Donald Trump’s attorneys have identified Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election as “Patient Zero” in their effort to deny the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s victory.
The attorneys have claimed in a series of lawsuits and other legal actions that Russia’s influence in the election, which included the release of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, invalidated the results. The lawyers claim that the interference caused enough confusion and uncertainty to invalidate the results in key battleground states and make Trump’s loss illegitimate.
The legal argument is likely to fail, since there is no evidence that the Russians interfered in any way on election day. But the move by Trump’s lawyers, in an effort to overturn the election results, shows that they are trying to connect Russia’s interference to Biden’s win.
The Department of Justice has never prosecuted any individuals for interference in the 2016 election, but the department’s inspector general is currently conducting an investigation into Russia’s interference. Special counsel Robert Mueller concluded in his report that Russia did interfere in the election and used social media, spoof websites and other means to spread false information to try and influence voters.