President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani took to the podium at a press conference in Washington Thursday to give an update on what the president called his “very clear and viable path to victory” in his challenge to the results of the 2020 presidential election.
It was anything but clear, and its viability was very much in dispute, in light of the Trump campaign’s record of losing all but one of the two dozen cases it has brought in an attempt to claw back Joe Biden’s victories in numerous states.
Over the course of more than 90 minutes, Giuliani claimed that the team had uncovered a “pattern” in several states that he said suggested was proof of a “centralized plan to execute these various acts” of purported voter fraud “specifically focused on big cities” with Democratic mayors.
The Trump campaign, he said, had amassed “hundreds” of sworn affidavits from poll workers and other witnesses with various claims of fraudulent behavior.
The former New York City mayor named one of them, Jessy Jacob, a Detroit city employee who alleged that election workers were coaching voters to choose Biden on their ballots. Jacob also claimed she was specifically instructed not to ask for photo identification from voters.
Giuliani urged reporters to look into her affidavit, which she gave in support of a suit by two Michigan citizens seeking an audit of votes in Wayne County, which includes Detroit. A Michigan judge tossed out the suit last week, saying Jacob’s allegations lacked specifics on “date, location or frequency or names of employees.”
The Trump campaign voluntarily dropped a similar lawsuit in Michigan on Thursday, claiming the results in Wayne County, which were initially disputed by two GOP officials there, have not been certified. But the Michigan secretary of state said that they have.
With sweat and what appeared to be hair dye running down his face, Giuliani at one point reenacted a scene from “My Cousin Vinny” — which he called “one of my favorite law movies” — to argue that Republican observers were too far away from poll workers in Philadelphia to properly observe the processing of ballots.
“The nice lady says she saw, and he says, ‘How many fingers do I got up?’” Giuliani said, doing his impersonation of Joe Pesci while holding up two fingers. “And she says, ‘Three.’ Well, she was too far away.”
But Republican observers were in fact allowed in the room to observe the process within 6 feet, as long as they followed protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And lawyers for the Trump campaign have admitted as much in court.
Giuliani acted out another scene — this one not from “My Cousin Vinny” but from his own mind — in which he walks into a polling station to vote, only to be told he has already voted.
“‘No, I didn’t.’ ‘Yes, you did,’” he repeated. “‘No, I didn’t.’ ‘Yes, you did.’”
Later, Giuliani and his associate Sydney Powell cited the “massive influence of communist money” that was funneled into the election by Democratic groups from Venezuela, Cuba and China, name-checking George Soros, the Clinton Foundation, antifa and other shadowy figures that often feature in right-wing conspiracies.
Speaking on Fox News, Republican strategist Karl Rove called them “serious, somewhat strange accusations ... questioning the fundamental fairness of our presidential election.” He said Giuliani and Powell “now have an obligation to go to court and prove them, or the American people will have every reason to question their credibility.”
Fox News White House correspondent Kristin Fisher also panned Giuliani’s performance.
“That was certainly a colorful news conference from Rudy Giuliani, but it was light on facts,” Fisher told viewers. “So much of what he said was simply not true."
The president’s legal team offered no evidence to support their claims, yet berated the media for not covering them.
“I know crimes. I can smell them,” Giuliani said. “You don’t have to smell this one.”
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