Donald Trump Goodbye GIF by Jef Caine

The Trumpers are apparently so tired of winning they've decided not to do it anymore, voluntarily dismissing lawsuits today in Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. BUH-BYE!

To be clear, these were cases brought by individual voters, not the campaign itself or the state Republican parties. As the New York Times notes, all four suits were spearheaded by Republican election attorney James Bopp Jr., so it seems likely the pullback was a coordinated strategy. Whether the plan is to clear away the gobbledygook suits because they're an embarrassment for the campaign, or whether they're making way for Rudy Giuliani and Mike Flynn's batshit lawyer Sidney Powell to "release the kraken" is unclear. But it's probably not a coincidence the cases disappeared less that 24 hours after Trump distanced himself from them on Twitter.


Politico reports that there are basically "two parallel legal teams working on different tracks" in Trumpland. The campaign is trying to round up reputable lawyers to mount a serious campaign to chip away at Joe Biden's lead, an effort they concede is "unlikely to succeed," but which they insist is "not frivolous." Because it's fun to say stupid shit!

Simultaneously, Rudy Giuliani is getting the Ukrainium One gang back together to work its magic and ... okay, it's not entirely clear what these loons are up to. Could be they plan to flood the zone with enough shit that electors in three states decide to override the vote and cast their Electoral College votes for Trump. Astute observers will note that the last time this crew put their minds to helping Donald Trump, he wound up getting impeached. And anyway, shut up, that faithless elector shit is not happening.

Perhaps the Trump campaign really is cooking up a monster lawsuit that will flip three states and make Trump president for life. (Spoiler Alert: LOL.) But for the moment they're busy attacking journalists who accurately report that the campaign's Pennsylvania suit has been pared back to a level at which it won't have any effect on the election outcome.

First of all, there isn't going to be a "trial" — it's a request for an emergency injunction to stop the state certifying election results with Biden 67,000 votes ahead. Oral argument is scheduled for tomorrow, and an evidentiary hearing is set for Thursday, although after the complaint was amended, the state defendants moved to dismiss the complaint before the hearing.

On November 9, the campaign sued Pennsylvania's Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar on two main grounds: first, that she illegally excluded Republican observers from the vote canvas; and second that allowing mail-in voters to "cure" defective ballots in blue counties violated the Equal Protection rights of voters in red counties. Since then, the Trump campaign's fancy lawyers at Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur noped out, leaving the case in the hands of a local, solo practitioner. And, more importantly, the Third Circuit bounced a case brought by a local candidate challenging the three-day extension of the absentee ballot deadline due to lack of standing. And if that plaintiff didn't have standing to bring a suit forcing the state to comply with election law, then neither does Donald Trump. Which means he's not going to be allowed to make the first argument about being shut out of the counting room.

(Note: The Trump campaign's own lawyers already admitted there were a "non-zero" number of observers watching the count. Note also: The Third Circuit said that only the Pennsylvania legislature has standing to sue the state to demand it enforce election law. So look for that suit to be filed any second now.)

Apparently, this court requires amendments to be submitted with edit-tracking, so you can see exactly how the complaint was modified. Counts I, II, III, VI and VII are all stricken, leaving only the bit about it being NO FAIR! for voters in Philly to be able to cast a provisional ballot if they forgot to sign their mail-in vote.

So what the hell is Rudy going on about? Well, see, they left all the verbiage about "found" ballots in Pittsburgh and excluded poll watchers in the statement of facts at the beginning of the complaint. They're not asking the court to do anything about it, and it's not one of the "counts," but they're still alleging it, so ipso facto propter hoc, they haven't backed down at all.

Why, yes, that is Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis using a screenshot of stricken language to prove said language is still a part of the complaint. Either that or these people have finally driven Your Wonkette entirely round the bend. Could be both, to be honest.

In any event, if they've given up on disenfranchising three million voters in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh because Republican poll watchers were excluded (they were not excluded), that just leaves some number of "cured" ballots. What that number is, the Trump campaign cannot say. In fact, they can't point to a single ballot "cured" under this provision, much less enough to eat into Biden's 67,000-vote lead. All the same, they'd like the court to enjoin certification of the election results statewide, please and thank you.

But wait, there's more! Apparently the lawyer representing the Trump campaign got a mean voicemail from an associate at the firm representing the state defendants. And even though that attorney, one of 2,300 at Kirkland & Ellis, has no relationship to the case, the Trumpland lawyer is flopping for all she's worth.

"[I]f there needs to be a rule saying that Kirkland & Ellis associates should not call opposing counsel and leave an abusive voicemail then all hope is lost," she wrote, in an actual brief filed in federal court this morning requesting sanctions. And she's still whining about it even as we type.

In summary and in conclusion, OMG WHAT A BUNCH OF INCOMPETENT SNOWFLAKE LOSERS. The end.

[NYT / Politico / Politico / WaPo / Trump v. Boockvar, Amended Complaint]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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