As the Trump campaign continues to press unproven and widely believed to be false claims about widespread voter and/or electoral fraud, even the nation’s more conservative media outlets are signaling the end of the road for the 45th president.
And the outsize presence of President Donald Trump‘s longtime friend and current attorney Rudy Giuliani is increasingly being cited as one of the prevailing reasons that the campaign’s legal efforts should be viewed as little more than spectacle and subterfuge.
The Wall Street Journal was the latest to join that slowly-building chorus on Friday evening in an editorial board opinion about the 45th president’s failure to win—or to credibly allege fraud—in Georgia.
“Georgia Certifies,” the headline reads. “Donald Trump Lost.” The article’s sub-headline adds context by noting that “[a] recount changed little, as the evidence of ballot fraud fails to appear.”
A hand audit of ballots cast in the Peach State was completed earlier in the week, and the results declaring Joe Biden the winner were certified by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Friday.
“Georgia’s historic first statewide audit reaffirmed that the state’s new secure paper ballot voting system accurately counted and reported results,” Raffensperger said in a statement after completing the audit. “This is a credit to the hard work of our county and local elections officials who moved quickly to undertake and complete such a momentous task in a short period of time.”
The GOP elected official has consistently been on the receiving end of unfounded allegations and abuse from other Republicans—most notably the state’s two incumbent U.S. Senators—over his role in the post-Election Day drama. His statement attempted to disabuse his critics by pouring cold water on conspiracy theories about how Biden managed to be the first Democrat to win the state in decades.
“Working as an engineer throughout my life, I live by the motto that numbers don’t lie,” Raffensperger said. “As secretary of state, I believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct. The numbers reflect the verdict of the people, not a decision by the secretary of state’s office or of courts or of either campaign.”
Trump himself responded to the news in Georgia with a Saturday morning tweet promising “[b]ig voter fraud information coming out concerning Georgia” and advising his followers to “Stay tuned.”
The Journal‘s Friday editorial rubbished the president’s extant fraud claims. The piece focuses on both Giuliani’s penchant for the dramatic and the paucity of evidence presented so far. The implication is that the former appears to be functioning as window dressing for the latter.
“If Mr. Trump had solid evidence of massive wrongdoing, it should be taken to court by a serious practicing attorney,” the editorial advises. “Mr. Giuliani’s role as lead lawyer suggests this is political theater. To what end? Perhaps Mr. Trump wants to test if Republican state legislatures in Michigan, Georgia or Pennsylvania might directly name Trump electors, overruling the state’s vote for Mr. Biden. That’s a dark road to go down.”
Giuliani’s attempts at performing legal advocacy were also criticized.
The editorial notes that Giuliani “waved affidavits” earlier this week in an attempt to prove Trump’s unsupported claims–including one specific affidavit from a Detroit poll worker who claims she witnessed other city employees encouraging votes for the Democrats.
But those claims were previously rejected by a state court which noted that the information was “generalized” and “asserts behavior with no date, location, frequency, or names of employees.”
The general tenor of Giuliani’s recent press conference alleging unkempt fraud — which has not yet been seen or produced to a legally acceptable manner in any court filing and which is largely regarded as unhinged by most observers — was also noted in the negative by the typically conservative mainstay:
At Mr. Giuliani’s news conference, the accusations included a theory that software on Dominion equipment was designed by Venezuela to rig elections. The conspiracy apparently goes deep. “We have no idea,” [Attorney Sidney] Powell said, “how many Republican or Democratic candidates in any state across the country paid to have the system rigged to work for them.”
Legal observers were quick to note the severity of the critique:
Wall Street Journal editorial takes apart each of Trump’s claims.
Also this whack at his elite legal strike force: “If Mr. Trump had solid evidence of massive wrongdoing, it should be taken to court by a serious practicing attorney.” https://t.co/3z8wQPennm
— Ross Garber (@rossgarber) November 21, 2020
WSJ Editorial Board is not having the conspiracies: “If Mr. Trump had solid evidence of massive wrongdoing, it should be taken to court by a serious practicing attorney. Mr. Giuliani’s role as lead lawyer suggests this is political theater.”https://t.co/kF6LLHwhm5
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) November 21, 2020
[image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]
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