Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has been quietly exploring whether there was any “outside interference” in the election results and will participate in the election recount in Wisconsin initiated by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, a Clinton campaign lawyer revealed Saturday, reports Washington Post.
In a Medium post, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias said the campaign had received “hundreds of messages, emails, and calls urging us to do something, anything, to investigate claims that the election results were hacked and altered in a way to disadvantage Secretary Clinton,” especially in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, where the “combined margin of victory for Donald Trump was merely 107,000 votes.”
Elias said the campaign had “not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology.” But because of the margin of victory — and because of the degree of apparent foreign interference during the campaign — Elias said that Clinton officials had “quietly taken a number of steps in the last two weeks to rule in or out any possibility of outside interference in the vote tally in these critical battleground states.”
He said that the Clinton campaign would participate in the Stein-initiated recount in Wisconsin by having representatives on the ground monitoring the count and having lawyers represent them in court if needed. And if Stein made good on efforts to prompt similar processes in Pennsylvania and Michigan, Elias said, the Clinton campaign would do so there, as well.
“The campaign is grateful to all those who have expended time and effort to investigate various claims of abnormalities and irregularities,” Elias said. “While that effort has not, in our view, resulted in evidence of manipulation of results, now that a recount is underway, we believe we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported.”
The recount effort is somewhat unusual in that it comes weeks after Clinton conceded — and at the request and with the financial backing of a third-party candidate, Stein, who has no chance of winning, said election law expert Richard L. Hasen, a law professor at the University of California at Irvine. Clinton, too, has virtually no chance of altering the result, given that she would have to reverse not just Wisconsin, but also Michigan and Pennsylvania, to become president, Hasen said.
Recounts can change outcomes. Sen. Al Franken famously defeated Norm Coleman for the seat he now holds after a months-long recount and legal battle, even though Coleman seemed initially to have a lead. But the margins are usually in the hundreds, not thousands, and typically, recounts are initiated by candidates in close races refusing to accept defeat, as is the case in the current North Carolina gubernatorial race between incumbent Pat McCrory and Democrat Roy Cooper, Hasen said. - IH