Bolton Claims Trump Team Seeks to Use ‘Brute Political Force’ to ‘Squeeze’ Michigan Officials
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Michigan's House and Senate majority leaders Lee Chatfield and Mike Shirkey were invited by The POTUS amid allegations of Democrat-rigged elections and frenzied litigation, as his election campaign is seeking to persuade the state’s board of canvassers not to certify Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's victory.
"The president's going to try and squeeze them… I hope that they will pass this test of character…We're past the point of legal theories and evidence... we're down to brute political force," said Bolton.
The ex-Trump administration official said the president's legal campaign has failed to drum up convincing evidence that could potentially overturn the results of the presidential election, which has already been called for Joe Biden by a majority of US media.
Bolton, who was booted out by Donald Trump in early September 2019 after their reported clashes on how best to handle foreign policy issues, mostly with regards to Iran and North Korea, has suggested that the incumbent president will seek to wield his supremacy over the Republican Party to intimidate members.
"The honor and integrity of the Republican Party now rests on the shoulders of these two Michigan legislative leaders. He's going to try and squeeze others if he succeeds with these two gentlemen," said Bolton.
Continuing to claim that Trump was going to reply on political pressure to get his way, Bolton added:
“The president could be calling Republican legislatures and others to the White House the same way... Republicans at all levels – state, county, election boards, legislatures – whoever they may be, have got to resist this political pressure."
In the event that Michigan's state board of canvassers refuses to certify Biden's victory in Michigan, state lawmakers could be called upon to select electors to participate in the Electoral College vote on 14 December.
Responding to speculations, a spokesperson for Mike Shirkey said in a 13 November statement that "Michigan law does not include a provision for the legislature to directly select electors or to award electors to anyone other than the person who received the most votes."
Shirkey was also cited by Bridge Michigan as commenting:
"That's not going to happen. We are going to follow the law and follow the process. I do believe there's reason to go slow and deliberate as we evaluate the allegations that have been raised."
Lee Chatfield went on Twitter the same day, to underscore the need for looking into “reports of irregularities”.
He also refused to make any apologies over the impending encounter, writing that when you have a chance to meet with the President, “of course you take it."
Bolton also urged national Republican leaders, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to ensure that state and local officials are shielded from potential undue political pressure on the part of Trump.
"Let's have Republican leaders in Washington stand up and say 'this is simply unacceptable,'" said Bolton.
Trump's legal team has recently intensified efforts to prevent six battleground states from certifying election results, alleging “systematic voter fraud”, campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani slammed leaders of Democratic Party-run cities in key swing states of carrying out a “centralized” campaign aimed at “stealing” the election from the POTUS.
In Michigan, projected president-elect Biden beat Donald Trump by more than 150,000 votes.
John Bolton, who was a lawyer for the George W. Bush campaign during the 2000 Florida recount, dismissed Trump's court battles as a "fiction" that distracts from the campaign's real effort to influence Republican lawmakers and voters.
"Two and half weeks after the election, we have seen that he doesn't have any valid legal theories that can really overturn the election, he has no evidence," said Bolton.
Bolton also warned that the Republican Party risked losing its base before the crucial runoff elections in Georgia that will determine the balance of power in the Senate.
“The fact that the liberal mass media are saying 'Trump's not telling the truth' isn't going to impress many people on the Republican side in Georgia. Republican leaders speaking out I think could make a big difference... the time is right now," said John Bolton.