Trump campaign filing for partial Wisconsin recount, deposits $3 million to challenge Biden victory

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US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Waukesha County Airport in Waukesha, Wisconsin on October 24, 2020.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump‘s reelection campaign on Wednesday said it will file for a partial recount in Wisconsin to challenge President-elect Joe Biden‘s victory in the state.

The announcement came after Wisconsin election officials confirmed that the Trump campaign wired $3 million there ahead of the 5 p.m. deadline to file for a recount.

Trump’s campaign said in a statement that it will petition to recount the ballots in two counties, Milwaukee and Dane. The campaign claimed “illegal” voting activity was carried out by Wisconsin election officials, without providing evidence of any widespread problems that could upend Biden’s more than 20,000-vote lead.

The Trump campaign has not yet filed any recount petition, Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney said in a statement earlier Wednesday.

The recount would have to be completed before the chair of the state’s elections commission certifies the results on Dec. 1.

Biden leads Trump by more than 20,000 votes in Wisconsin, with an edge of 49.5% of the ballots cast, compared to 48.8% for the Republican incumbent. Trump had won the state in 2016 by less than 1 percentage point over Hillary Clinton.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission on Tuesday received vote results from all 72 of the state’s counties, giving the Trump campaign until 5 p.m. Wednesday to file for a recount.

NBC News projected Biden would win the state on Nov. 4, less than a day after election night results began rolling in.

In its statement Wednesday, Trump’s campaign claimed that absentee ballots were “illegally altered,” and “illegally issued” by elections officials, who also allegedly offered “illegal advice” to voters.

“These two counties were selected because they are the locations of the worst irregularities,” the campaign said.

“The people of Wisconsin deserve to know whether their election processes worked in a legal and transparent way. Regrettably, the integrity of the election results cannot be trusted without a recount in these two counties and uniform enforcement of Wisconsin absentee ballot requirements. We will not know the true results of the election until only the legal ballots cast are counted,” said Jim Troupis, counsel to the campaign.

“We will not stop fighting for transparency and integrity in our electoral process to ensure that all Americans can trust the results of a free and fair election in Wisconsin and across the country,” Troupis said.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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