Biden's transition moves ahead

By Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 8:00 p.m. ET, December 7, 2020
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12:23 p.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Federal judge dismisses latest election challenge in Georgia

From CNN's Kevin Conlon

A federal judge in Georgia dismissed two motions on Monday morning brought by attorney Sidney Powell aimed at reversing the election results in that state.  

“The plaintiffs do not have standing to bring these claims,” Judge Timothy Batten ruled from the bench immediately following about an hour of arguments.

Judge Batten also dissolved the temporary restraining order that stopped election officials from clearing the latest election data from Dominion voting machines in Cobb, Gwinnett and Cherokee Counties. Election officials in Georgia have said the machines will be needed for early voting that starts in the Senate runoff election in a week.

Batten further said that the plaintiffs waited too long to take such action. “This suit could have been brought months ago before the election, at the time the machines were adopted. The relief they seek, this court cannot grant.”

Finally, Batten called the relief Powell was seeking “the most extraordinary relief ever sought in any federal court,” as it pertains to elections. “They want to substitute the judgement of this court for that of two and a half million Georgia voters who voted for Joe Biden. This I am unwilling to do.”

1:31 p.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Trump campaign legal efforts may be coming to an end, sources say

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

President Donald Trump attends a ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House on December 3 in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump attends a ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House on December 3 in Washington, DC. Evan Vucci/AP

Despite what President Trump has said publicly, there is a sense developing within his legal team and what remains of his campaign staff that their efforts to overturn or delay the results of the election are coming to an end, multiple sources tell CNN. 

Trump said in a 46-minute video released last week that they would continue to file lawsuits, but his legal team has held fewer meetings and strategy calls in the last several days.

Following Rudy Giuliani's hospitalization, staffers only speculated further that it’s a matter of time before their legal efforts come to a halt completely. Giuliani is currently expected to appear via Zoom in front of a hearing with Georgia House delegates Thursday, though whether he ultimately does will depend on his condition, a source said. 

Officials are also aware they are rapidly approaching deadlines that will certify results of the election and final rulings in some of their legal challenges. 

Some campaign staff had their contract extended through the end of the year, but decisions do not appear to have been made beyond that, a person familiar with the matter told CNN. 

11:54 a.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Kamala Harris tests negative for Covid-19

From CNN’s Jasmine Wright

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks at the Queen Theatre on November 24 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks at the Queen Theatre on November 24 in Wilmington, Delaware. Mark Makela/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris underwent PCR testing for Covid-19 today, and Covid-19 was not detected, according to a Harris aide.

11:53 a.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Biden's CDC pick promises to combat Covid-19 with "science and facts"

From CNN's Jen Christensen

President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said in a tweet Monday that she would be “honored” to lead the organization.

“I began my medical career at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis, and I've spent my life ever since working to research, treat, and combat infectious diseases,” Walensky wrote on Twitter. “I'm honored to be called to lead the brilliant team at the CDC. We are ready to combat this virus with science and facts.”

Walensky is an infectious disease expert who works at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also a CNN contributor.

Read the tweet:

11:42 a.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Dr. Fauci won't attend Biden event in person, but may participate virtually tomorrow

From CNN’s Arlette Saenz

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing on November 19 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing on November 19 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci will not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s event introducing his health team on Tuesday, but they’re looking at the possibility of having him join virtually in some way, a source familiar with the matter tells CNN.

Some more context: On Monday, Biden announced that Fauci will serve as chief medical adviser to the President on Covid-19 and will also continue in his role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

11:31 a.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Georgia expects to re-certify election results today, secretary of state says

From CNN's Lindsay Benson and Tori Apodaca 

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger makes remarks during a press conference in Atlanta, on Wednesday, December 2.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger makes remarks during a press conference in Atlanta, on Wednesday, December 2. Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP

Georgia is set to re-certify the results of the November presidential election, after a third count of the votes. 

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, said he "will be re-certifying our state’s election results," today during a morning news conference at the state capitol. President-elect Joe Biden will carry the state.   

"It's been a long 34 days since the election on November 3. We have now counted legally cast ballots three times, and the results remain unchanged," Raffensperger said. 

Gabriel Sterling, voting implementation manager, said they are waiting on one county's election board to meet before they will be able to re-certify. 

Raffensperger ended his remarks saying it's time to look toward the runoff election.

"It is now time to direct our energies towards the January 5 runoff election, and then to making Georgia an even better place to grow your businesses, raise your families, and enjoy prosperity here in Georgia," Raffensperger said.  

Trump's defeat is the first time a Republican has failed to carry the state since 1992. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Georgia, which Biden won by about 12,000 votes. Nearly 5 million votes were cast statewide. 

10:32 a.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Federal judges rule against lawsuit to overturn Michigan election results

From CNN's Annie Grayer

A federal court in Michigan threw out the latest lawsuit seeking to overturn election results in the state, this time shutting down efforts led by Sidney Powell, a former Trump advisor who was disavowed by the campaign. 

The judges determined that the lawsuit was full of “nothing but speculation and conjecture” and that Powell and her clients’ goal of forcing the state’s electors to vote for Trump even though Joe Biden won the state, was not only impossible since the state has already certified its results, it was also meant to disenfranchise voters.

“They seek relief that is stunning in its scope and breathtaking in its reach” the judges wrote. “Plaintiffs ask this Court to ignore the orderly statutory scheme established to challenge elections and to ignore the will of millions of voters. This, the Court cannot, and will not, do. The People have spoken.”

The court went as far as to argue that the plaintiffs were less interested in actually achieving their relief and more focused on “the impact of their allegations on People’s faith in the democratic process and their trust in our government.”

Led by Powell, plaintiffs in this case relied on recycled allegations, many of which were made by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and the witnesses he brought forward to testify in front of the Michigan House Oversight Committee last week. For example, plaintiffs in the case alleged that the ballot tabulating software used in the November election mirrored a coordinated “criminal conspiracy” used to manipulate Venezuelan elections in favor of the late Hugo Chávez.

The Michigan ruling is the latest defeat in a weeks-long effort by the Trump campaign or Trump allies seeking to overturn election results across the country.

To date, the Trump campaign and Trump allies have won one case in Pennsylvania concerning absentee voters and have lost or withdrawn about 40 cases.

8:53 a.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Here's who is co-chairing Biden's inaugural committee

From CNN’s Jessica Dean

South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn endorses Joe Biden in February. He will lead the President-elect's inaugural committee.
South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn endorses Joe Biden in February. He will lead the President-elect's inaugural committee. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/File

The Biden Presidential Inaugural Committee announced five new co-chairs this morning, led by key Biden ally South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn.

He will be joined by...

  • Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester
  • Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond

“Kamala and I are honored and grateful to these leaders for joining our inaugural committee as co-chairs and helping to organize a safe inauguration for all Americans. These leaders reflect the strength, spirit, and diversity of America and have always held a steadfast commitment to restoring the soul of the nation, building back the middle class, and unifying the country. We are proud of their support and know they will help plan an inauguration that will reflect our nation’s shared values,” President-elect Joe Biden said in a statement.

8:47 a.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Key takeaways from last night's Georgia Senate debate

From CNN's Clare Foran

Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and her Democratic opponent Rev. Raphael Warnock debate Sunday.
Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and her Democratic opponent Rev. Raphael Warnock debate Sunday. Ben Gray/Pool/AP

Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and her Democratic opponent Rev. Raphael Warnock traded sharp attacks during a debate Sunday evening ahead of a pivotal runoff election next month.

The outcome of their race, along with the result of a second Georgia runoff in January between incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue and his Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, will determine control of the Senate in the new Congress.

If either Republican incumbent holds onto their seat, the GOP will be poised to maintain its Senate majority. But if both Democrats win, it would bring the balance of power to 50-50 in the upper chamber with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris able to step in and cast tie breaking votes.

If you missed last night's debate, here are some takeaways:

Loeffler dodges on Trump's baseless election claims

Loeffler was asked repeatedly during the debate to weigh in on President Donald Trump's false claims that the election was rigged and did not directly answer questions on several occasions.

The Georgia senator did not explicitly say that she believes the presidential election was rigged when asked, but did say "it's very clear that there were issues in this election."

Loeffler said Trump has "every right to every legal recourse," when asked if she stands by the President's baseless narrative about the election, and then attempted to turn attention to her own Senate race.

Warnock sidesteps on Supreme Court answer and Covid-19 relief cost

Warnock was questioned during the debate about what topline number for total cost he would support for a new Covid relief package in Congress, as lawmakers in Washington are searching for a deal to pass such a proposal before the end of the year.

When asked to specify a number, he sidestepped, saying, "Look, I think that we should at least make sure that whatever we do, workers are at the center of that relief."

The Democratic challenger also sidestepped when asked whether he supports expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court to offset recent appointments to the bench from Trump and whether he thinks there should be term limits for justices.

Both candidates portray opponent as out of touch with voters

The debate featured pointed lines of attack traded between the two candidates who both attempted to make the case that their opponent is out of touch with voters.

Loeffler repeatedly referred to her Democratic opponent as a "radical liberal" -- unwaveringly sticking to talking points to portray Warnock as extremely far left.

Warnock, for his part, targeted the GOP senator over stock transactions that have been the subject of intense scrutiny for their timing related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more takeaways here.