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Port: Term limits campaign sics Trump lawyer involved in 2020 election lawsuits on secretary of state

A law firm hired by the ballot measure committee has represented Trump associates under investigation by Congress over the Jan. 6, 2021, riot, employs one of Trump's former cabinet members, and represented plaintiffs in other states contesting the outcome of the 2020 election.

PHOTO: Jared Hendrix
Bastiat Caucus organizer Jared Hendrix speaks during a rally at the North Dakota Capitol on April 5, 2021.
Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service
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MINOT, N.D. — A constitutional amendment to implement term limits was disqualified from North Dakota's November ballot by Secretary of State Al Jaeger after he found numerous problems with the way the signatures were collected.

Among the problems Jaeger said he found were forgeries, collection of signatures before the measure had been approved for circulation, and the unlawful payment of petition circulators.

The matter remains under investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

But, in the meantime, a lawyer hired by the ballot measure committee has fired back at Jaeger, accusing him in a blisteringly pugnacious letter of not just making mistakes of law in the disqualification of tens of thousands of signatures, but manipulating the verification process to reach that outcome.

The term limits committee is basically accusing Secretary of State Al Jaeger, and Attorney General Drew Wrigley, of election fraud.

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If those arguments sound familiar, perhaps like some of the nonsense thrown around by Trump supporters who were contesting the 2020 election outcome, there's a reason for that.

The attorney who authored the 47-page letter to Jaeger is Edward D. Greim of the Kansas City, Missouri-based law firm Graves Garrett.

The firm is now home to Matthew Whitaker , who served as acting attorney general under disgraced former President Donald Trump's administration.

It has represented Trump aides who were subpoenaed as a part of the congressional investigation into the violent attack Trump supporters perpetrated in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.

Mr. Greim, specifically, represented plaintiffs who claimed, in Stoddard v. City Election Commission of Detroit , "hundreds or thousands of ballots to be 'duplicated' solely by the Democratic Party inspector and then counted."

The lawsuit was unsuccessful, with the court dismissing the claims made by Greim on behalf of the plaintiffs as "mere speculation."

"By contrast, plaintiffs do not offer any affidavits or specific eyewitness evidence to substantiate their assertions. Plaintiffs merely assert in their verified complaint 'Hundreds of thousands of ballots were duplicated solely by Democratic party inspectors and counted.' Plaintiffs' allegation is mere speculation," the court wrote in an order dismissing the suit.

You can read the full order below.

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How credible are the arguments Mr. Greim is now making on behalf of the term limits committee? It seems inevitable that this matter will end up before the state Supreme Court as the out-of-state financiers and their out-of-state lawyers push the issue. My point being that Greim and his clients will have their day in court.

But it's worth keeping in mind that this is a hyper-political law firm with a history of making wild accusations about election shenanigans that tend to wither under the scrutiny of the courts.

On a related note, it's worth keeping in mind that the chairman of the ballot measure committee is Jared Hendrix, who organized a "stop the steal" rally in Bismarck shortly after the 2020 election.

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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