Two Weeks After Election, Trump Refuses to Concede As Giuliani Takes Madman Routine to Court
Tuesday marks 14 days since the Nov. 3 election when the nation overwhelmingly chose to seat President-Elect Joe Biden, but the reality has failed to set in for ousted President Donald J. Trump and his most ferocious supporters.
In a rare moment of blissful silence, Trump hadn’t yet used his Twitter account Tuesday morning, but for several days prior, he flooded the platform with unsubstantiated election fraud claims, all caps bitter defiance and other forms of Qhole crazy — a large portion of which has been flagged by administrators as disputed content.
I WON THE ELECTION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
(Narrator: No, he didn’t.)
So, what is he going on (and on, and on…) about, and how do his claims stack up under the harsh light of the law? And, more importantly, how does this non-peaceful transfer of power play out when there’s a very real country to govern with very real problems to face?
It’s been 10 days since major news networks confidently projected Biden as the winner in the presidential race, but Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration, has yet to certify the election, preventing the incoming transition team from getting to work. Murphy’s refusal means that Biden’s team cannot access personnel at federal agencies, run high-level background checks necessary for cabinet appointments and Biden is not being provided with a copy of the President’s Daily Brief.
Interestingly, it’s reported that Murphy has been actively “inquiring about employment opportunities” in a post-Trump world that she apparently knows is inevitable but refuses to publicly acknowledge.
The implications of leaving an incoming administration in the dark are vast, especially in terms of national security and the ability to tackle this beast of a health pandemic on Day 1 of the new presidency. And there will be plenty of catching up to do given that Trump has neglected his actual governing duties since the election tantrums began, choosing golf and rage tweeting over pandemic response on most days.
But if you listen to Trump and team, which has been greatly reduced to MAGA hats, Trump TV personalities and Rudy Giuliani, there will be no transition issues because the current administration refuses to accept the election results and they’ve shown no sign they’re planning to depart from the People’s House.
Tweet after tweet on Trump’s account alleges massive election fraud and some outright claim that he won, bigly. But in court case after court case, judges have declined to entertain the onslaught of frivolous lawsuits void of any real evidence. Witnesses who signed affidavits related to election fraud allegations have consistently fallen apart on the stand when asked to provide hard details — it turns out most of these bunk claims are based on hunches, discussions with friends and supposed internet research that led them to believe they were somehow wronged in the election process.
To understand just how ridiculous these many losing arguments have been, lawyers and law firms representing the Trump campaign have been jumping ship like rats on the Titanic over the past week. In response, Trump appointed good old Giuliani to helm the legal charge and public communications front. Yeah, that’s right, the “Four Seasons Total Landscaping” Rudy has been tapped in a last-ditch effort to overturn the will of the people.
Giuliani is in court Tuesday in an attempt to block the certification in Pennsylvania. But instead of presenting cogent arguments, he’s making claims as if he’s talking to his favorite Fox News hacks. According to Adam Klasfeld of Law and Crime News, who’s been closely following the election-related cases, Rudy isn’t even sticking to the legal team’s assertions, going off on tangents about fraud not actually charged in the official lawsuit and pulling numbers out of his ass with no supporting explanation.
Donovan dedicates his opening statement to a far less flashy rebuttal to what their lawsuit says, not what Giuliani declaimed.
"There is no claim in the complaint that any Pennsylvania voter cast more than one ballot."
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) November 17, 2020
Before the live court feed cut out, the defense argued just before noon that the plaintiffs have not “proven a right to sue.”
Daniel Donovan, arguing for the Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth, said:
“On standing, I think that’s the place to stop.”
Tuesday’s proceeding in Pennsylvania seems to be going down in the same dumpster fire fashion that led to the demise of nearly every other case the Trump campaign has brought against states and counties he lost. Marc E. Elias of Democracy Docket is keeping score, noting that of the 25 most substantial lawsuits filed by the GOP and allies, the Trump campaign has won just one, and that one didn’t shift results at all.
No matter how you spin it, Trump’s legal assault on the election has been a losing strategy.
BREAKING: Trump-backing election conspiracy theorists cannot revive their lawsuit.
Appeal DENIED in Michigan.
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) November 16, 2020
As of Tuesday, 14 days later, Trump is still the loser and there doesn’t appear to be any way he can lie, cheat and manipulate his way out of that reality. But that doesn’t mean he won’t try and that his followers won’t believe him when he says the election was stolen from him. But, if all goes as it should, with electors casting votes in accordance with the will of the people, Biden will be formally declared the winner on Dec. 14. If Trump then refuses to leave after inauguration, he will be trespassing and can be forcibly removed.
As of Tuesday, Biden’s lead in the popular vote is well over 5.5 million and he’s projected to take 306 electoral votes.