Trump allies to Michigan judge: Force Gov. Whitmer to overturn Biden’s win, give state to president

Trump allies to Michigan judge: Force Gov. Whitmer to overturn Biden’s win, give state to president

Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press

Tue, December 1, 2020, 9:19 PM GMT+6·5 min read

Allies of President Donald Trump want a federal court in Michigan to force state leaders to set aside election results and award its 16 electoral votes to the president.

A separate conservative group also wants the Michigan Supreme Court to invalidate the results that show President-elect Joe Biden won the state.

The latest lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Michigan and before the state’s highest court, rely on unfounded allegations of widespread fraud and misconduct that judges in the state and across the country have previously rejected. Neither has a high likelihood of success.

There is no evidence of mass fraud or wrongdoing that affected election operations in Michigan or elsewhere. Biden earned roughly 154,000 more votes than Trump in Michigan.

More: Trump again falsely claims he won Michigan and that Detroit had more voters than people

More: Trump withdraws federal lawsuit in Michigan, citing Wayne County canvasser affidavits

Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, left, listens to Sidney Powell, both lawyers for President Donald Trump, during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington.

Last week, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers formally certified the results.

But the federal lawsuit, filed by Trump-affiliated attorney Sidney Powell and a cadre of other lawyers, wants a judge to force Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to “decertify” those results. They want to act before Dec. 14, when the Electoral College is set to meet and Biden will receive the more than 270 votes needed to formally secure the presidency.

“The multifaceted schemes and artifices implemented by defendants and their collaborators to defraud resulted in the unlawful counting, or manufacturing, of hundreds of thousands of illegal, ineligible, duplicate or purely fictitious ballots in the State of Michigan, that constitute a multiple of Biden’s purported lead in the State,” the lawsuit reads in part.

Although the city of Detroit is not named in the lawsuit, it’s seeking to intervene. Lawyers for the city argue the allegations of misconduct focus on Detroit, so the city should be allowed to have a say in the proceedings.

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More than 100 civilians dead in ‘gruesome’ Nigeria attack blamed on Islamic jihadists

Our Foreign Staff

Mon, November 30, 2020, 1:09 AM GMT+6·2 min read

Mourners attend the funeral of 43 farm workers in Zabarmari, Nigeria — AUDU MARTE /AFP

A weekend attack on farm workers in northeast Nigeria blamed on jihadists left at least 110 dead, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the country said on Sunday, the deadliest attack on civilians this year.

The attack, in a state gripped by a jihadist insurgency for more than 10 years, took place the same day as long-delayed local elections in the state.

“I am outraged and horrified by the gruesome attack against civilians carried out by non-state armed groups in villages near Borno State capital Maiduguri,” Edward Kallon said in a statement.

“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added.

Some locals blamed the attack on Boko Haram fighters, but Bulama Bukarti, an analyst with the Tony Blair Institute, said rival group the IS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) were more active in the area.

“ISWAP is the likely culprit,” he tweeted.

Kallon, in his statement, said: “The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year.

“I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” he added.

The violence centred on the village of Koshobe near the Borno state capital Maiduguri, with assailants targeting farm workers harvesting rice fields. One pro-government anti-jihadist militia said the assailants tied up the labourers and slit their throats.

Kallon said the assailants — “armed men on motorcycles” — also targeted other communities in the area.

“Rural communities in Borno State are facing untold hardships,” he added, calling for more to be done to protect them and to head off what he said was a looming food crisis there.

Borno Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum attended the burial Sunday in the nearby village of Zabarmari of 43 bodies recovered on Saturday, saying the toll could rise after search operations resumed.

The victims included dozens of labourers from Sokoto state in northwestern Nigeria, roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) away, who had travelled to the northeast to find work, it said.

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