Pennsylvania attorney general says Rudy Giuliani is ‘sad to watch’

Harriet Alexander
·4-min read
<p>Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York from 1994 to 2001, and is now Donald Trump’s lawyer</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York from 1994 to 2001, and is now Donald Trump’s lawyer

(AFP via Getty Images)

Pennsylvania's attorney general said that Rudy Giuliani's court performance on Tuesday - his first time arguing before a judge in almost 30 years - was "sad to watch", as Donald Trump's desperate attempts to argue voter fraud appeared to reach a crescendo.

Mr Giuliani, 76, came out of court retirement to argue before Judge Matthew Brann in Williamsport that two voters living in Republican counties were not given the same chance as those in Democratic counties to fix errors on their mail-in ballots.

"The best description of this situation is it's a widespread, nationwide voter fraud," said Mr Giuliani.

"This is a part of the reason I'm here, Your Honor, because it is not an isolated case."

Under questioning, the former federal prosecutor, now the private lawyer for Mr Trump, admitted that it was not in fact a voter fraud case, and was instead an election procedures case.

One of the lawyers representing Pennsylvania, Mark Aronchick, said he was shocked that Mr Giuliani was not even attempting to argue the actual complaint before the judge.

"I sat there dumbfounded because the story presented by Mr Giuliani bore no relationship to the actual complaint in the case," he said.

On Tuesday night Josh Shapiro, the attorney general, told CNN it was a depressing spectacle.

"They've got this last-ditch effort in federal court here in Pennsylvania on a relatively narrow issue. There is no merit for their claims, there is nothing on fraud, there is nothing on illegal votes - they don't even have standing to bring these claims; it's law school 101, and you would think Rudy Giuliani would have known that," he said.

He said they were using "manufactured facts to fit a narrative to please the president".

Mr Shapiro, a Democrat, said: "Proof doesn't come in tweets. Proof doesn't come in conspiracy theories or press conferences from Rudy Giuliani. Proof comes from introducing evidence into a court of law - something they have failed to do, at every single turn, which is why they have either lost in court or had cases dismissed in court, over and over and over again."

He said that Mr Giuliani and his "gang of sycophants" had an audience of one: "It's time to move on," he said.

Asked how it felt watching Mr Giuliani, mayor of New York during the September 11 attacks, whirling around, Mr Shapiro said it was tragic.

"It's sad. It's sad to watch someone who America looked to at a time of need descend into this type of lunacy and conspiracy theory and fear mongering in a way that is not helping this country in any way.

"I see a man who is sad, who clearly forgot what he learned in law school, and has absolutely no evidence to back up the claims the ridiculous claims that his client makes on Twitter every day."

Mr Giuliani's surprising decision to argue in court was believed to be related to the fact that the lawyers previously representing the Trump campaign withdrew from the case.

They were replaced by Marc Scaringi, who was named as one of Giuliani's co-counsels in his court filing.

Mr Brann grilled Mr Giuliani during a six-hour hearing, wondering aloud why it would be reasonable to throw out so many valid ballots - Mr Giuliani at one point said 1.5 million would have to go - based on allegations that some votes were merely counted improperly.

“How can this result possibly be justified?” he asked.

Mr Brann asked whether he should apply a higher legal standard of “strict scrutiny” to the case, which is required when fraud is alleged.

“If we had alleged fraud, then yes, but this is not a fraud case,” said Mr Giuliani.

He added: “Those ballots could have been from Mickey Mouse. We have no idea. It’s never happened before. This was an egregious violation, a planned violation.”

Mr Giuliani also pursued a complaint that Republican observers were kept too far away to be able to monitor the ballot processing, saying that all the places where access was restricted “just all happen to be big cities controlled by Democrats” who “all of sudden” decided observers couldn’t inspect ballots.

“This is not an accident,” he said. “You’d have to be a fool to think this was an accident.”

Election officials across the country dispute that claim saying Republican observers were present at all times.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in a separate hearing on Tuesday that Republican poll observers were not entitled to stand within a certain distance to observe the counting of ballots, over-ruling an earlier ruling in favor of Mr Trump, which was one of his few court wins.

Mr Brann ended the hearing without ruling on the state’s dismissal request, and gave both sides the opportunity to file additional arguments in writing.

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