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Trump Law Firm Withdraws From Pennsylvania Election Case (2)

Nov. 13, 2020, 2:52 PM

A law firm representing the Trump campaign in its challenges to the Pennsylvania election results gave notice that it’s withdrawing from one of the cases.

Lawyers with Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP submitted a filing late Thursday stating they were withdrawing as counsel in a federal suit seeking to block Pennsylvania from certifying its vote. No reason was given. In a statement issued Friday, the firm confirmed the filing but did not say why it was exiting the case.

“We’ve committed to the court to fulfill our obligations as required to ensure transition to substitute counsel and so as not to cause material adverse effect on the client’s interest,” Porter Wright said. “We will have no further comment.”

Porter Wright is one of two law firms targeted by the Lincoln Project -- a group of Republicans who oppose President Donald J. Trump -- for their work on lawsuits challenging the election results. The campaign included encouraging people to email the lawyers on the cases.

While the filing stated that Trump consented to the withdrawal, a campaign spokesman blamed “cancel culture” for Porter Wright’s exit.

“Leftist mobs descended upon some of the lawyers representing the President’s campaign and they buckled,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the campaign. “If the target were anyone but Donald Trump, the media would be screaming about injustice and the fundamental right to legal representation. The President’s team is undeterred and will move forward with rock-solid attorneys to ensure free and fair elections for all Americans.”

A hearing on the state’s motion to dismiss the suit in federal court in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, is scheduled for Tuesday.

Another attorney who doesn’t work for Porter Wright will remain on the Williamsport case, according to the filing. The suit claims the state’s election results are suspect because the campaign wasn’t given adequate access to observe the vote-counting in Democratic-leaning counties.

Read More: Pennsylvania Blasts Trump’s ‘Slapdash’ Lawsuit to Toss Votes

Porter Wright has also been representing the campaign in a case heading to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court similarly challenging vote tallies based on poll observers’ access to the counting process. It additionally filed several county-level challenges seeking to disqualify ballots it claimed were defective. It’s unclear if Porter Wright also intends to withdraw from those representations.

The firm’s work for the campaign was led by Ronald Hicks, a partner in the firm’s Pittsburgh office and co-chair of its election law practice. He didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jones Day has also been criticized for representing the Pennsylvania Republican Party in seeking to exclude from the state’s count ballots that arrived after Nov. 3 even if they were mailed before Election Day.

(Updates with comment from Porter Wright.)

--With assistance from Jordan Fabian.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Tina Davis in New York at;
Erik Larson in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Tina Davis at

Anthony Lin

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