As Trump's Legal Fight Stumbles, Giuliani Takes Over

President's team fighting election count just had a bad day in many courts
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2020 8:33 AM CST
As Trump's Legal Fight Stalls, Giuliani Takes Over
Rudy Giuliani speaks during a Nov. 4 news conference on legal challenges to vote counting in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Facing a string of setbacks in court in his battle against President-elect Joe Biden's vote count, President Trump has installed a new boss. Rudy Giuliani is now in charge of all Trump lawsuits involving the election, the New York Times reports. The move did not please everyone on Trump's team. There's more:

  • Advisers say Giuliani's conspiracy-charging press conferences—like the one recently held at a Four Seasons—undermined the team's legal strategy and frightened away lawyers they were trying to recruit. They argue that Giuliani's promotion could fracture the structure they've been building for months, per Politico. David Bossie, who runs Citizens United and has close ties to Trump supporters around the country, has been in charge until now.
  • Trump's team has concentrated on lawsuits in Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, trying reduce Biden's leads until they fall into recount territory. Working on his own, Giuliani instead has charged widespread fraud. The president's advisers expect Giuliani to proceed with his own, sometimes conflicting, strategy.
  • The president wants aides forcefully arguing his case, and Giuliani also will be in charge of all communications to the public about the court fight. But press conferences and court hearings can require different strategies, per the Times. A lawyer who worked for George W. Bush in the 2000 recount in Florida said of Giuliani's public appearances: "I can’t imagine that a rational person wouldn’t be adversely affected by the way he conducts himself."

  • On Friday alone, nine of the Trump cases were denied or dropped, per CNN. Among other matters, they involved an attempt to toss absentee ballots in Pennsylvania, halt the certification of votes in Detroit, and force a review of ballots by hand in Arizona. Courts aren't buying the allegations of widespread fraud. "The Trump campaign keeps hoping it will find a judge that treats lawsuits like tweets," says a law professor.
  • Trump's legal team will be back in court Tuesday and Thursday in Pennsylvania, trying to stop the state from certifying its election results. The campaign argues there was unfairness in absentee ballot voting. The judge could allow witnesses to testify, but similar efforts in other states last week didn't go well. A Republican poll watcher told a judge in Detroit he suspected ballot boxes were stuffed with Biden votes. "It is not surprising that many of the votes being observed by [the witness] were votes cast for Mr. Biden in light of the fact that former Vice President Biden received approximately 220,000 more votes than President Trump," the judge wrote.
(More Rudy Giuliani stories.)

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