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Gore Campaign Attorney David Boies Holds News BriefingAired November 16, 2000 - 1:57 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to go back to Tallahassee now, outside Judge Lewis' courtroom, where the attorneys, who were principals to the arguments inside the courtroom today, are now before reporters.
This is David Boies with the Gore campaign.
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DAVID BOIES, GORE CAMPAIGN ATTORNEY: ... in which we has intervened. We are told that the information that we had was in error and that there has not been a hearing scheduled.
Obviously, if there had been a hearing scheduled, I wouldn't be here right now. But since that was said in court, I wanted to correct that for any of those of you who were in court and heard that.
QUESTION: Mr. Boies, what Governor Bush's side seems to be saying is: If you have a problem with the certification in this election, let there be a winner declared on Saturday. and let the recounts continue, and challenge that certification in court. What's wrong with that?
BOIES: That did seem to be what one of their attorneys was saying today, but that's quite inconsistent with what they have been saying up until now, which is to stop the recounts. Remember, it has been Governor Bush's campaign and the secretary of state, who has been telling the county canvassing boards to stop recounting. And what we have been saying is that the recount should go forward.
Now, if we have agreement on both sides for the recounts to go forward, I think that would be a major step in the right direction. But I would be very cautious about interpreting what they said in court today as being the position that they will adhere to. If it is, I think that's a step in the right direction.
QUESTION: Could you tell us exactly why you think the actions -- how the actions of the secretary of state violated the injunction from the judge?
BOIES: Well, it clearly is an injunction because at the end of the court's opinion that the court issued last Tuesday, the court says it's ordered and adjudged that the secretary of state has to do certain things. One of the things that the secretary of state was directed to do was not to flatly prohibit counties from including manual vote counts after the 5:00 p.m. alleged Tuesday deadline.
Now what the secretary did the next day, of course, was to say that, unless there was a hurricane or a mechanical failure, she wasn't going to include the recounts. Now that was exactly what the judge had previously ruled the day before was not the right standard.
In fact, as I have said to many of you before, on page six of the court's opinion, the court laid out a number of criteria that the secretary of state was to consider. None of those criteria were considered.
The court had, the day before, said the secretary of state is not to deny these votes ahead of time, she's only supposed to consider these votes after they're submitted. And yet the very next day the secretary of state said, "I am now deciding ahead of time that these votes should not go forward and should not be counted."
Our view consistently has been that the voters have voted and those votes should be counted. And as one of the people pointed out just a few minutes ago, Governor Bush's lawyers in court seemed to say that the vote count should go forward. If they mean that, I think that's a major step in the right direction. But after the back and forth that we've had over the last three days, I will believe it firmly when I hear it outside of the courtroom and I see the actions that are consistent with it.
QUESTION: Mr. Boies, could you, in layman's terms, explain the difference between this argument you're making here and the one in the state Supreme Court and basically what you're looking for at both of them and how it affects this whole thing?
BOIES: Right. There is a certain overlap between what is going on in this court and what's going on in the Supreme Court.
What is going on in this court is an attempt to enforce a judgment, an order, an injunction that this court entered on Tuesday. This court entered an injunction in which this court said, as you all know, the secretary of state has discretion to accept late filed returns.
However, the secretary of state cannot simply say, "I'm going to block all returns after a certain date." She's got to wait and see what those returns are and she's got to consider the reasons for those returns being late.
What we said is that the action of the secretary of state is not consistent with that.
And what we heard today was the secretary of state's lawyers, who up until now have been saying to all of the county canvassing boards, "Don't count the votes." They now come into court and say, "Because they didn't count the votes, they didn't comply with the statute and now you shouldn't give them an extension of time." We don't think that fairly reflects...
QUESTION: David, how do you interpret the judge's question about, being (OFF-MIKE) whether they're discouraged with counting ballots?
BOIES: Well, I think what the judge was pointing out, and it's a point that we agree with, is that there is no case authority, there is no statutory authority that interferes with the counties going forward with their counts. I think what the judge was saying -- and I'm always a little hesitant to interpret a judge's opinion, but from our perspective, what we think the court was pointing out, was that the counties are not precluded from going forward and continuing the count.
And, obviously, we hope they would. And both the secretary of state's lawyers and Governor Bush's lawyers, in court, were saying that the counties should have gone ahead and continued the count.
So you have both sides saying that the counties should go forward.
WATERS: We are going to jump out of Tallahassee, and scoot across to Austin, Texas, where chairman of the Bush campaign Don Evans is making a statement.
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