It’s the start of a new year and, in 19 days, the start of a new presidency. That is not in dispute.
Many House Republicans are planning to object to the results, along with at least one senator, which is not actually going to affect the outcome of the election.
But as a refresher for the last attempt at grasping at straws (unless things get even more stupid afterwards), we’ve compiled a recap of the wildest Trump legal team shenanigans in the past almost-two-months.
1) Four Seasons Total Shambles
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. On the day Joe Biden was officially declared the winner, Rudy Giuliani held a press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, which still very well may be the funniest development of this whole saga.
Giuliani flipped out upon being told of the election results, but the immediate question everyone had was how in the hell did they end up holding a press conference near a crematorium and an adult book store.
If you’re interested in a good deep dive into what happened, check out this report by New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi.
2) Ivan Ooze
There was no way any subsequent press conference could possibly capture the magic of the FSTL debacle, but the November 19th press conference Giuliani et al held came pretty damn close. When the most memorable thing about your rantings involve your oozing hair dye and your reenactment of a movie scene, things aren’t going great.
More consequently, however, this was the press conference where Sidney Powell went big with her massive Hugo Chavez-Dominion-Soros conspiracy. And things only went downhill from there.
Which brings us to…
3) Rage Against the Machines
Giuliani, Powell, and more have pushed completely baseless allegations about voting machines — to the point where even Tucker Carlson was calling out Powell for her lack of evidence.
Powell dug in even deeper with an unbelievably crazy conspiracy about how Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Trump-supporting Republican, was somehow complicit in this voting machine conspiracy. Oh, and so was Bernie Sanders, apparently. Oh, and maybe the CIA or whatever this was supposed to be.
After Powell shared her Brian Kemp conspiracy, the Trump legal team distanced itself from her, a move that raises many questions, especially when you consider Giuliani has continued pushing voting machine conspiracies himself.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware of the legal threats from Smartmatic and Dominion against Fox News, Newsmax, OAN, Powell, etc., and in the case of the former, both Fox News and Newsmax issued on-air fact checks of things that their own hosts, Giuliani, and Powell stated.
After the first legal threats went out, however, Giuliani continued pushing conspiracies about the voting machines like nothing happened. We will see what happens as a result of the legal threats and how far this whole thing goes.
4) Strict Scrutiny
But one thing you need to keep in mind throughout this whole affair is that there is a very stark difference between what the Trump team has been saying on TV versus what they’ve been saying in court. And perhaps no moment better summed up that stark difference than Giuliani’s court appearance on November 17th.
As Law and Crime’s Adam Klasfeld reported at the time*, Giuliani embarrassed himself on multiple fronts, including appearing not to know what “strict scrutiny” meant and making several inflammatory remarks that were not part of the lawsuit.
It’s almost like there are standards you have to meet in a courtroom that you don’t need when you’re ranting and raving on cable news.
*As an aside, if you want in-depth breakdowns of the legal nuttery going on, go ahead and give Mediaite’s sister site Law and Crime a follow.
5) Elite Strike Force Team
This one is more minor and far less consequential, but it speaks to how the Trump legal team is presenting themselves. After the aforementioned proceedings where Giuliani was roundly mocked, Jenna Ellis took to Twitter to lash out at the “media morons” laughing at him, pointing to how he “established a great rapport with the judge.”
Spoiler alert: that case did not work out in their favor. And Republican pollster Frank Luntz pointed that out to Ellis afterwards.
In response, a lawyer for the president of the United States said he has a micropenis.
The Elite Strike Force Team, folks.
6) The Kraken Sinks to Davy Jones’ Locker
Again, if you want a deep dive into the specific court cases, check out Law and Crime, but there’s one in particular we must address here, and that is the KRAKEN that Sidney Powell unleashed upon the nation.
This was after the Trump team distanced itself from her, but based on the fact she was meeting with the president weeks later, this absolutely counts as part of the overall Trump team mania.
Powell filed the Kraken lawsuit in U.S. districct… wait, no, distrcoict court, and the typos were just the tip of the crazy iceberg. One of the filings actually featured the “epic fail” of writing that votes were switched from Trump to Biden. Whoops.
7) A Message to You, Rudy
Looking back on all the false claims and conspiracies spouted by Giuliani would be a Herculean effort, but there was one in particular that really stood out.
During one of his stunt hearings, Giuliani actually suggested Trump may have won Virginia.
Biden beat Trump in Virginia by over four hundred thousand votes. That’s kind of a lot of votes.
8) Melissa Carone
At these hearings, Giuliani brought out a number of witnesses, none as immediately attention-grabbing as Melissa Carone.
Carone was a contractor for Dominion making some pretty wild claims (and prior to the viral hearing a judge called her allegations “not credible”), and she got into it with a Michigan Republican state legislator as she tried to claim the poll book is “completely off.”
And when he said that the poll book was not off by thousands and thousands of votes, she responded, “What’d you guys do, take it and do something crazy to it?”
SNL tried their best, and brought in Cecily Strong to play Carone since everyone made the connection to one of her best characters, but there’s no way it could have been funnier than the real thing.
Don’t Mess With Texas Texas Would Like Very Much to Mess With You
The Trump team very eagerly touted the much-derided lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against states that did not vote the same way Texas did.
And after the Supreme Court smacked down a Pennsylvania case, it was perhaps no surprise that SCOTUS similarly rejected the Texas case.
Of course, over 100 Republicans in the House eagerly signed onto the Texas lawsuit — whether they earnestly believed it or signed on for craven political purposes — and more House Republicans are set to object to the results next week.
But lastly, we come to:
10) When It Stops Being Funny
We can laugh at some of the more outlandish things the Trump team has pulled because what they’re doing has failed over and over and over again.
But when you start talking about martial law, you are treading into very dangerous territory.
Sidney Powell suggesting martial law is insane. However you feel about the Michael Flynn case, him suggesting martial law is flat-out nuts. Giuliani reportedly asked in a recent White House meeting about having DHS seize voting machines, but even for him some of the stuff Sidney Powell has been pushing was too crazy.
Too crazy for Rudy Giuliani. Who, again, asked about the Department of Homeland Security seizing the voting machines.
Trump himself had to deny that he floated the martial law idea in that meeting, and when the leader of the free world is publicly denying he talked about such an undemocratic move…
You may have noticed Lin Wood has been going down the rabbit hole of increasingly-more-deranged conspiracy theories about John Roberts, Mike Pence, and whatever else he can concoct.
Normally it would be easy to ignore the ravings of people like Powell and Wood. But they are not saying these things in a vacuum. And, critically, Trump has touted some of what they’ve been saying. Again, Powell was recently at the White House, and while all of the president’s allies have desperately tried to throw Wood under the bus because he’s hurting them in Georgia, Trump shared a tweet from Wood saying that Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger will be going to jail soon.
This. Is. Nuts.
Again, Congress is voting to affirm Biden’s win next week on January 6th. No, there are not, in fact, “dueling” electors. And no amount of hair dye can conceal what an omnishambles this entire saga has been.
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