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Trump phones in false claims at Pennsylvania Senate committee hearing on voting "irregularities"

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Washington — One day after Pennsylvania certified its election results, formalizing President-elect Joe Biden's win over President Trump in the state's presidential race, Mr. Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani attended a public hearing in Gettysburg on election "issues" and alleged "irregularities." President Trump, unable to attend in person, phoned in his false claims that he won swing states like Pennsylvania and the entire election.

Mr. Trump stated his goal in no uncertain terms: "We have to turn the election over," the president said as he called into the meeting on speakerphone. The outgoing president claimed that what happened was not the United States of America, insisting without evidence there are "many, many cases" of fraud.

"This election was rigged and we can't let that happen. We can't let it happen for our country. And this election has to be turned around, because we won Pennsylvania by a lot and we won all these swing states by a lot," the president said inaccurately and without offering proof.

All of the president's false and unfounded statements will not be repeated in this article. At least part of the president's statement was accurate: "The whole world is watching the United States of America," he said. 

Mr. Trump was previously expected to join Giuliani at the hearing at 12:30 p.m. ET but the trip was canceled. The change in plans came after Boris Epshteyn, an adviser to the Trump campaign, revealed he tested positive for COVID-19. Epshteyn attended a press conference at the Republican National Committee last week alongside Giuliani, and participated in a radio interview with the former mayor Sunday.

Giuliani made remarks to the state lawmakers Wednesday, saying the Trump campaign has been denied the opportunity "almost uniformly" to raise concerns about voter fraud. He claimed mail-in ballots were the "primary device" to perpetrate such fraud. 

There were "several dimensions to it, several different ways in which it was done," Giuliani said, claiming that voter fraud schemes also took place in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia.

Giuliani and the Trump campaign have claimed in state and federal court that the election was riddled with fraud, but courts have in the vast majority of cases ruled against them. Allegations from the Trump campaign that Republicans were denied the opportunity to observe the canvassing process were also rejected. Additionally, several states, including Pennsylvania where Mr. Biden won by 80,555 votes, have already certified their election results. 

The hearing was conducted by Republican state senators who allege the general election was plagued by problems including irregularities with mail-in voting, which was targeted by the president in the run-up to Election Day. But state elections officials have said there is no evidence of widespread fraud in this election, and efforts by the Trump campaign to block certification of Pennsylvania's election results, which hinged on allegations of fraud, were unsuccessful.

During the hearing, Pennsylvania lawmakers heard from witnesses who made claims of election fraud in affidavits.

"It's in everyone's interest to have a full vetting of election irregularities and fraud," Giuliani said in a statement ahead of the hearing. "And the only way to do this is with public hearings, complete with witnesses, videos, pictures and other evidence of illegalities from the November 3rd election."

While it's been more than three weeks since Election Day, Mr. Trump has refused to concede and instead has made unfounded claims of voter fraud. While the Trump campaign has mounted a slew of long-shot legal challenges alleging fraud and attempting to block certification of results in battleground states, nearly all of their lawsuits have been unsuccessful.

In addition to Pennsylvania, Michigan certified its election results Monday and Nevada did so on Tuesday. The head of the General Services Administration has also ascertained Mr. Biden as the "apparent" winner of the presidential race, which allows the formal transition to begin. The president has also agreed to allow Mr. Biden to begin receiving the President's Daily Brief, a daily summary of high-level intelligence.

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