President Donald Trump's re-election campaign on Thursday dropped an election-related lawsuit in Michigan, the latest development in several states' efforts to question President-elect Joe Biden's proposed election victory.
In a lawsuit, a Trump campaign attorney said the lawsuit attempting to stop the certification of ballots in Wayne County, Michigan, was withdrawn because the county's Board of Canvassers "met and disapproved." Results to confirm the President's election. "
That statement is incorrect, however: the board voted to confirm the results after an outcry over Republican members who originally voted against certification.
These two GOP members are now saying that they want to withdraw their votes. But state officials say it cannot and that certification is official.
In a statement from the Trump campaign, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said: "This morning we are withdrawing our lawsuit in Michigan."
Giuliani said the withdrawal was "a direct result of achieving the relief we were seeking: to prevent the Wayne County elections from being prematurely confirmed before residents can be sure that every legal vote has been counted, and every illegal vote was not counted. "
But David Fink, a Detroit City attorney in the lawsuit, told CNBC, "You can go in whatever you want. They dismissed the case because you would lose."
"The so-called resignation of these votes has absolutely no legal significance," said Fink. "The advertising commission has made its decision and the votes are now being reviewed by the state advertising commission."
The Trump campaign federal lawsuit sought to prevent Wayne County, where the city of Detroit is located, from confirming the election results until many ballots were removed from the final list. These include "Illegally Cast Ballots" and certain mail-in ballots received after election day, as well as votes that are tabulated only with the Dominion software program.
Wayne County is the most populous area in Michigan and overwhelmingly voted for Biden over Trump – 68% to 31%.
Michigan is one of several battlefield states that Trump narrowly won in 2016 – which earned him his Electoral College victory over Hillary Clinton – and won the Biden that year. Wolverine State election results show that Biden leads Trump with more than 150,000 votes.
The county's Board of Canvassers has become a key focus ahead of next month's national certification of election results. Two Republican board members initially refused to confirm Wayne County's vote before turning around earlier this week after widespread criticism.
Shortly thereafter, both members reversed their positions. Beginning Wednesday, the advertisers called for their votes to be withdrawn for confirmation and signed affidavits, which were included in the Trump campaign's resignation letter on Thursday.
Media reported that the advertisers were contacted directly by Trump on Tuesday evening.
One of them, Monica Palmer, told NBC News that she and Trump had not discussed their decision to have their vote "or something similar" suspended.
"My conversation with the president was about threats from the public and my safety – not about having my vote lifted," Palmer told NBC.
The other GOP recruiter, William Hartman, wrote in his affidavit that he "was tricked into agreeing to certification on the basis of a promise that a full and independent review would take place".
"Without the promise of an audit, I would not have consented to certification," wrote Hartman.
Palmer wrote in her own affidavit: "I firmly believe that the Wayne County vote should not be confirmed."
However, a spokeswoman for Michigan's Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the fight was over.
"There is no legal mechanism for you to withdraw your vote. Your 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.
A similar federal lawsuit against the Wayne County vote, filed by two women, Angelic Johnson and Sarah Stoddard, was voluntarily dismissed by these plaintiffs on Thursday, according to court records.
Ian Northon, an attorney for Johnson and Stoddard, told CNBC: "We voluntarily dismissed because the Trump campaign filed similar lawsuits and made similar allegations in the same court with the same judge."
"As a practical matter … we have limited sources. We pulled this case to focus on another" lawsuit that Northon is expected to file soon.
When Northon learned that the Trump campaign on Thursday dismissed its own lawsuit, he said, "This is news to me."
Fink, the City of Detroit attorney, said, "It is not surprising that all of these cases are voluntarily dismissed. Every time one of their cases is brought before a judge, their baseless conspiracy theories have been dismissed."
Fink added, "With a lead of over 150,000 votes in Michigan, they still haven't documented a single vote that was fraudulently cast."
This develops news. Please try again.