11 November 2020

Jones Day not representing Trump in election fraud claims, firm says

US President Donal Trump

US giant says election role confined to advising Pennsylvania GOP on ongoing mail-in ballot extension dispute

US law firm Jones Day has hit back at media claims that it is representing President Trump in his attempts to contest the results of last week’s US election by filing baseless allegations of fraud.

In a statement on its website, Jones Day said: “Jones Day is not representing President Trump, his campaign, or any affiliated party in any litigation alleging voter fraud. Jones Day also is not representing any entity in any litigation challenging or contesting the results of the 2020 general election. Media reports to the contrary are false.”

A New York Times report published Monday said the firm had received more than $20m in fees since 2015 from Trump campaigns, groups linked to the outgoing president and the Republican National Committee, citing federal records. The report said some senior lawyers at Jones Day were worried the firm "may be helping Mr. Trump and his allies undermine the integrity of American elections".  

Numerous media outlets, including Bloomberg, have also reported on a campaign by the conservative group The Lincoln Project, which opposes Trump, to encourage its supporters to register their disapproval to employees of Jones Day and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, another prominent adviser to Trump.

In its statement, Jones Day clarified that it is representing the Pennsylvania GOP in its efforts to overturn the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision to extend the deadline for returning mail-in ballots that had previously been established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. 

Through Jones Day, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania has sought review from the US Supreme Court that the order to extend the deadline was unconstitutional because it usurped the PGA’s authority to determine election procedures, including deadlines for absentee ballots. 

That review is ongoing, and ballots received after the deadline have been segregated, meaning they are unlikely to change the outcome in Pennsylvania. Biden currently leads Trump in the state by more than 47,000 votes. Jones Day said it will not withdraw from that representation.

As Trump’s attempts to undermine the election results continue, the New York State Bar Association on Saturday ‘decried’ Trump’s refusal to concede and called for a lawful transition of power ‘that respects the rule of law’.

The Trump administration has so far blocked the federal General Services Administration from declaring a winner, which would unlock transition funds and logistical support for Biden. Prominent Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have backed Trump’s legal right to contest the election, though no evidence of widespread fraud has so far been presented.

Email your news and story ideas to: news@globallegalpost.com