ATLANTA — A federal judge has dismissed an election fraud lawsuit led by President Trump supporter Sidney Powell.
Judge Timothy C. Batten dismissed the suit after a hearing arguments that lasted just over an hour Monday, citing moot arguments, lawsuit timing, and arguments filed in the wrong court. This happened at the same time Georgia officials were preparing to recertify the election, after ballots were counted three times, including a hand- and machine-recount. The latter was requested by the Trump campaign following a state audit of the General Election.
Powell sought to decertify the election results, and have voting machines examined. She also argued for new electors to be appointed, something that would not be permitted, per federal and state law. The fraud allegations in the suit are parallel to dozens of allegations that have been dismissed in federal courts nationwide since the General Election.
“This is just one additional loss of now over 40 losses for the Trump campaign in both state and federal court. It is not a surprise whatsoever,” said Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis.
[SPECIAL SECTION: Election 2020]
Part of Batten’s decision included the following remarks.
“Sometimes federal judges are criticized for committing the sin of judicial activism. We call courts that have responded to that ‘enough is enough’ is right. In fact, enough is too much. And the courts have convincingly held that these types of cases are not properly before federal courts. These are state elections. State courts should evaluate these proceedings from start to finish,” Batten said.
“Moreover, the plaintiffs simply do not having standing to bring these claims,” Batten added, saying the relief Powell sought could not be ordered by the federal court.
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“Additionally, I find that the plaintiffs waited too long to file this suit,” Batten said. “Their primary complaint involves the Dominion ballot marking devices. They say those machines are susceptible to fraud. There is no reason they could not have followed the administrative procedure act to the rule-making authority that had been exercised by the Secretary of State.”
“This suit could have been filed months ago at the time these machines were adopted,” Batten concluded. “Instead the plaintiffs waited until over three weeks after the election to file the suit. There’s no question in my mind that if I were to deny the motion to dismiss, the matter would be brought before the 11th Circuit, and the 11th Circuit would reverse me.”
Just hours after the decision and a second election re-certification, Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray spoke with Sectary of State Brad Raffensperger.
“The judge is looking for evidence, and the other side presented what they had, and he threw it out,” Raffensperger said.
“Pretty clear there,” Gray said.
“Looks clear to me, doesn’t it?” Raffensperger said.
Kreis said an appeal and a continued social media campaign is always on the table, but similar appeals have failed, as well as an attempt to have the General Assembly reconvene and appoint new electors – which is something not allowed by federal or state law.
“The ultimate goal here is just to muddy the waters and delegitimize the process and to undermine the faith of the integrity of the democratic process, and really shouldn’t let that happen,” Kreis said.