Chris Christie, a longtime Trump ally called on the President to give in his efforts to challenge his defeat against Democratic rival in courts. Former New Jersey Governor called Republican’s team a “national embarrassment”. Trump has refused to concede the election and stands unyielding in a bid to overturn his loss which he says is a result of systemic voter fraud. Many Republicans have backed his legal efforts however, a small but growing number have urged him to facilitate the smooth transition.
On Saturday, Trump suffered another setback in Pennsylvania, after a judge dismissed his petition seeking to declare millions of mail-in votes in the key states null. Judge Matthew Brann, in a tough ruling observed that the court had been presented with “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations”.
The move later led Pennsylvania to ascertain Biden as the victory; the President-elect leads there by over 80,000 votes. However, the Trump legal team not unhinged by the ruling is going for an appeal. Biden meanwhile now looks to secure a 306 to 232 win against Trump in US electoral college. If the projections turn true, Biden will record a decisive win with far above 270 votes he needs to win.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Talking to ABC This Week program on Sunday, the prominent Trump ally said: “Quite frankly, the conduct of the president’s legal team has been a national embarrassment”. He said the Trump camp was often discussing electoral fraud “outside the courtroom, but when they go inside the courtroom, they don’t plead fraud and they don’t argue fraud”.
“I have been a supporter of the president. I voted for him twice. But elections have consequences, and we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn’t happen.” Christie was the first governor to endorse Trump a presidential candidate back in 2016. He also helped the Republican prepare his presidential debates with Biden earlier this year. Christie singled out Sidney Powell, a Trump legal team member for criticism. Powell in a Thursday press conference once again repeated electoral fraud allegations saying that electronic voting systems switched millions of ballots to Biden without providing any evidence and attributed Democrat’s victory to “community money”.
However, on Sunday the Trump campaign distanced themselves form Powell and is a statement issued said that Powell “is practicing law on her own” and was “not a member of the Trump legal team”. President Trump earlier this month in a tweet, explicitly named her as part of his legal team. Other Republicans also breaking the ranks on Sunday appealed GOP president to concede and pave the way for transfer of power.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan talking to CNN on Sunday said that Trump legal team’s persistent efforts to subvert the election outcomes were “beginning to look like we’re a banana republic”. Hogan in a tweet targeting Trump said:
“If you had done your job, America’s governors wouldn’t have been forced to fend for themselves to find tests in the middle of a pandemic, as we successfully did in Maryland. Stop golfing and concede.”
Michigan Representative Fred Upon also talking to CNN said the voters in his key state “spoke” by voting while North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer talking to NBC said It was “past time to start a transition”, although he couldn’t accept Biden as victor.
Biden busy with his plans at White House
The President-elect has been working on plans to take office despite Trump’s legal absurdities to complicate the transition process. The Democrat is poised to announce his first cabinet appointments on Tuesday and confirmed US media outlets suggest veteran diplomat Antony Blinken, 58 will be made secretary of state, the key foreign policy position in administration. Blinken has long-served Biden as an aide and had several appointments in the State Department during Obama era.
Meanwhile, Biden’s White House Chief-of-staff nominee, Ron Klain called on Trump camp to start the transition.
“A record number of Americans rejected the Trump presidency, and since then Donald Trump’s been rejecting democracy,” he told ABC News. He also announced that the Biden campaign was preparing for a low-profile inauguration on Jan 20 amidst worsening COVID-19 situation in United States.