As Rudy Giuliani presents Pennsylvania federal case, Trump campaign nears judgment day in multiple court fights
In a hearing in a U.S. District Court in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Rudy Giuliani presented to a judge the case that President Donald Trump has been trying to bring to the American people for weeks - claiming without evidence that the campaign occupies those 1.5 million Pennsylvania ballot papers could have been counted illegally somehow.
However, an attorney for the state's chief electoral officer replied that Giuliani made an argument that was simply not supported in the court record: "There is no claim that someone who is not eligible to vote actually voted," said attorney Daniel Donovan. "And there is no right to vote fraud."
MORE: 2020 Election: A Look At Trump's Campaign Lawsuits And Where They Stand
The federal case negotiated on Tuesday is one of at least 18 cases filed by the Trump campaign to try to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential contest, in which Trump appears to have lost both the referendum and electoral college vote by a significant margin to Democrat Joe Biden . And while the federal case is still pending, some others are tilting against the president and, as experts said, closing the door on any legal effort to overturn the outcome of the race.
"You are watching the last breath of these legal efforts by the president," said Wendy Weiser, director of democracy programs at the Brennan Center for Justice. "This was a legal effort that posed no real problems from the start. We all knew how this film was going to end. If I wrote the script, I would finish it here."
Democratic Party lawyer calls Trump case "crazy"
Giuliani's appearance on Tuesday came after two other lawyers who had faced the president's challenge asked to withdraw. His arguments sounded similar to those at press conferences and media appearances.
Giuliani called Philadelphia "a place known for fraud" and claimed that he had collected "300 affidavits, statements, or our own testimony" showing that there were enough inappropriate votes to "reverse the election results".
PHOTO: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, U.S. President Donald Trump's personal attorney, speaks after the media announced that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election in Philadelphia on November 7, 2020. (Eduardo Munoz / Reuters)
Longtime Democratic Party attorney Mark A. Aronchick, who represents Allegheny, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, asked the judge to reject Giuliani's unsubstantiated claims and refuse to cast votes on an argument with no "details".
"Common sense, your honor, would say you can't do it," said Aronchick. "Honestly, your honor, I don't use these words very often, it's a shame to even be asked."
The next step in this case is for both sides to present evidence to the judge, a hearing scheduled for Thursday.
The state Supreme Court rejects Trump's lawsuit
At the same time as Giuliani was pushing Trump's case, a Harrisburg state court was ruling the campaign.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed the Trump campaign complaint about whether election officials gave campaign monitors "reasonable" access to monitor postal ballot counting.
MORE: 2nd Trump's attorney is asking to get out of the case and question the Pennsylvania elections
The court found, by a 5-2 vote, that election officials obeyed the law by giving the Trump campaign adequate access to election officials who opened postal ballot papers. There are simply no requirements that say how close the observers must be to see the trial, the court found.
"These regulations do not set a minimum distance," wrote Justice Debra Todd for the majority so that observers can follow the process. "If the General Assembly had wished, it could easily have set such parameters; however, this was not the case."
And even these differences of opinion did not contribute to the Trump campaign argument. In his dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor wrote that the campaign's motion to cancel a large number of ballots "due to isolated procedural irregularities" was "wrong".
"I don't see that there is a real problem," wrote Saylor.
PHOTO: President-elect Joe Biden speaks to the nation from the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware on Nov. 7, 2020. (Andrew Harnik / Pool via Getty Images)
Conservative group drops 4 lawsuits
On Monday, the conservative nonprofit True the Vote, a Houston-based conservative advocacy group devoted to "securing" the American election, withdrew four submitted cases in support of Trump's allegations of electoral inadequacy.
The leaders of the group had set up a hotline claiming they had a $ 1 million fund to give "whistleblowers" information about fraud to help them move forward. However, on Tuesday they released a statement recognizing the "difficult decision to dismiss our current lawsuits in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin."
"While we stand by the statements of voters that have been put forward, obstacles to the further development of our arguments, combined with time constraints, made it necessary for us to take a different path," said the organization.
MORE: State officials say they are baffled, offended by false electoral claims
Right, vote attorney James Bopp declined to say if the organization was done challenging the 2020 election result.
"I don't telegraph my movements," he said.
Eliza Sweren-Becker, the voting rights and election attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice, said the move was "in line with what we saw."
"When it comes down to it and the plaintiffs have to produce evidence, they don't have any," said Sweren-Becker.
Decisions in Michigan cases
At least three major campaign results are still pending in Michigan - two from the campaign itself and another from Republican electoral challengers - all three of which are currently pending for shaky reasons.
The Trump campaign federal lawsuit in the state where certification of results is to be halted is in danger of being dismissed after the campaign failed to officially "deliver" a copy of the complaint to the secretary of state, according to a new filing on Tuesday morning. This typo could have serious consequences. Judge Janet Neff gave the campaign until 5 p.m. on Tuesday to do so, noting that they would have "justification" for dismissing the lawsuit if they did not.
PHOTO: President Donald Trump walks down the West Wing Colonnade from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden to deliver an update on the Operation Warp Speed program on November 13, 2020 at the White House in Washington, DC. (Carlos Barria / Reuters)
The campaign's second lawsuit in the state has been pending for over a week after their lawsuit was dismissed due to lack of evidence. As of Tuesday, the Michigan Court of Appeals said the campaign's appeal had still not been accepted, a court spokesman confirmed to ABC News, calling it "defective" due to the lack of important documents. Campaign lawyers will need to resubmit the complaint with the necessary documentation to be considered. The state deadline for certification of results in Michigan ends November 23.
Separately, an attorney appealed the challengers' lawsuit Tuesday to halt the confirmation of Wayne County's election results to the Supreme Court after it was denied by a lower court last week for lack of evidence. That decision was challenged in the Michigan appeals court on Monday morning and quickly rejected just hours later. In his filing, Mark Kallman argued that the lower court decision was "flawed" and that the appeal court decision was "flawed".
"We're in the calming down phase. Lawyers are leaving. The courts are denying. The writing is on the wall," said Myrna Perez, director of the Brennan Center's voting and election program. "Did you achieve something constructive? No."
As Rudy Giuliani unveils the federal case in Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign is nearing Judgment Day in multiple court cases originally posted on abcnews.go.com
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