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Nov 17 2020

They All Fall Down

The loser of the 2020 presidential election is still losing in his and his supporters attempt to overturn a decisive defeat. So far, the courts have rejected, flat out 12 of the trump campaigns lawsuits. In order for Trump to remain in office, the results of Pennsylvania plus two of Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin. As Philip Bump writes in the Washington Post, “it’s increasingly obvious that that’s not going to happen.”

In Arizona, he has no route to overturning the results. The state does not allow candidates to call for recounts, and recounts are done only if the results are within one-tenth of 1 percent. (As of writing, the margin between Trump and Biden is three times that.) Trump’s campaign pushed to have Election Day ballots reviewed, later amending that request to focus only on ballots where scanners indicated that voters made multiple selections in a contest, invalidating the ballot. If the scanner was wrong, there may be votes to be found — but only 191 presidential votes met that standard, with Trump down more than 10,000.

In Georgia, a recount is underway as mandated by law. A Bloomberg News review of the proceedings published Sunday afternoon found that 48 of 159 counties in the state had completed their reviews of the votes cast. In most cases, only a handful of additional votes were added. Biden’s margin of victory in the state is more than 14,000 votes. Trump’s campaign had tried to have absentee ballots invalidated; the lawsuit was thrown out.

In Wisconsin, the Trump campaign can request a recount after votes are finalized in each county, the deadline for which is Tuesday. If it chooses to do so, the results are likely to mirror those in Georgia. Unlike in Georgia, the campaign itself will have to foot the bill. (Even though the state pays for the recount in Georgia, that has not prevented the Trump campaign from making fundraising pitches related to the effort.)

Remember: Trump needs two of these states and Pennsylvania. And in Pennsylvania, the campaign’s already long-shot legal effort was significantly pared back in a revised court filing this weekend. Where it once sought to block the inclusion of hundreds of thousands of votes after claiming that observers were too “far away from the action” — though still present — the suit now focuses on whether voters were allowed to fix rejected absentee ballots. If this argument is upheld, the effect would be limited to a small fraction of votes cast.

The Trump campaign insists that it is still contesting those hundreds of thousands of ballots, despite the suit dropping any requests for remediation centered on the issue.

Add to that, Trump has lost most of his white shoe law firms.

You will recognize Giuliani as the architect of Trump’s effort to impugn Biden with dubious allegations about his son’s business dealings, among other things. Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing, who are married, overlap heavily with Giuliani on that effort and in general, including having employed the two Giuliani associates indicted last year for campaign finance violations. Both had been fixtures on Fox News Channel until DiGenova made wild claims about much of the State Department being under the control of a well-known Jewish financier. Sidney Powell is the attorney for former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn and has become enmeshed in dubious theories of Flynn’s innocence rampant in conservative media. Jenna Ellis has been a legal adviser to Trump’s campaign for some time, although she’s primarily known for her energetic defenses of the president on social media and on Fox News.

In other words, Trump’s core legal team is now mostly made up of lawyers known more for their engagement with conservative media and public advocacy than for winning well-honed arguments challenging election results. It’s a team of lawyers focused on bolstering Trump more than on overturning any election results. It’s less a legal dream team than it is a @realDonaldTrump Twitter list named “good lawyers.”

This charade is 100% over, as was noted by Rick Hasen, election law expert and University of California, Irvine law professor.

With an overwhelming number of losses and withdrawals of cases, there is no path for the Trump campaign to overturn the results in a single state, much less states making up more than 36 electoral college votes.

It’s over. Trump may still say he has won the election. But there is no path. Even the two key federal cases in Pennsylvania do not involve nearly enough votes to overturn the results there even if they were successful (and I don’t expect them to be).

There is no path. Rudy Giuliani can say what he wants and the President can keep declaring that he’s won, but there’s no plausible legal way this election gets overturned.

We are not talking three Hail Marys anymore. We are talking done.

At noon on January 20,  conman Donald Trump will become a civilian and face the music of his criminal fraud.

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