Republicans deploy army of lawyers and baselessly claim fraud as Senate and governor’s recounts approach Thursday deadline

Democratic leaders have demanded that Donald Trump “stop bullying, harassing and lying” about election recounts in Florida before American democracy is put at risk.

Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, called on Republican governor Rick Scott to recuse himself from overseeing his US Senate race against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson.

The Senate minority leader’s stand came as Trump, Scott and Republicans pursue a scorched earth strategy in Florida, deploying battalions of lawyers and throwing out baseless claims of fraud.

Troubled recounts in Senate and gubernatorial elections in Florida are now barreling towards a Thursday deadline amid an increasingly acrimonious fight that has echoes of the famous 2000 presidential recount. The White House – in the form of Trump’s Twitter feed and public comments – has also plunged into the fray.

For Trump, Florida is personal. His luxury Mar-a-Lago estate, dubbed the “winter White House”, is in Palm Beach and he has many business associates there. He raised the stakes again on Tuesday, implying, without evidence, that officials in two pivotal counties are trying to rig the election. “When will Bill Nelson concede in Florida?” he tweeted. “The characters running Broward and Palm Beach voting will not be able to ‘find’ enough votes, too much spotlight on them now!”

Schumer responded forcefully, suggesting that Trump and Scott are “dead set” against counting every vote because they are worried that Nelson will prevail.

Read More