Wisconsin GOP files federal complaint alleging illegal Stein-Clinton coordination

(AP photos)
(AP photos)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The Wisconsin Republican Party alleges that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s recount effort in Wisconsin amounts to illegal coordination with Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The state Republican Party filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday. The complaint comes the day before the scheduled start of the recount of Wisconsin’s vote, won by Republican Donald Trump by 22,000 votes — less than 1 percentage point.

The complaint contends that Stein only received 31,006 votes in Wisconsin — so Clinton is the only person who could benefit from a recount. “After being soundly rejected by the voters both in Wisconsin and around the United States, Clinton stands as the only actor that would benefit from a recount taking place in Wisconsin or elsewhere,” the GOP says in its complaint.

Clinton surpassed Trump by almost 2.3 million votes, but Trump, by winning the majority in more states, holds a significant lead in the Electoral College — 306 electors to Clinton’s 232.

Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan combined have 46 electoral votes, which would tip the election outcome.

The complaint also alleges Clinton appears to have illegally helped Stein raise nearly $7 million for the recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan — double the amount Stein raised for her own presidential campaign. It says the Clinton campaign also emailed supporters looking for volunteers to help the recount, something Stein’s campaign didn’t do.

Spokeswomen for Stein and Clinton’s campaigns did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Clinton lawyer Marc Elias tweeted earlier this week pointed out criticism of efforts to uncover or rule out vote tampering was coming from the presidential candidate who alleged throughout his campaign the primaries and election were rigged.

Elias wrote Saturday that the Clinton campaign’s efforts didn’t find any “actionable evidence” that voting technology was compromised but “now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides… [R]egardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself.”


Copyright 2016 Associated Press. WBAY contributed to this report.