Trump campaign drops Michigan election lawsuit, Rudy Giuliani says

Wayne County Board of Canvassers Chair Monica Palmer, left, talks with Vice Chair Jonathan Kinloch before the board’s Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020 meeting in Detroit.

Robin Buckson | Detroit News | AP

President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said Thursday that the Trump campaign is withdrawing from an election-related lawsuit in Michigan.

The move represents the latest failure in the campaign’s multi-state effort to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s projected electoral victory.

“This morning we are withdrawing our lawsuit in Michigan,” Giuliani said in a statement.

The Trump campaign’s federal lawsuit had attempted to stop Wayne County, which contains the city of Detroit, from certifying its election results until swaths of ballots were cut from the final tally.

Wayne County is the most populous area in Michigan, and voted overwhelmingly for Biden over Trump — 68% to 31%, respectively.

The county’s board of canvassers has become a major focus ahead of the national certification of election results next month. Two Republican members of the board initially refused to certify Wayne County’s vote, before reversing themselves earlier this week following a national outcry.

Shortly thereafter, both members reversed themselves again. As of Wednesday, the canvassers were calling to rescind their votes, and signed affidavits that were included in the Trump campaign’s notice of withdrawal Thursday.

Media outlets reported that the canvassers had been contacted by Trump directly on Tuesday evening.

Lawyers for the defendants and intervenors in the case had no immediate comment

One of the canvassers, William Hartman, in his affidavit wrote that he was “enticed to agree to certify based on the promise that a full and independent audit would take place.”

“I would not have agreed to the certification but for the promise of an audit,” Hartman wrote.

The other GOP canvasser, Monica Palmer, wrote in her own affidavit, “I fully believe the Wayne County vote should not be certified.”

A spokeswoman for Michigan’s secretary of state Jocelyn Benson, however, said the fight is over.

“There is no legal mechanism for them to rescind their vote. Their job is done and the next step in the process is for the Board of State Canvassers to meet and certify,” press secretary Aneta Kiersnowski told NBC News.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

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