WASHINGTON — The presidential election count this week clearly shows Joe Biden winning, with nearly 80 million votes to President Donald Trump’s total of 73.6 million votes. That earns Biden 306 Electoral College votes to Trump’s tally of 232.
Biden has won the White House, but Trump is still not conceding. He has sent lawyers into court claiming that Biden has won the race only through voter fraud in key battleground states where the former vice president nailed down his victory.
Trump, throughout his career as a builder of hotels, office buildings and resorts, has made his billions by going into court and browbeating his opponents to get his way in a string of lawsuits.
So far, however, Trump’s accusations of a large number of fraudulent votes have failed in the courtroom, though he’s not giving up.
Meantime, Trump is using the awesome power of the government to hamstring Biden outside of the courtroom.
Last week, Biden pointed out how absurd it is that his running mate, Democratic Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California, now vice president-elect, has access to highly classified intelligence briefings as a member of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee. But Biden cannot obtain any preparation from such briefings, or any earmarked transition funding because the General Services Administration refuses to accept and recognize that he won the election.
”I am hopeful that the president will be mildly more enlightened before we get to Jan. 20,” Biden said last week, noting the date he will be sworn into office as the 46th president of the United States.
Biden said he found Trump’s gamesmanship far “more embarrassing for the country than for my ability to get started,” he told reporters.
It was also widely reported that Trump has instructed his senior White House staff not to cooperate in any way with Biden’s transition team.
At the same time, the administration’s chief information security official was leading a search by Trump backers to dig up any evidence of voter fraud in states where Biden won electoral votes to clinch his victory.
Since the election, Trump has kept busy tweeting baseless charges that Biden did not win enough states to clinch the presidency.
”He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA,” Trump said in an early morning tweet.
”We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!” Trump added.
And in the last week or more, Trump has kept up a drumbeat of tweets, insisting, falsely, that there were “NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS.”
In fact, Biden’s attorneys have offered proof in court that polling places had observers checking ballots throughout the states. His lawyers, and those for the states in question, thus far, have knocked down one phony charge after another about questionable ballots.
Trump has made exaggerated claims about election fraud for years, and he’s tried to make that case again this year.
But in a statement released last week, federal and state government national security and election officials said that the election was “the most secure in American history.”
Donald Lambro has been covering Washington politics for more than 50 years as a reporter, editor and commentator.