22:21 GMT16 January 2021
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    Amid frenzied vote-counting in the remaining battleground states to determine the winner in the 2020 presidential election, Republican Donald Trump, who trails his Democratic rival Joe Biden in the electoral college vote tally, has railed against alleged voting “fraud”, with his legal team launching lawsuits.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has announced he will donate $500,000 to Donald Trump's legal defence fund as the President’s reelection campaign geared up for legal battles over claims of voting irregularities in the 2020 US elections.

    ​Graham, who had just won a re-election to the US Senate, fighting off a tough challenge from Democrat Jaime Harrison, spoke on Fox News’s "Hannity", appearing to support Donald Trump’s statements slamming voter “fraud” and election corruption.

    "He helped Senate Republicans, we're going to pick up House seats ... I'm going to donate $500,000 tonight to President Trump's defence legal fund," said Graham.

    According to the Associated Press, a spokesperson for Graham said the money would come from his campaign account, which raised over $100 million.

    The Republican senator from South Carolina praised efforts in Arizona to count all votes, while referring to the elections in Philadelphia as being “crooked as a snake”, and saying that "allegations of wrongdoing are earth shattering".

    When the host appeared to suggest that the Pennsylvania GOP state legislature select its own electors, Graham responded by saying:

    "Everything should be on the table."

    Following Graham's appearance on Hannity, Senator Cruz echoed similar sentiments, posting on Twitter that partisan election observers in Philadelphia were being denied access to observe ballot counts.

    Trump Team Gears Up for Legal Action

    The two prominent Republicans in the Senate, Graham and Cruz, have staunchly fallen behind Donald Trump, whose campaign has already filed lawsuits in several battleground states over ballot counting.

    In Michigan, they claimed the Trump campaign has been denied "meaningful" access to locations where ballots are processed, while also voicing intention to seek a recount in Wisconsin.

    Earlier, the President’s legal team won a battle to allow its election monitors to stand closer to the ballot counting in Philadelphia.

    In Pennsylvania, more specifically its city of Philadelphia, the Trump campaign had lodged a legal complaint that its observers could not get close enough to see if mail-in ballot envelopes had signatures along with eligible voters' names and addresses. The ballots that contained no signatures could be challenged or disqualified.

    A demonstrator tosses confetti outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center where votes are being counted, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Philadelphia, following Tuesday's election.
    © AP Photo / Rebecca Blackwell
    A demonstrator tosses confetti outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center where votes are being counted, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Philadelphia, following Tuesday's election.

    On Wednesday, a Philadelphia lower court ruled that poll watchers would be allowed within six feet of ballot-counting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, rather than the previous 20-foot perimeter, with the rule applying to both Republican and Democratic representatives.

    Trump and his legal team were also planning to challenge votes postmarked by 3 November that are being accepted in Pennsylvania through Friday, in accordance with a ruling by the state Supreme Court.

    Lindsey Graham's comments came as Donald Trump Jr. appeared to call out Republicans, including Graham, who failed to publicly throw their support behind the President, posting on Twitter that he was “not surprised”.

    ​US President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent, presidential nominee Joe Biden, have been neck and neck in the tight race for the White House.

    As remaining battleground states work to wrap up their vote counts, both candidates have claimed that they were on the path to winning.


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