The Trump team was anxious about a ‘delay’ with the Wisconsin election results, but they had the time zones wrong: book

GettyImages donald trump
President Donald Trump speaks on election night the White House in the early morning hours of November 04, 2020.

  • Trump waited earnestly for updated results from Wisconsin on election night, per a forthcoming book.
  • White House attendees thought there was a “delay” in the election results from the Midwestern state.
  • The campaign didn’t account for the time zone difference, with Wisconsin being an hour behind eastern time.
  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.

In the early hours of November 4, after one of the most tumultuous presidential elections in US history, then-President Donald Trump rattled off the states that were called in his favor, which included the key electoral prizes of Florida, Ohio, and Texas.

He was optimistic about his chances in swing states like Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin, highlighting election day vote leads that he felt would endure.

However, in a nationally-televised White House speech that he envisioned as a rousing victory message, Trump alleged voter fraud and vowed to go to the Supreme Court to “stop” the counting of additional ballots.

After the speech was over, the president walked into the Map Room, with family members and a tight circle of advisors that soon followed, according to a forthcoming book by Michael Wolff.

It was almost 3:30 a.m., and the campaign began to look hard at Wisconsin, a swing state that Trump narrowly won in 2016 and hoped to put back in his column in 2020.

Trump and then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had been competitive in the Badger State all night, but the president hoped to put the race away with updated numbers from a 3:30 a.m. data release.

The campaign team wanted the new Wisconsin numbers to provide them with some momentum, but the unfolding situation only left them frustrated, which Wolff describes in “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency.”

At 3:30 a.m. eastern time, Wisconsin did not report any updated figures.

“Everybody waited, without much to say, anxiety ramping up, the president muttering: Why the delay? What was happening? Had they stopped counting? What was going on?” Wolff wrote.

Read more: Where is Trump’s White House staff now? We created a searchable database of more than 327 top staffers to show where they all landed

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, insisted that the “delay” confirmed his suspicions of electoral wrongdoing.

“They now knew how many Biden votes they needed to offset Trump votes, and they were producing them! That’s what the delay was about,” Wolff wrote in describing Giuliani’s line of thinking.

Trump stuck around for twenty minutes, but eventually became “agitated” and “angry” by the situation before heading to the White House Residence.

Election lawyer Matt Morgan, who was in the Map Room for much of the night, left the White House at 4 a.m.

As Morgan drove home, he realized that Wisconsin is in the central time zone, meaning it was an hour behind the East Coast.

The so-called “delay” was actually a failure to account for the time zone difference, and the updated data was released that morning.

Biden went on to defeat Trump in Wisconsin by roughly 20,000 votes out of nearly 3.3 million ballots cast.

Milwaukee County, the state’s most populous jurisdiction and a longtime Democratic stronghold, gave Biden a hefty 183,000-vote margin over Trump, ensuring his victory in the Midwestern presidential battleground.

The Trump campaign, which questioned the results, last year spent $3 million on recounts in Milwaukee County and Dane County, another Democratic stronghold, only to see Biden pick up 132 votes in Milwaukee.

Read the original article on Business Insider

In a bellwether case, restaurant chains in Midwest US are taking their insurer to court, claiming that business interruption insurance should cover their pandemic losses

Empty restaurant
Three groups of restaurants are pursuing legal action.

  • Three groups of restaurants are taking their insurer to court over lack of cover for pandemic losses.
  • The restaurants claimed that their coverage should have been triggered when the pandemic started.
  • A judge has ruled that the restaurants should be able to move forward with their legal action.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A federal district court judge has ruled that three groups of restaurants operating in four US states should be able to move forward with legal action, which claims that business interruption insurance should cover their pandemic losses.

The restaurants’ revenues were hit as states introduced COVID-19 safety protocols including social-distancing requirements, restaurant capacity limits, and even the temporary suspension of both indoor and outdoor dining.

Restaurants being run by Valley Lodge in Illinois, Rising Dough in Illinois, and Big Onion Tavern Group in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Tennessee all took action against Wisconsin-based insurer Society Insurance. The cases were initially filed separately before being combined into a multi-district bellwether case.

The insurance company tried to dismiss the cases – but the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois turned this down, meaning that the restaurants will be able to take the issue to court.

“The case serves as an accountability mechanism,” Shannon McNulty of Clifford Law Offices, who is co-lead counsel in the case, told Insider.

The restaurants alleged that under their insurance policy with Society Insurance, they had coverage that should have been triggered last March when the pandemic started.

Society Insurance, in response, said that this pandemic coverage isn’t included in the language of the policy.

Society Insurance had told the restaurants in an email in March 2020 that “a quarantine of any size … would likely not trigger business income or extra expense coverages under our policies.” It also said “a widespread governmental imposed shutdown due to COVID-19 would likely not trigger the additional coverage of civil authority.”

The insurance company added that COVID-19 would be “unlikely” to trigger contamination coverage because it isn’t a foodborne illness, and that exposure that their food products had to COVID-19 would not count as a spoilage-covered cause of loss.

In a 31-page ruling viewed by Insider, the court found that the restaurants’ insurance policy “does not contain a specific exclusion of coverage for losses due to a virus or pandemic.” The restaurants said that is a standard exclusion in the insurance industry.

“The fundamental questions at stake in this litigation are how properly to classify the interruption that has happened here, and whether this particular interruption is covered under the policy,” Edmond Chang, the judge leading the ruling, wrote.

The court said that “exclusions are narrowly or strictly construed against the insurer if their effect is uncertain.”

“The decision is highly significant for businesses, particularly here in the Midwest, who have suffered financial losses due to the pandemic and paid insurance premiums to protect against those losses,” McNulty said.

“The court correctly found no coverage under the civil authority, contamination, and sue and labor provisions of Society’s policy,” Society Insurance told Insider. “But Society is disappointed that the court allowed the claims for business-interruption coverage to survive early motions to dismiss and for summary judgment.”

“This is an early, preliminary ruling, and does not resolve the merits,” it said. “Society will continue to vigorously defend its interests in the litigation.”

The court classed the multi-district case as a “bellwether” case, but it’s part of a much bigger wave of coronavirus-related litigation covering everything from individual businesses to industries, lawmakers, and even entire governments.

Strip clubs in New York City have sued Gov. Andrew Cuomo for keeping them closed during the pandemic and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton threatened to sue the city of Austin if it didn’t lift its mask mandate. In addition, a Dutch court ordered the government to scrap the country’s COVID-19 curfew.

Read the original article on Business Insider