(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trumpâ€™s explanation on Thursday for why heâ€™s dropping a Hail Mary lawsuit to reverse his election loss in Georgia is false, the stateâ€™s Republican attorney general said.
The outgoing president told a federal judge heâ€™s voluntarily dismissing the suit seeking to invalidate the election result because he reached an out-of-court settlement agreement to sit down with state officials and discuss data allegedly showing voter fraud. But no such deal exists, Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr said in a filing responding to Trump.
Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the defendants in Trumpâ€™s futile Dec. 31 lawsuit, â€œdo not object to Trumpâ€™s voluntary dismissal,â€ Carr said in the filing in Atlanta. â€œDefendants do object to the false grounds articulated in the notice.â€
Trumpâ€™s emergency motion to â€œde-certifyâ€ Bidenâ€™s win was already denied Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Mark Cohen, who ruled the president was requesting â€œan extraordinary and unprecedented remedyâ€ without evidence of wrongdoing. Dozens of such lawsuits have failed across the country.
Viewed as â€˜Frivolousâ€™
Trumpâ€™s filing also came after Congress formally certified President-elect Joe Bidenâ€™s victory, despite being interrupted for several hours on Wednesday by a mob of the presidentâ€™s supporters that raided the U.S. Capitol.
Carr said in Thursdayâ€™s filing that Georgia had balked at repeated efforts by Trump to discuss a settlement because they viewed his claims as â€œfrivolousâ€ and believed the state would prevail. In an email exchange attached to the stateâ€™s filing, the attorney general rejected Trumpâ€™s framing of a letter from Carrâ€™s office.
â€œThe letter was not a settlement offer, as you characterize it,â€ Carrâ€™s office said in the email to Trumpâ€™s lawyer, Kurt Hilbert. Hilbert went on to tell the judge that Trump had reached a settlement with the state anyway.
Carr also said Hilbert appears to have violated Georgiaâ€™s rules of professional conduct by initiating the now-infamous Jan. 2 phone call between the president and Raffensperger in which Trump pressured the official to â€œfindâ€ more votes and reverse the outcome. While Hilbert was on the call, Raffenspergerâ€™s lawyers from Carrâ€™s office were not, according to the attorney general.
Hilbert â€œneither notified litigation counsel for defendant Raffensperger nor sought nor obtained consent to conduct or participate in a conversation with defendant Raffensperger,â€ Carr said in the filing. â€œThis action by plaintiffâ€™s counsel was undertaken despite the fact that the substance of the call concerned not only this action but also two pending state superior court matters and a pending appeal in the Georgia Supreme Court.â€
Kemp and Raffensperger are also embroiled in state court lawsuits with Trump, including one thatâ€™s on appeal and another thatâ€™s set for trial Friday.
Hilbert didnâ€™t immediately return a call for comment.
(Updates with email in second section.)
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