Trump’s Legal ‘Strategy’ Is Falling Flat
November 10, 2020
President-elect Joe Biden won the election by nearly five million votes and counting, and is on track to secure 306 electoral votes—it is not a close election. Trump, who vowed to file baseless claims even before the election happened, can’t accept defeat, even though he has lost key battleground states in 2020 by a bigger margin than he won by in 2016.
Now, the Trump campaign’s legal strategy is falling flat because there is no evidence to back up their baseless claims. They’ve failed from the get go and repeatedly embarrassed themselves with their complete incompetence. Trump says he’s winning and will continue to fight in court, but he’ll have better luck trying at the Courtyard by Marriott.
Trump has failed in court and has yet to present anything close to evidence that supports his baseless claims of fraud — because there isn’t any.
NPR: “Trump Election Lawsuits Have Mostly Failed. Here’s What They Tried”
NPR: “The problem is, Trump’s campaign has spent much of the past week in court with little success, and without presenting anything close to evidence that points to a fraudulent result.”
From the get go, Trump was met with immediate defeats in court because his campaign offered no evidence.
Washington Post: “President Trump and his allies pressed their claims Thursday that election officials have allowed ballot fraud to infect the counting process in the battleground states poised to decide the presidency, but they offered no evidence of irregularities and met with two immediate defeats in court.”
TIME: “Judges have already tossed out or ruled against Trump campaign suits in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and Michigan.”
Even some Fox News anchors won’t cover the Trump campaign’s baseless lies and cut away from Kayleigh McEnany’s briefing.
Washington Post’s Ashley Parker: “Fox News just cut away from @PressSec, saying the network could not in good conscience continue to air her false claims, for which she has provided no supporting evidence.”
HuffPost: “Apparently unaware that she was still live on air, Fox News host Sandra Smith on Monday flashed an incredible look of disdain and expressed astonishment over a Republican lawyer’s suggestion of election fraud on Monday. ‘What? What is happening?’ the co-anchor of ‘America’s Newsroom’ asked as she narrowed her eyes, frowned and shook her head. ‘Trace, we’ve called it,’ she told colleague Trace Gallagher, referring to the presidential election.”
There is growing discomfort at law firms representing Trump because he is undermining our democracy and lacks evidence to support his claims.
New York Times: “Growing Discomfort at Law Firms Representing Trump in Election Lawsuits”
New York Times: “Some senior lawyers at Jones Day, one of the country’s largest law firms, are worried that it is advancing arguments that lack evidence and may be helping Mr. Trump and his allies undermine the integrity of American elections, according to interviews with nine partners and associates, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their jobs.”
Rudy Giuliani held his now infamous press conference outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping, which featured a convicted sex offender.
Philadelphia Inquirer: “Trump announced: ‘Lawyers News Conference Four Seasons, Philadelphia, 11 a.m.,’ only to delete his post minutes later and replace it with one changing the venue from the upscale Center City hotel to a similarly named business: Four Seasons Total Landscaping on industrial State Road, next to Fantasy Island Adult Books and Novelties and across the street from the Delaware Valley Cremation Center.”
Politico: “Man featured at Giuliani press conference is a convicted sex offender”
Trump’s suit accusing officials of running a “two-tiered” voting system is unlikely to succeed and offers little evidence to back its claims.
USA Today: “Legal experts said the case has little chance of succeeding, for a variety of reasons: Courts are wary of invalidating legally cast ballots. The issues raised, even if true, don’t represent a constitutional question. And mail voting, used in many states, is both common and constitutional.”
USA Today: “But as with other lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and its allies, the federal complaint offered little evidence to back its claims.”
The Trump campaign dropped its request to halt vote counting after they were forced to admit in court that observers had not actually been barred.
New York Times: “On Thursday morning, a Pennsylvania state court handed Mr. Trump a minor victory. A judge ruled that election observers from the Trump campaign, who were allowed to stand 10 feet from the vote counting at the Philadelphia convention center, could move closer, to six feet. By the end of the day, however, lawyers for the Trump campaign had filed an emergency petition in federal court claiming that election officials in the city were not abiding by the state court’s decision and asking that the count in Philadelphia be delayed. At a hastily scheduled hearing Thursday night, however, Mr. Trump’s campaign admitted that ‘a nonzero number’ of Republican observers had in fact turned up. ‘Then what’s the problem?’ Judge Paul S. Diamond asked. The Trump campaign ultimately agreed to drop its request to halt the vote count after Judge Diamond, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, allowed for a total of 120 observers at the convention center — 60 for the Democrats and 60 for the Republicans. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the question of the observers.”
The Trump campaign sought a Supreme Court order to sequester ballots received after polls closed, a practice that had already been in place.
Reuters: “Trump’s campaign on Wednesday filed a motion to intervene in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a decision from the state’s highest court that allowed election officials to count mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday’s Election Day that were delivered through Friday. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday night ordered county election boards in the state to separate mail-in ballots received after 8 p.m. EST on Election Day. Pennsylvania election officials have said those ballots were already being separated.”
Even if Trump were to succeed at the Supreme Court it would have little impact as Biden’s lead is based on votes cast by Election Day.
New York Times: “But this fight may prove fruitless, as Mr. Biden’s lead in the state is based on ballots cast by Election Day and is expected to grow.”
A federal judge rejected Republican efforts to toss cured ballots.
Politico: “A federal judge gave a skeptical reception Wednesday to a Republican lawsuit seeking to throw out votes in a Pennsylvania county that contacted some voters to give them an opportunity to fix — or ‘cure’ — problems with their absentee ballots. During a morning hearing in Philadelphia, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Savage said he was dubious of arguments from a lawyer for GOP congressional candidate Kathy Barnette, who argued that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had concluded that the law prohibits counties from allowing voters who erred in completing or packaging their mail-in ballots to correct those mistakes. ‘I’m not sure about that,’ said Savage, an appointee of President George W. Bush. ‘Is that exactly what was said or is what was said was that there is no mandatory requirement that the election board do that?….Wasn’t the legislative intent of the statute we are talking about to franchise, not disenfranchise, voters?’”
A Trump lawsuit alleging a lack of meaningful access in vote counting was dismissed due to a lack of evidence and the vote count having been completed.
CNN: “A state court judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Trump campaign that asked for an immediate halt to the vote counting until its representatives had ‘meaningful’ access to ballot counting and adjudication. Judge Cynthia Stephens was highly skeptical throughout a virtual hearing on Thursday about the lack of admissible evidence in the case and whether the campaign had sued the right party (Secretary of State Benson). ‘What I have is, at best, a hearsay affidavit that addresses a harm that would be significant,’ said Judge Cynthia Stephens. ‘We’ve got an affidavit that is not first-hand knowledge.’ The lawyer representing the state, Heather Meingast, said the case was essentially moot because the counting had already concluded. ‘The ship has really sailed on the relief that they’re requesting in this case.’”
The Trump campaign tried to appeal the court’s ruling but embarrassingly failed to provide the necessary documents.
Detroit Free Press: “Trump team tries to appeal Michigan ruling, fails to provide necessary documents”
Detroit Free Press: “The Trump campaign legal team is trying to appeal a Michigan court ruling on an elections lawsuit from last week, but it botched its initial attempt at a filing. Attorneys will need to provide a few more documents if they want the Michigan Court of Appeals to actually hear the case.”
Bipartisan election officials disputed the Trump campaign’s claims alleging misconduct at Maricopa County polling sites resulting in rejected ballots.
Reuters: “The Trump campaign lent support to protests questioning the current vote tally, filing a lawsuit in Arizona Saturday over rejected ballots that Arizona’s Secretary of State said was ‘grasping at straws.’ Trump’s campaign alleged the Southwestern state’s most populous county incorrectly rejected votes cast on Election Day by some voters in the U.S. presidential race. The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Maricopa County, said poll workers told some voters to press a button after a machine had detected an ‘overvote.’”
The Trump campaign’s lawsuit would have no effect on the results of the election as it impacts fewer than 200 ballots.
Arizona Republic: “Republican officials behind a lawsuit alleging poll workers ‘incorrectly rejected’ votes cast in person on Election Day will make their case in front of a Maricopa County Superior Court judge later this week… But it appears unlikely the case would affect the outcome of the presidential vote. A lawyer for the county said fewer than 200 ballots are at issue.”
The Trump campaign held a Nevada press conference where Ric Grenell awkwardly refused to identify himself or answer questions.
The Independent: “During a Trump campaign press conference in Nevada on Thursday, former acting Director of US National Intelligence Richard Grenell – who refused to identify himself to reporters – accused the state of covering up incidents of voter fraud in order to help the election prospects of Democratic challenger Joe Biden. These claims were made without evidence, and Mr Grenell refused to answer questions from journalists who demanded he prove his assertions.”
Courts rejected the Trump campaign’s lawsuit over Clark County’s signature verification system due to a lack of evidence.
New York Times: “Mr. Trump’s campaign filed suit before Election Day seeking to stop the processing of mail-in ballots in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas. The campaign alleged that county officials were failing to give Republican observers adequate access to monitor mail-in ballot processing and that the county’s signature matching system violated election equal protection laws because it was not being used elsewhere in the state. A judge denied the Trump campaign’s request earlier this week, citing a lack of evidence. An appellate court rejected Republicans’ request that it order an immediate stop to counting but agreed to hear arguments into next week.”
The Nevada attorney general said the Trump campaign’s lawsuit alleging voter fraud in the state was “garbage” and “pure speculation.”
CBS News: “Nevada’s attorney general said officials in the state have not seen evidence of voter fraud while dismissing the Trump campaign’s attempt to file a federal lawsuit to force officials to stop counting what the White House claims are ‘improper votes.’ ‘This six-page complaint they filed late last night is, in a word: garbage,’ Attorney General Aaron Ford said on ‘CBS This Morning’ Friday. ‘It just goes to show the last-ditch efforts these guys are going to go to to try and derail this election to their benefit’… He called the list ‘pure speculation,’ and said neither the ‘Republican secretary of state’ nor ‘17 county registrars’ have reported any evidence of widespread fraud.”
A Trump campaign lawsuit over absentee ballots being received and counted post-deadline was rejected due to a lack of evidence.
Associated Press: “In Georgia, a state judge dismissed a case over concerns about 53 absentee ballots in Chatham County after elections officials in the Savannah-area county testified that all of those ballots had been received on time. Campaign officials said earlier they were considering similar challenges in a dozen other counties around the state.”
The Trump campaign vowed to request a recount in Wisconsin even though President-elect Biden leads by 20,000 votes.
New York Times: “President Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien said he would ‘immediately’ request a recount in Wisconsin, where former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. leads by about 20,000 votes, though it will likely be up to two weeks before he is able to make such a request.”