Rudy Giuliani and other lawyers leading President Donald Trump's legal efforts to win reelection on Thursday forcefully made the case of widespread voter fraud on behalf of Democrat Joe Biden.
"What I'm describing to you is a massive fraud," Giuliani said.
As Giuliani and other Trump lawyers outlined their claims, the president — apparently watching the televised proceedings — took to Twitter to applaud them for laying out "an open and shut case of voter fraud."
The allegations ranged from complaints that Republican observers weren't allowed to observe vote-counting in Philadelphia and Detroit to a claim by Trump lawyer Sidney Powell that U.S. voting machines made by Dominion Voting Systems Inc. used software made in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Chavez.
Chavez, who was Venezuela's president, died in 2013.
Powell said her claim was substantiated by an affidavit filed with a lawsuit in Georgia. Dominion Voting Systems is an American company that has said it has no connection to Venezuela.
"President Trump won by a landslide," she said. "We are going to prove it."
Trump tweeted Thursday that the news conference would show "a very clear and viable path to victory. Pieces are very nicely falling into place."
"I don't know if we're going to have time to develop all that," Giuliani said of the claims about Venezuelan influence in the U.S. election, adding that Republican bogeymen such as financier George Soros were also involved.
Trump's lawyers spoke in front of a map that read, "multiple pathways to victory," with the states Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona.
The lawyers spoke without masks in a conference room at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington that was crowded with journalists. Giuliani, a former New York mayor, repeatedly mopped sweat off his face.
A third lawyer, Jenna Ellis, scolded news organizations for reporting that Trump's team has not shown evidence of widespread irregularities or fraud. During the news conference, Giuliani repeatedly said he couldn't share the names of witnesses to the alleged conspiracy, saying they would be harassed.
"This is an elite strike force team that is working on behalf of the president and the campaign," Ellis said.
Giuliani also accused Democrats of being "crooks" who committed massive fraud in several battleground states "to steal an election from the American people."
Giuliani reviewed lawsuits Trump's team has filed in Pennsylvania and Michigan that seek to stop the states from certifying their elections. But Giuliani said earlier Thursday that the campaign had voluntarily dismissed its Michigan suit, claiming it had achieved its goal after two Republican members of the canvassing board in the county that includes Detroit tried to rescind their votes in favor of certifying the county's election.
Michigan's secretary of state has said the two board members can't rescind their votes and that the next step is for the state canvassing board to certify Michigan's election results.
Giuliani said an additional suit would soon be filed in Georgia.
On Wednesday, Giuliani described at length to a federal judge in Pennsylvania a vast but vague Democrat conspiracy to steal the election that justified the invalidation of hundreds of thousands of votes — enough to flip the state from Biden to Trump.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, blasted Giuliani on Thursday, saying he has "no facts to fit his client's false narrative about election fraud."
On Thursday, Giuliani repeated his complaints that Republican observers were kept too far away to be able to monitor ballot processing. Election officials across the country dispute that claim, saying Republican observers were present at all times.
This report contains material from Bloomberg News and AFP.
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