Rudy’s Got A Case…Of the Monday’s
The return of Rudy Giuliani to the courtroom for the first time since the Bush administration — the George HW Bush administration — did not go well for Team Trump’s legal efforts to challenge the 2020 election, and the bad news was coming in on multiple fronts:
Things did not go well Tuesday for the Trump campaign’s effort to stop certification of the Pennsylvania vote count — which has Joe Biden ahead by more than 73,000 votes.
At almost the same time the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was in federal court in Williamsport, Pa., complaining that Republican observers were illegally denied access to vote counting in Philadelphia and other Democratic areas, the state Supreme Court in Harrisburg concluded otherwise. By a 5-2 vote, it ruled that Philadelphia election officials had acted properly in their handling of the observation process.
The Trump campaign had argued that GOP representatives were kept too far away to see whether there were any irregularities, but the court said they were able to view election workers “performing their duties,” as required.
It was a major loss for the president and his campaign’s flailing effort to overturn the election results. Republicans have filed suits in several states seeking to invalidate thousands of votes, but have lost almost every case so far.
While the election observer claim was removed from the Pennsylvania lawsuit, Giuliani told U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann that he hoped to reinsert it with an amended complaint.
Giuliani argued that lack of access for GOP observers in Democratically leaning Allegheny and Philadelphia counties should invalidate some 700,000 mail-in ballots. “As far as we’re concerned, those ballots could be from Mickey Mouse,” he said.
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The Trump campaign also claimed that Pennsylvania election officials had violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution because some Democratic-leaning counties allowed voters to cure, or fix, mistakes on their mail-in ballots, while other mostly Republican-leaning counties did not.
Lawyers for Pennsylvania’s election officials, who asked the court to dismiss the Trump case, argued that simply because some counties allowed their voters to fix mail-in ballot errors, other Pennsylvania voters were not denied the right to vote, as the Trump campaign insisted.
Mark Aronchick, an attorney for some counties sued by the Trump campaign, called Giuliani’s demand that legal ballots be tossed out “disgraceful.”
The president’s lawyer also alleged, without providing any evidence, that voting in Pennsylvania was riddled with fraud. He said it was “not an isolated case” either, but part of “widespread national voter fraud” involving other jurisdictions, including Detroit and Milwaukee. However, Giuliani later admitted to the judge that the Pennsylvania lawsuit was “not a fraud case.”
The judge gave the parties several days to file additional briefs and motions before he makes a decision on whether to dismiss the case.