Green Party leader Jill Stein on Monday vowed to “escalate” her fight for a recount of presidential votes cast in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Stein, at a rally with supporters across the street from Trump Tower, called on President-elect Donald Trump to stop objecting to the recount effort in states where he narrowly defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump on Sunday called Stein’s bid a “scam” on Twitter, and his campaign lawyers, along with several pro-Trump groups, have initiated legal efforts in all three states attempting to block the recount.
“We are here to assure Donald Trump that there is nothing to be afraid of if you believe in democracy, if you believe in the credibility of your victory,” Stein said. “Put down your arms. End your bureaucratic obstruction, end your intimidation and join we the people of America who are calling for a democracy that serves all of us and elections that we can trust.”
Stein, a two-time former presidential candidate under the Green Party, has taken her fight for a recount to federal court — receiving a pair of victories over the weekend.
Monday morning, a federal judge in Michigan ruled that the state must initiate its recount by noon, after Michigan’s Republican attorney general attempted to delay the statewide recount until Wednesday.
On Friday, a federal judge in Wisconsin dismissed a request from two pro-Trump super PACs — Great Again PAC and Stop Hillary PAC — that were seeking a temporary order to stop the vote recount.
Stein filed a federal lawsuit Monday in Pennsylvania demanding the state launch an “immediate” recount, after a state court judge ordered a $1 million bond be posted to proceed with the recount.
The federal lawsuit came after Stein announced on Saturday she was dropping the recount effort in Pennsylvania, citing the $1 million bond, as too high a cost for the “regular citizens of ordinary means,” who filed the lawsuit on the Green Party’s behalf.
“We have no choice but to seek federal intervention,” Stein’s attorney Jonathan Abady said Monday outside of Trump Tower.
Stein, who has raised some $7 million online for the legal costs associated with the recount effort, has said she does not believe the recount will change the results of the election, but is pushing for the second count to ensure the “integrity” of votes cast by “marginalized and disenfranchised” communities.
Outside of Trump Tower, Stein supporters and Trump supporters often shouted at one another — with Trump supporters urging Stein backers to accept the vote amid chants of “he won!” and Stein backers defending their right to scrutinize each vote.