On Monday, a federal judge ordered that the RNC explain in what ways it was contributing to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s poll-watching efforts and gave the Committee until Wednesday to do so, the Wall Street Journal reported.
RNC lawyers responded on Monday night and a federal judge will hold a hearing on Friday, BuzzFeed News reports.
In an attempt to distance themselves from the Trump campaign, general counsel John R. Phillippe Jr. wrote, “On behalf of the RNC, I have made clear to the Trump campaign that the RNC cannot and will not be involved in any way with ballot security activities or Election Day operations.”
“The RNC has likewise never authorized the Trump campaign to act on its behalf. Just the opposite,” the lawyers made clear in their filing.
They added, “The RNC has repeatedly informed its staff and the Trump campaign that neither Donald Trump nor his campaign speaks or acts for or on behalf of the RNC.”
Philippe wrote “In August 2016, when I perceived that Mr. Trump was likely to emphasize vote fraud in his campaign, I started to put an even greater emphasis on training regarding the consent decree than in past cycles.”
Democrats filed a motion in federal court last week, writing that the RNC was violating the consent decree, according to Politico.
The DNC stated that the RNC was doing so, “by supporting and enabling the efforts of the Republican candidate for President, Donald J. Trump, as well as his campaign and advisors, to intimidate and discourage minority voters from voting.”
Trump has made repeated calls for his supporters to go to “certain areas” and monitor voters at the polls. His instigations have been likened to voter intimidation tactics of black and brown voters.
RNC lawyers wrote in their Monday filing, “The Republican Party’s presidential nominee is not a voting member or officer of the RNC. … In the case of Donald J. Trump, he is not — and never has been — a member of the RNC.”