After the news conference, some people familiar with the matter who are on the president’s side and who are open to the idea of voter fraud expressed concern that Powell and the others had made sensational allegations without offering evidence to support them. Not evidence that there is some software somewhere in the world that can change votes. Evidence that it was actually used to change votes in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Why didn’t the team hold off on the allegations until they had the evidence ready to present in a lawsuit? One Republican who is even open to the specific allegations of software manipulation said, “I’m assuming they’ve got something.” That’s a big assumption.

The Republicans saw the entire exercise as moving Trump’s case backward, not forward. Yes, there are legitimate legal issues surrounding the campaign. For example, one of the biggest is in Pennsylvania, where the state supreme court unilaterally changed election law that had been rightfully passed by the legislature. But that case will not change the results in Pennsylvania; it is important for elections in the future. And that is not what Giuliani, Powell, and Ellis are talking about. Without actually making the case, they are talking about a vast conspiracy, directed “from a centralized place,” in Giuliani’s words, to change hundreds of thousands, or millions of votes. By doing so, in the way they are doing it, they are losing support rather than making gains.