Fair enough. If the Donald Trump campaign has evidence that the 2020 election fell victim to a communist-funded plot originally conceived and created by Hugo Chavez, then a federal court is the correct venue to test and verify that evidence. In a dramatic afternoon press conference helmed by Rudy Giuliani, Team Trump announced that such a lawsuit would be filed tomorrow in Georgia in a last-ditch effort to stop the state from certifying its recount.
They better hope that their track record on backing up such claims improves, however:
As President-elect Joe Biden’s winning tally approached a record 80 million votes, President Donald Trump’s attorneys announced Thursday their client’s reelection campaign “discovered a plan from a centralized place focused on big cities controlled by Democrats” to commit voter fraud in a number of states, including Georgia.
In an afternoon news conference, Trump’s personal attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani announced the campaign will file “a major lawsuit” in Georgia on Friday, alleging voter fraud. …
Another Trump attorney, Sidney Powell, alleged “massive influence of communist money through Venezuela, Cuba and likely China and the interference with our elections here in the United States.”
Oooooo-kay. Powell’s theory goes through the Dominion voting system, which has been the subject of a number of conspiracy theories in the past two weeks. The operation of voting systems likewise involves many, many individuals, so there should be overwhelming evidence and testimony to the plot described by Powell here. Likewise, that kind of money movement would leave a very distinct trail. Notably, however, Powell doesn’t produce any such evidence at this presser, and Giuliani only references a single affadavit in support of this theory:
Again, Team Trump will apparently have its day in court tomorrow when it files the promised lawsuit, so perhaps all of these claims will be substantiated. However, if everything Sidney Powell says is true, why didn’t the Trump-era Department of Justice pick up on all that money movement? Why didn’t they or the intel community alert everyone to a plot to use Dominion as a Trojan horse in the election? Don’t forget that the Department of Homeland Security already declared that no evidence of any such penetration has been found, a declaration for which Trump fired Chris Krebs this week.
Here’s something else to keep in mind about that, too. Republicans correctly pointed out that the essential truth of Russian interference was that it was a failure by the Obama administration. If Powell’s correct, this would be a massive failure by Trump to protect the 2020 election by the same logic. Trump’s campaign will have to posit the existence of a massive conspiracy that somehow eluded the Trump administration’s own agencies, basically arguing Trump’s incompetency as a supporting claim.
Jonathan Turley, who has been at least solicitous if not supportive of Donald Trump’s previous legal arguments, advises extreme skepticism about the claims made in today’s presser (via Twitchy):
…Giuliani just suggested that we might need "a new agency to protect us" because of the bias of the FBI. Again, that type of rhetoric is less of an "opening argument" than a rave. It does not support these challenges or the evidence that they are suggesting is forthcoming.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) November 19, 2020
That was an excruciating 90 minutes. I have said it before. I understand the need to have time to gather evidence but time is of the essence. Certifications are going forward next week. This is not the time for "opening arguments" but evidence production.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) November 19, 2020
Still, the courts are the place to test those kinds of claims and evidence, assuming Team Trump has any to sustain these allegations. Thus far they’ve come up embarrassingly empty in other venues, and have been forced to retreat from fraud claims in other cases. Today’s abrupt withdrawal in Michigan underscored the unseriousness of their claims in that state. That also brings up another point — why withdraw from any of these cases if they have this kind of evidence?
Today’s presser had its lighter moments. For instance, here’s Giuliani making reference to everyone’s favorite courtroom comedy My Cousin Vinny in order to make a point about election observers. Note well that this is an argument that Team Trump thoroughly lost in Pennsylvania already and seems unrelated to the claims Powell made today, and that Giuliani actually misquotes the exchange:
Yup, that really happened. Watch Rudy Giuliani reference a courtroom scene from the timely 1992 film "My Cousin Vinny." pic.twitter.com/tBis5HDf6k
— The Recount (@therecount) November 19, 2020
The witness in the film said she saw four fingers, not three, but that’s a minor quibble. Even more entertaining was the meltdown Giuliani’s hair experienced in the presser, with some quipping that the former mayor turns out to be “an attorney to dye for“:
President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani, held an impassioned press conference Thursday afternoon, during which he railed against alleged foreign influence and massive voter fraud in this month’s presidential election.
Guiliani’s ire was raised so much that he began sweating during the briefing, which became evident as hair dye began streaking down his face.
The perspiration event was the latest in a string of social blunders by Giuliani on the national stage.
If only “social blunders” were the worst of it.