(The Center Square) - Attorneys for President Donald Trump told a Georgia legislative panel Thursday they plan to file a lawsuit to throw out the state's certified election results and have the General Assembly select the state's presidential electors.
Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden defeated Trump in Georgia in the Nov. 3 election, and Biden has maintained a lead over Trump after a hand recount and audit and the near completion of a second recount requested by Trump. Trump's campaign, however, continuously has made unconfirmed claims of election fraud in Georgia.
Trump attorney Ray Smith told members of the state's Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Thursday that since he believes the election was a "flawed process," he plans to ask the court to order the General Assembly to appoint the electors, based on the U.S. Constitution.
"This hearing is just the tip of the iceberg," Smith said. "We are filing today a petition in the Fulton Superior Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Because of the irregularities and the abject failure of the secretary of state of this state and the counties to properly conduct the election, it is impossible to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election."
Smith said the lawsuit includes witness testimony, multiple violation reports and video footage he says shows Fulton County election workers counting ballots unsupervised. The court previously has ruled against the claims and most of the evidence presented Thursday in a similar lawsuit.
In a Senate Government Oversight Committee meeting earlier Thursday, Ryan Germany, general counsel for the secretary of state's office, told lawmakers there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential election.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Monday his office was investigating more than 250 "credible" claims of illegal voting and "violations of state election law." He said there are multiple investigations regarding absentee ballots in Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties.
County election offices in Georgia worked Thursday to wrap up an electronic recount of the more than 5 million votes cast in the presidential election after a formal request for a recount Nov. 21 from Trump. With all precincts reporting Thursday, Biden led Trump by more than 10,000 votes, according to preliminary results. Biden had a margin of more than 12,000 votes Nov. 19 after a hand recount and audit.
Germany outlined the election process and was riddled with questions during two hours of testimony Thursday morning. A handful of Republican senators said they plan to propose legislation to tighten the authentication of absentee ballots, including adding a photo identification or notary requirement.
More than 1.3 million absentee ballots were cast in the election. Trump, Gov. Brian Kemp and other GOP lawmakers have called for a sample audit of the absentee ballot signatures.
"We just selected the most powerful person in the world. If I go buy land in my hometown, I have to have a notary public to notarize my signature," Sen. Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega, said. "Any other business documents that you sign most of the time have to be notarized or witnessed. How can we certify this election this week knowing that a fourth of the ballots hasn't been verified by professionals, or even audited?"