In what appears to be just the latest in a string of audacious stories by legacy media outlets during a 2020 presidential election cycle which spanned most of the past two years (and isn’t over yet), the New York Times published a story over the weekend. It claimed that the Trump campaign had conceded in a revised lawsuit filing Saturday that no ballots in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania had been counted without appropriate monitoring from neutral observers.
But as insinuations and half-truths are designed to do, the narrative by Monday morning had already spread far and wide that the Trump campaign and legal team had taken this angle fighting election irregularities off the table.
My colleague Skipwreckedcrew wrote earlier this evening that, while changes the campaign lawyers made to the document filed to the court could have several meanings, his educated guess is that – to paraphrase his analysis – it may have had more to do with Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, the now-former counsel for President Trump’s side, than the filing itself. I urge you to read his piece, “Trump Campaign Files Amended Complaint With Significant Changes in Pennsylvania Case — May Suggest Issues With Prior Counsel,” in full.
There’s also the small matter of hearing what the Trump campaign and its law team say actually went down.
Former Fox News associate producer and writer Kyle Becker made it a point Monday to highlight that red-lined version of the updated Trump campaign suit in the Keystone state on Twitter, letting his followers in on “[w]hat is *really* going on in the swing state election” directly from the campaign. [Full disclosure: Kyle was a previous colleague of mine at IJR.com.]
His tweet about the Pennsylvania ballot issues continued:
PENNSYLVANIA. <ballot box emoji>What is *really* going on in the swing state election:“We are still arguing that 682,479 ballots were counted illegally, in secret.”
@TeamTrump sets the record straight on rampant misreporting. donaldjtrump.com/media/setting-
What is *really* going on in the swing state election:
“We are still arguing that 682,479 ballots were counted illegally, in secret."@TeamTrump sets the record straight on rampant misreporting. Don't hold your breath on *retractions.*https://t.co/0RJFVXt6Oj pic.twitter.com/JTPBTkgn8m
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) November 16, 2020
The release reads, in part: (emphasis original)
On Sunday night, the Washington Post ran a complete mischaracterization of the Trump campaign’s litigation in Pennsylvania, erroneously claiming the campaign had dropped the claim of nearly 700,000 ballots processed illegally and in secret. The campaign did no such thing. In fact, because of a Friday ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in an unrelated case, the campaign strategically decided to restructure its lawsuit to rely on claims of violations of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The claim that 682,479 ballots were improperly processed and counted is still very much part of the suit.
Paragraph 4 of the amended filing reads: “Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties alone received and processed 682,479 mail-in and absentee ballots without review by the political parties and candidates. These are unprecedented numbers in Pennsylvania’s elections history. Rather than engaging in an open and transparent process to give credibility to Pennsylvania’s brand-new voting system, the processes were hidden during the receipt, review, opening, and tabulation of those 682,479 votes.” See also paragraphs 132-150.
References to the improperly counted ballots are repeated throughout the filing, with paragraph 150 specifically stating that all factual allegations in the preceding paragraphs are incorporated within the Equal Protection claim.
It continues with a statement from Trump 2020 communications director Tim Murtaugh, who doesn’t mince words about the fake news that spews out of the NYT and its fellow, Democrat media allies.
“We are still arguing that 682,479 ballots were counted illegally, in secret.
Our poll watchers were denied meaningful access to watch the vote counting and we still incorporate that claim in our complaint. Unfortunately, fake news activists rushed to print their clickbait headlines, apparently without even reading the lawsuit. That’s lazy journalism at best, but more likely intentionally misleading.”
In a tongue in cheek aside, also aimed squarely at the Gray Lady, Kyle Becker added in his tweet: “Don’t hold your breath on *retractions*.”
Here’s the reason. Because, naturally, if it did retract, how could the Washington Post, in a new article, dropped late Monday night, echoing the false assertion and perpetuating the narrative Democrats desire about the election? Exactly.
You can read the full press release here.
h/t: Kyle Becker