President Donald Trump's closest advisors have assembled the recount team they hope will carry him to victory in contested battleground states, a half dozen Trump advisors and Republicans close to the campaign told Insider.
The Trump campaign operations expert Justin Clark is working closely with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to direct the operation, the Republicans said.
Clark's law firm, Michael Best and Friedrich, which is also home to former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and former White House lawyer Stefan Passantino, is providing the legal prowess as the Trump team starts to file lawsuits directed at keeping the president in office for another four years.
"The lawyers are already replacing the political folks" in the battleground states, one Republican familiar with the Trump team's recount plans said.
But Trump's team is missing two of the GOP's sharpest election lawyers as it goes to war with the Democrats. Trump's first White House counsel, Don McGahn, who helped lead the 2016 legal operation, isn't helping, the Republicans said.
The same goes for Benjamin Ginsberg, a luminary in Republican Party election law who recently wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that Trump's efforts to block people from casting ballots "is as un-American as it gets."
Ginsberg retired from the Jones Day law firm earlier this year after a lengthy career that included serving as a top attorney for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign and during the contested 2000 White House election that culminated with George W. Bush winning the presidency after a 36-day legal fight.
As its legal team takes shape, Trump's campaign promised to seek a recount in Wisconsin, where the president appears to be about 20,000 votes behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden out of about 3.2 million votes cast in the Badger State. Trump's campaign also said it filed a lawsuit in Michigan's Court of Claims on Wednesday to attempt to stop ballot counting there.
"We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access," Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in announcing the lawsuit.
The 2020 election appeared like it would remain in overtime for some time as Republican operatives started to get dispatched across the country Wednesday. One GOP strategist was en route to Pennsylvania, another state Trump and his team are fighting in, when contacted by Insider.
Eric Trump, one of the president's adult sons, along with his wife, Lara Trump, the president's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and Trump campaign advisor Corey Lewandowski are planning to host a press conference in Philadelphia later Wednesday.