Donald Trump and his personal lawyer have made increasingly desperate allegations of election fraud as Mr Trump claimed his legal team had “a very clear and viable path to victory”.
At a sweaty press conference in Washington, Rudy Giuliani said the hand recount in Georgia, which is nearing completion and expected to confirm Joe Biden, would not be legitimate because officials were simply recounting fraudulent ballots.
He also claimed it was impossible for Mr Biden to have won key battleground states like Michigan and Pennsylvania when he was initially trailing on election night.
Mr Giuliani, who appeared to be sweating hair dye down his jowls, claimed the Trump campaign had “more than double” the number of “provable, illegal ballots” in states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania Wisconsin and Michigan to “turn the election”.
Mr Giuliani performed an impersonation from what he said was his favourite law movie, My Cousin Vinny, to underscore his unfounded arguments about widespread cheating.
In the tightly packed room filled with journalists, Mr Giuliani appeared to struggle with the heat and repeatedly wiped his forehead with a handkerchief while shooting off accusations of media bias and a rigged election.
The Trump campaign turned off its live feed of the press conference reportedly after people began commentating on Mr Giuliani’s dripping hair dye.
Giuliani's reenacts a scene from "My Cousin Vinny" and then casually accuses Biden of crimes. Unhinged. pic.twitter.com/3RKJeX8cWs
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 19, 2020
Georgia is expected to affirm Mr Biden’s victory after a painstaking recount, which would deal another setback to Mr Trump’s efforts to cling onto power.
Georgia’s top election official, a Republican, said the manual recount of almost five million votes is unlikely to erode Mr Biden’s initial 14,000 winning margin.
However Mr Trump has launched another Twitter blitz, insisting that the battleground state would “flip Republican, and very quickly”.
“Thousands of uncounted votes discovered in Georgia counties. When the much more important signature match takes place, the State will flip Republican, and very quickly. Get it done!,” he tweeted.
“Almost ZERO ballots rejected in Georgia this election. In years past, close to 4%. Not possible. Must have signature check on envelopes now. Very easy to do. Dems fighting because they got caught. Far more votes than needed for flip. Republicans must get tough!”
Mr Trump claimed evidence of voter fraud was continuing to grow “including 20,000 dead people on the Pennsylvania voters roll and many thousands all over the Country.
“Now, there has been an artificial number of votes in favor of Joe Biden.
“An open and shut case of voter fraud. Massive numbers!”
“Evidence of voter fraud continues to grow, including 20,000 dead people on the Pennsylvania voters roll and many thousands all over the Country. Now, there has been an artificial number of votes in favor of Joe Biden.” @OANN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2020
Georgia officials say they expect to release results on Thursday (local time) before a certification deadline on Friday.
In Pennsylvania, where Mr Biden won by 82,000 votes, the Trump campaign is asking a judge to declare him the winner there, saying its Republican-controlled legislature should choose the state’s slate of 20 electoral college voters.
In Wisconsin, the Trump campaign has paid for a partial recount, even though election officials there say that will likely only add to Mr Biden’s 20,000-vote advantage in a state that carries 10 electoral votes.
Mr Trump’s campaign has filed lawsuits in a number of other states, including Michigan, with scant success so far.
Those legal motions, sprinkled with factual errors, have been dismissed by Mr Biden’s campaign as “theatrics” that are not based on sound law.
Several prominent law firms have pulled out of the operation, leaving Mr Giuliani to spearhead the efforts.