Three of President Donald Trump’s campaign attorneys stood atop a flag-drenched dais and gave terminally-rambling, error-filled and rhetoric-heavy speeches about the sad, doomed fate of their failed legal efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election on Thursday.
“No court should entertain further argument from this Trump team without first walking through the various public statements and asking the lawyer to answer, under oath, which of them have any factual or legal foundation,” mused Civil Rights lawyer and administrative law expert Sasha Samberg-Champion via Twitter. “Otherwise the courts are being used as a propaganda tool.”
NBC News, in a headline, characterized the spectacle-within-a-spectacle as a “free-wheeling news conference” and said Trump’s attorney and longtime friend Rudy Giuliani “baselessly” alleged a vast Democrat-controlled conspiracy.
“It’s not a singular voter fraud in one state,” Giuliani said at one point. “This pattern repeats itself in a number of states, almost exactly the same pattern, which any experienced investigator prosecutor, which suggests that there was a plan — from a centralized place to execute these various acts of voter fraud, specifically focused on big cities, and specifically focused on, as you would imagine, big cities controlled by Democrats, and particularly if they focused on big cities that have a long history of corruption.”
No evidence was provided for Giuliani’s clammy claims.
And legal experts were there to point out the obvious.
“To be clear: Rudy, Jenna Ellis, and the rest have nothing,” noted CNN legal analyst Elie Honig. “Zero. They’re not serious. They’ve got plenty of hot, nonsensical rhetoric but not nearly enough on the facts and they’re just straight making up the law. This isn’t what real lawyers, decent lawyers, do.”
“Rudy said Trump withdrew Michigan lawsuit based on assumption it was legit to rescind votes,” Garber noted–referring to two Wayne County commissioners who asked to rescind their votes to certify election results following a phone call from Trump himself. But, as it turns out, Michigan has no legal mechanism for taking back votes.
“The outrageous [Rudy Giuliani] accusations need to be presented and proven or withdrawn,” said conservative political commentator Alice Stewart. “This is harmful to election integrity.”
Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell also made similarly unsupported statements about the 2020 election results—including the claim that Venezuela had something to do with something. Those claims were later amplified by the GOP’s official Twitter account.
“We will not be intimidated,” the conservative attorney said, intoning with pathos, reaching for incendiary and eliminationist rhetoric. “We are going to clean this mess up now. President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it. And we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom.”
Notably, none of what Powell said was correct. The campaign and their fast-fading collection of attorneys have been repeatedly intimidated into dropping several lawsuits and their representation of Trump 2020 entirely. There are no credible allegations of widespread voter or electoral fraud that would necessitate clean-ups. President Trump lost in a landslide to Joe Biden. And there’s no evidence to prove any of the campaign’s claims because no such evidence exists.
Criticism of Powell was also abundant online following the presser.
It’s time for the state bars to come get their people. https://t.co/VMLc56I5wH
— Ben Edwards (@BenPEdwards) November 19, 2020
“It’s time for the state bars to come get their people,” UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Professor Ben Edwards commented.
Sidney Powell, Mike Flynn’s lawyer now working for Trump, says the election was rigged by “communist money” and a scheme devised by the late Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuala. pic.twitter.com/8XTnRHCzAM
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) November 19, 2020
Even by the standards of the Trump legal team, Sidney Powell is making no sense right now. You have to be just mainlining https://t.co/e42OrdsVvW and Gateway Pundit to have any idea what she’s referencing.
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) November 19, 2020
The Trump campaign’s lead legal advisor, Jenna Ellis, largely spent her own time behind the red, white and blue-trimmed lectern attacking the media and accusing the Democratic Party of un-sourced shenanigans while also heavily leaning into extremist language about how the 45th president’s political opponents are trying to “tear down this country” and other invective along such lines.
Once again, legal experts tore her apart:
Pro tip to young attorneys: don’t rely on this argument in your next trial. https://t.co/LrL7dqWPv6
— Randall Eliason (@RDEliason) November 19, 2020
Jenna Ellis kept comparing this stage to opening arguments before a jury. But you don’t get to opening arguments unless you’ve made it past the motion to dismiss and summary judgment stages where you establish that you have a viable legal theory and sufficient evidence.
— Ross Garber (@rossgarber) November 19, 2020
Someday maybe I will be part of an “elite strike force team.”
But for now I am just 29-1 in post election litigation.
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 19, 2020
The Biden campaign took the bizarre series of speeches in stride.
“Yet another Rudy Giuliani spectacle exposes, as his appearances always do, the absurdity of Donald Trump’s thoroughly discredited claims of voter fraud. Numerous courts, election officials from both parties, and even officials within Trump’s own administration, have all reaffirmed that claims of widspread voter fraud are categorically false,” spokesperson Mike Gwin said in a statement. “No matter how hard Trump and the flailing Giuliani try, they cannot overturn the will of the American people, who resoundingly picked Joe Biden to be the next President of the United States.”
[image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]
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