The Manzo Blog

Prez Election Legal Battle: Who’s on First?

By Louis M. Manzo   November 30, 2020

The Thanksgiving week break provided a good time for the President’s legal team to get their act together. But instead, things got worse. They handed a turkey over to a Federal District Court Judge—it was their pleadings.

The President’s original lawyers, who wrote the initial pleading, were scared off by threats to life and limb. Megabuck DC insiders threatened to freeze their firms out of business. Yes, shamefully, this is happening in the land of the free.

The antics left the case in the hands of Rudy Giuliani and other attorneys, who barricaded themselves inside a Pennsylvania hotel, turning their rooms into a makeshift law firm.

Rudy is to be admired for his role in 9-11. A true American patriot. Snotnose press goons, too young to remember the trauma of that event, show the former NYC Mayor and federal prosecutor no respect. They enjoy piling on and making him a source of their ridicule.

Without his former Gracey Mansion public relations corps, Rudy is morphing into an unlikable public face for the President’s legal fight. Worse yet, rather than just guiding and consulting the President’s legal team, Rudy has stepped back into the courtroom. The scene is reminiscent of any heralded prizefighter trying to stage a comeback, year past his prime—it typically ends ugly.

Team Trump seemingly lost their bearings in the course of the week leading up to their case’s federal court debut. The lawyers capsized their own ship and have yet to right it.

The Campaign tried to file three complaints. The original Complaint, filed November 9, set out six counts (plus a duplicate). Pennsylvania government moved to dismiss. On November 15, the Campaign filed their First Amended Complaint as of right, dropping four of their original six counts (plus the duplicate)—gutting the heart of their initial argument.

They next sought a preliminary injunction to block certifying the election results. Their court adversaries again moved to dismiss. On November 18, the Campaign sought to file a Second Amended Complaint, resurrecting four dropped claims from the original Complaint and adding three more about how Philadelphia had blocked poll watching.

The District Court ended the maneuvering, denying leave to file the Second Amended Complaint. Instead, it dismissed the First Amended Complaint with prejudice and denied the Campaign’s motion for a preliminary injunction as moot. This will be the source of appeal for SCOTUS, but more importantly, it has denied the President’s campaign the ability to get their evidence into court.

This was also abetted by Giuliani’s stunning proclamation that it wasn’t a fraud case. It most certainly was. This gave the Judge and the Third Circuit an out for not hearing the case and not allowing the campaign to admit evidence.

Lost in this ball of confusion was the President’s best argument for prevailing at SCOTUS—the Constitutional argument that only the State Legislature can establish the terms of election law for a federal contest. It was absent from the First Amended Complaint, then reinstated in the Second, since tossed out. Now it may be too late. The argument was probably the victim of lawyers with big egos fighting it out in a game of “I’ve gotta better idea.”

District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann kiboshed the President’s equal protection argument. The Judge claimed they drew no distinction between Trump and Biden observers—both were impaired by county election workers. Trump’s lawyers argued that different election protocols were in place in each county. The Judge held that Pennsylvania law allows it, then threw out the appeal.

Team Trump took the matter up on appeal to the Third Circuit’s Appellate Division. In the interim, they trash talked Judge Brann. Rudy called him a “hack.” As legal scholars opine, “you can’t insult your way up to the Supreme Court.” And, still unable to present their solid evidence, The Third Circuit promptly tossed the President’s case.

Now, with the clock ticking, Team Trump is hoping for a reprieve from SCOTUS.

Thus far, watching the Trump lawyers is a lot like watching the old cartoon from yesteryear—the nearsighted “Mr. Magoo,” out for a drive in his car. Magoo had plenty of close calls, but he somehow always seemed to get to his destination. Blind luck. But this is no way to run an airline, much less a court case.

If these antics keep up, Trump should add one more lawyer to his entourage of barristers—a malpractice attorney to sue the others.

Fortunate for the President’s campaign, simultaneous to their Pennsylvania legal blunder, an independent citizens group in Wisconsin filed another election lawsuit. They raised the Constitutional issue in Wisconsin: that only the State Legislature can establish the terms of election law for a federal contest.

In the meantime, the Pennsylvania legislature held a hearing on the 2020 election fraud in the Commonwealth. They got to see the evidence that no court has yet to admit. It was ugly and overwhelming. The legislature is now considering resolutions to deny seating the electors chosen in the fraudulent election and notifying Congress as such.

The Wisconsin legislature will see the evidence this week. It’s making a lot of Judges look like ostriches.

The President’s campaign’s final case filings will hit the courts in several other States this week as well. Their strategy seems to have them all land on the doorstep of SCOTUS. If they do, the Court will see a like pattern of alleged fraud, conducted simultaneously in distinct swing States—the campaign’s best evidence of systemic nationwide fraud.

The court wins and losses, up to this point, really don’t matter if SCOTUS grants certiorari.  Then, it is only the final Court’s opinion that matters…

The last word.



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