Photos of a polling location at Ian's Pizza in Madison, Wisconsin during Wisconsin's August primary voting.
Trump's voter fraud claims are hollow but perilous, experts say
04:32 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Benjamin Ginsberg, a top Republican election lawyer who has represented four Republican presidential candidates, slammed President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in a new op-ed saying it lacks evidence and is “unsustainable.”

Ginsberg, a longtime lawyer who recently retired from the practice and co-chaired the 2013 Presidential Commission on Election Administration, wrote in The Washington Post on Tuesday that Trump’s recent comments about widespread fraud in mail-in voting, which risk undermining confidence in the election, and urging voters to cast their ballots twice are “doubly wrong.”

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“The president’s actions – urging his followers to commit an illegal act and seeking to undermine confidence in the credibility of election results – are doubly wrong,” he wrote, adding they place an obligation on Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party to “reevaluate their position in the more than 40 voting cases they’re involved in around the country.”

He added, “Legions of Republican lawyers have searched in vain over four decades for fraudulent double voting. At long last, they have a blatant example of a major politician urging his supporters to illegally vote twice.”

Ginsberg wrote, “The truth is that after decades of looking for illegal voting, there’s no proof of widespread fraud,” adding there are isolated incidents across both parties. “Elections are not rigged. Absentee ballots use the same process as mail-in ballots – different states use different labels for the same process.”

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He also wrote that Trump’s comments “make his and the Republican Party’s rhetoric look less like sincere concern – and more like transactional hypocrisy designed to provide an electoral advantage.”

Last week, Trump repeatedly encouraged voters to cast their ballots twice, saying if they vote by mail they should also attempt to vote in person as a way to check if their vote is counted. Elections officials in North Carolina, Michigan and other states have warned citizens that voting twice is illegal and doing so would be met with criminal prosecution. The President has also claimed, without evidence, that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud and on Tuesday encouraged his supporters to act as poll watchers to prevent fraud at voting locations.

Ginsberg told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Wednesday he wasn’t sure what motivates Trump to make claims about voter fraud, but said he believes there is “some confusion on understanding the basic facts” of voting.

Asked when Americans may know the results of the 2020 election, Ginsberg said it depends on the results on election night and how close the race is. He added that each individual state’s deadline for absentee ballots would also be a factor.

“It is possible that the outcome will not be known for a long time,” Ginsberg said, mentioning the recount efforts by former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Jill Stein after the 2016 presidential election.

“I’m going to guess December 1,” he said.

This story has been updated with additional comments from Ginsberg.