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Missouri attorney general joins Texas suit aimed at reversing Trump loss

Missouri attorney general joins Texas suit aimed at reversing Trump loss

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Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt speaks on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, at a news conference at his downtown office. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Wednesday brought the state into an effort by Republican officials across the nation to reverse President Donald Trump’s election loss.

Schmitt on Wednesday announced Missouri has joined 16 other states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case filed by Trump ally and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton attacking election procedures in the battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Democrat Joe Biden prevailed in all four, giving him the electoral votes necessary to win the November election.

Paxton, a Republican under FBI investigation in an alleged pay-to-play scheme, is seeking to throw out the states’ combined 62 electoral votes — a move that, if successful, would swing the election to Trump.

Paxton’s suit repeats a litany of false, disproven and unsupported allegations about mail-in ballots and voting in the four battleground states.

Schmitt signaled his support for the lawsuit on Tuesday night via Twitter.

“Missouri is in the fight,” Schmitt wrote, adding that he was defending “election integrity” despite fighting to throw out vote counts in other states. “As I have in other cases — I will help lead the effort in support of Texas’ #SCOTUS filing today,” he tweeted.

In separate action, the Supreme Court, without comment Tuesday, refused to call into question the certification process in Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf, D-Pennsylvania, already has certified Biden’s victory and the state’s 20 electors are to meet on Dec. 14 to cast their votes for the former vice president.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican who preceded Schmitt as attorney general, encouraged the attorney general in a tweet, saying “Good work @Eric_Schmitt!”

“This is embarrassing,” former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, said on Twitter. “We have never had an attorney general play these kind of political stunts with the law. Real lawyers of both parties are laughing at him.”

Missouri certified its election results on Tuesday, paving the way for the state’s 10 Republican electors to cast ballots in support of outgoing President Trump next week.

Trump decisively won Missouri, beating Biden by a 57%-41% margin, according to state results.

A MoScout/Remington poll released Saturday found that nearly three-fourths of Missouri Republicans surveyed believe Trump won the election.

In addition to Missouri, states supporting Texas are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia. All have Republican attorneys general.

The Associated Press and Jack Suntrup of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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