Brutal, but well deserved, and yet another mystifying decision by Team Trump. After Sidney Powell declared that communist-funded conspiracy rigged the election against Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson wanted to see the evidence. He told his Fox News Channel audience last night that he’s been trying to get Powell to come on the show for days to demonstrate evidence of massive vote-rigging, even offering the entire hour for her to make her presentation. Not only did Powell refuse to share the evidence, she told Tucker’s staff to stop pestering her and refused to appear.

That led to this remarkable rebuke from Fox’s top-rated prime-time host (transcript via the Daily Wire, emphasis mine):

On Sunday night, we texted her after watching one of her segments. What Powell was describing would amount to the single greatest crime in American history. Millions of votes stolen in a day. Democracy destroyed. The end of our centuries-old system of self-government — not a small thing. To be perfectly clear, we did not dismiss any of it. We don’t dismiss anything anymore, particularly when it’s related to technology. We’ve talked to too many Silicon Valley whistleblowers; we’ve seen too much. After four years, this may be the single most open-minded show on television. We literally do UFO segments, not because we are crazy or even interested in the subject, but because there is evidence that UFOs are real and everyone lies about it.

There is evidence a lot of things responsible people used to dismiss out of hand as ridiculous are in fact real, and we don’t care who mocks it. The louder the Yale political science department and the staff of The Atlantic magazine scream ‘conspiracy theory,’ the more interested we tend to be. It’s usually a sign you’re over the target.

A lot of people with impressive sounding credentials in this country are frauds; they have no idea what they’re doing. They’re children posing as authorities, and when they’re caught, they lie and then they blame you for it. We see that every day; it’s the central theme of this show and will continue to be. So, that’s the long way of saying we took Sidney Powell seriously; we have no intention of fighting with her, we’ve always respected her work — we simply wanted to see the details. How could you not want to see them? So we invited Sidney Powell on this show. We would’ve given her the whole hour; we would’ve given her the entire week actually and listened quietly the whole time at rapt attention — that’s a big story. But she never sent us any evidence despite a lot of requests, polite requests, not a page. When we kept pressing, she got angry and told us to stop contacting her. When we checked with others around the Trump campaign, people in positions of authority, they told us Powell has never given them any evidence either, nor did she provide any today at the press conference. Powell did say electronic voting is dangerous, and she’s right — we’re with her there — but she never demonstrated that a single actual vote was moved illegitimately by software from one candidate to another, not one.

So why are we telling you this? We’re telling you this because it’s true. In the end, that’s all that matters, the truth. It’s our only hope; it’s our best defense. And it’s how we’re different from them. We care what’s true and we know you care, too. That’s why we told you. Maybe Sidney Powell will come forward soon with details on exactly how this happened and precisely who did it — maybe she will. We are certainly hopeful that she will.

What happened with the vote-counting this month and at the polling places in Detroit and the polling places in Philadelphia and so much else actually matters. It matters no matter who you voted for, it matters whether or not you think this election is over. Until will know the answers to those questions conclusively and we can agree on them, this country will not be healed.

Why Powell and Rudy Giuliani decided to shine on Tucker Carlson is a question we might never get answered … but Tucker himself has a pretty good idea why, and didn’t hesitate to share it. The most likely reason Powell won’t come on Fox News to show the evidence is that Powell and Team Trump don’t have evidence of the sweeping allegations of widespread fraud and conspiracies that they declared in yesterday’s presser. They might have an affidavit or two alleging fringe issues and unsubstantiated speculation on motives, but nothing that would substantiate the wild theories and feigned outrage that got vented yesterday afternoon by Rudy Giuliani and Powell. If they had that evidence, Tucker’s show would have been the perfect platform to unveil it. Their brush-off of Tucker is very telling indeed, as is their refusal to present the evidence yesterday in their presser.

This is the same pattern that we have seen for the past two weeks. Team Trump makes wild accusations about fraud, but when they show up in court, their case transforms into petty complaints involving small numbers of ballots. They then mislead people about their legal work, just as they did regarding Michigan, claiming that withdrawing a lawsuit was a victory rather than a retreat. They withdrew because the actual number of discrepancies in Wayne County, where Trump lost by over 320,000 votes, involved fewer than 400 voters:

Courts will not entertain claims of election improprieties unless what can be proved would make a difference in the outcome; and sweeping claims that state officials did not comply with state laws are often not cognizable in federal court.

While the Trump campaign continues to allege publicly that fraud on a gargantuan scale took place in Detroit, the GOP canvassers in Wayne County raised far more modest objections. These involved mismatches between the number of ballots recorded as cast and the number counted. In his Politico column, our Rich Lowry notes the Detroit Free Press’s report that the mismatches in most precincts and voter boards amounted to three or fewer votes, cumulating to a grand total of 387 votes.

As I have warned for the past few days, do not accept any extraordinary claims that are made outside of court in front of a judge, and even then scrutinize the evidence and the claims carefully. That lesson turns out to matter in another vaunted Georgia lawsuit, too, about which Allahpundit wrote last night — in which a Trump-appointed federal judge put an end to that particular part of the circus.

Addendum: And you know that memo from a purported data analyst “proving” that Dominion changed votes in Michigan? The analyst apparently doesn’t know the difference between MI and MN. John Hinderaker does:

Here’s the problem: the townships and precincts listed in paragraphs 11 and 17 of the affidavit are not in Michigan. They are in Minnesota. Monticello, Albertville, Lake Lillian, Houston, Brownsville, Runeberg, Wolf Lake, Height of Land, Detroit Lakes, Frazee, Kandiyohi–these are all towns in Minnesota. I haven’t checked them all, but I checked a lot of them, and all locations listed in paragraphs 11 and 17 that I looked up are in Minnesota, with no corresponding township in Michigan. This would have been obvious to someone from this state, but Mr. Ramsland is a Texan and the lawyers are probably not natives of either Minnesota or Michigan.

Evidently a researcher, either Mr. Ramsland or someone working for him, was working with a database and confused “MI” for Minnesota with “MI” for Michigan. (The postal code for Minnesota is MN, while Michigan is MI, so one can see how this might happen.) So the affidavit, which addresses “anomalies and red flags” in Michigan, is based largely, and mistakenly, on data from Minnesota.

This is a catastrophic error, the kind of thing that causes a legal position to crash and burn.

Good grief. If this is Powell’s case, small wonder she’s not sharing it.