mr. Trump, tweeting Tuesday: “If the State Council does the same, the Republican state legislator will select the electors.”
The Michigan State Solicitors Council, which has two Republicans and two Democrats, is due to meet Monday to determine whether to certify the election results. The Trump campaign this week withdrew a lawsuit to end certification.