Two-time popular vote losing impeached lame duck Donald Trump is still not faring well in his post-election litigation/coup attempt. His win-loss ratio is now 1-25, earning loss 25 Tuesday when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Philadelphia acted within state law in its handling of election observers. Meanwhile, Trump's bid to have Rudy Giuliani save the day in Pennsylvania didn't go so well.
The Washington Post was gentle in characterizing him as "rusty" in his first appearance before a judge since 1992. In the intervening decades, he seemed to have forgotten that lawyers can't bring wild conspiracy theories into a courtroom in place of evidence. It's also helpful to pay attention in court and to remember which judge is in the courtroom and who the opposing attorney is. Giuliani failed on all counts as he "fiddled with his Twitter account, forgot which judge he was talking to and threw around wild, unsupported accusations about a nationwide conspiracy by Democrats to steal the election."
To be fair, there are so many challenges going on in Pennsylvania, state and federal that Giuliani mixed up his federal judges, telling this one "I was accused of not reading your opinion and that I did not understand it" when this one hasn't ruled yet. He called an opposing attorney "the man who was very angry with me, I forgot his name." He also forgot what words mean. "In the plaintiffs' counties, they were denied the opportunity to have an unobstructed observation and ensure opacity," Giuliani said, reading from someone else's brief, apparently. "I'm not quite sure I know what opacity means. It probably means you can see, right?" was a question he actually asked the judge, who helped him out. "It means you can't,” said U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann. To which Giuliani decided to be more of a clown. "Big words, your honor," he replied.
Brann wasn't amused, pointing out that Giuliani's argument would disenfranchise the more than 6.8 million voters in the state. "Can you tell me how this result could possibly be justified?" he asked. Giuliani didn't answer with evidence, just more conspiracy theory about Democrats stealing the election nation-wide. "The best description of this situation is widespread, nationwide voter fraud, of which this is a part," he argued. "This is not an isolated case, this is a case that is repeated in at least 10 other jurisdictions," Giuliani added, saying "the scope of the remedy is because of the scope of the injury."
Judge Brann will be even less amused by Giuliani's post-hearing admission on Fox Business Network that he didn't really bother to make a valid case in this hearing because the outcome isn't important. He called this case a "vehicle" to get to the U.S. Supreme Court which will give the election to Trump. "Frankly, this is a case that we would like to see get to the Supreme Court," Giuliani said, suggesting he knew a loss was coming and the whole fiasco was just a setup for an appeal. "We are prepared in some of these cases to lose and to appeal, and to get it to the Supreme Court." Good luck with that one there, Rudy.
Opposing lawyers asked Brann to throw out the case, saying the evidence Trump was bringing was "at best, garden-variety irregularities," and not substantive enough to throw out the whole of the state's vote. That might have been persuasive, as Brann cancelled an evidentiary hearing scheduled for Thursday, and instead gave each side three more days to file arguments.
As of now there are still seven active cases in Pennsylvania, none of which is likely to succeed and none of which would actually change the outcome in Pennsylvania because they're not actually challenging enough ballots to flip it. Pennsylvania's counties have until next Tuesday, November 24, to certify their results.