This decision was expected this morning, but here it is this afternoon.
🚨BREAKING: Arizona court DISMISSES lawsuit filed by the Arizona Republican Party seeking to expand the state’s election audit.
Trump and his allies are now 1-30 in post-election litigation.https://t.co/BGgXavGgKq
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 19, 2020
Democracy Docket has the Order (relevant portion):
The Court has read all of the parties’ filings in this matter, considered the oral arguments
of counsel, and reviewed public records addressing matters in the complaint.
On that record,
IT IS ORDERED the motions to dismiss, by the Maricopa County defendants and the intervenors Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Arizona Democratic Party, are granted. The plaintiff’s Verified Complaint will be dismissed with prejudice.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED the plaintiff’s Application for Preliminary Injunction, to enjoin the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors from certifying the election results and issuing the official canvass, is denied. The motion to amend the complaint is denied as futile.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Secretary of State may file a motion for attorneys’ fees pursuant to A.R.S. section 12-349 not later than December 7, 2020.
A minute entry order explaining the Court’s decision will follow shortly.
So one of the two frivolous lawsuits by the Arizona GOP is now over. The remaining frivolous lawsuit is by the same plaintiff who brought the “Shapiegate” lawsuit which was later dismissed for lack of evidence. A hearing in this case is scheduled on Friday. Expect a similar dismissal.
By the way, the one “win” that Marc E. Elias attributes to the Trump campaign: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the lower court ruling on the only election challenge that Trump won. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court‘s 5-2 decision tossed out his campaign’s lawsuit alleging that officials in Philadelphia did not allow Republican observers into counting rooms.
So the Trump campaign is now “Zero For __” in every frivolous lawsuit it has brought. Donald Trump’s “D List” of loser lawyers have been making embarrassing elementary errors. Trump’s election lawsuits plagued by elementary errors:
[Trump’s] attorneys have repeatedly made elementary errors in those high-profile cases: misspelling “poll watcher” as “pole watcher,” forgetting the name of the presiding judge during a hearing, inadvertently filing a Michigan lawsuit before an obscure court in Washington and having to refile complaints after erasing entire arguments they’re using to challenge results.
“The sloppiness just serves to underscore the lack of seriousness with which these claims are being brought,” said Rick Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine.
This “D List” of attorneys is led by the disreputable Rudy Guiliani, a foreign agent under Russian influence, and if not already apparent to you, certifiably insane based upon his public antics this week. Vice reports, Rudy Giuliani Just Floated His Wildest Election Conspiracy Yet:
Well, that was nuts.
Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s top campaign lawyer, laid out a string of baseless charges Thursday afternoon claiming that Joe Biden’s campaign had rigged the election in state after state, spinning out conspiracy theories that have already fallen apart in numerous court cases as he called for Biden’s clear election wins to be overturned in multiple states.
“It’s a common plan, it’s a common scheme, it comes directly from the Democrat Party and it comes from the candidate,” Giuliani claimed, arguing “mass cheating in this election” after accusing local officials from Atlanta, Detroit, Madison, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and other cities of rigging the election in a coordinated conspiracy with Biden.
This wide-ranging conspiracy theory has fallen apart when actually tested in the courts, however. Trump’s campaign has failed to produce any actual evidence of widespread voter fraud in any of the states where they’re trying to overturn the election results. And they’ve lost more than two dozen cases, while scoring just one partial victory in a case that had to do with just a few hundred ballots.
Giuliani tried to brush by that losing streak, claiming all the judges were biased against the campaign too, even though both Democratic and GOP-appointed judges have thrown out the Trump campaign’s arguments.
“Unfortunately they have some friendly judges that will issue ridiculously irrational opinions just to come out in their favor,” he said.
Giuliani was dripping with sweat by the end of his extended diatribe, with the sweat appearing to take his hair dye with it in a dribble down his cheek.
It appears that Rudy Giuliani is sweating through his hair dye. pic.twitter.com/OY3dGL1BtX
— The Recount (@therecount) November 19, 2020
(This will be a Saturday Night Live skit for sure).
But he was singing a different tune earlier this week. Giuliani said in court on Tuesday that the Trump campaign has no evidence of voter fraud in Philadelphia.
“This is not a fraud case,” he admitted after pointed questioning from the judge.
Giuliani’s claim that election officials had rigged the votes in multiple cities is facially farcical and has already been rejected by multiple judges. Trump actually did better in some of those places in 2020 than in 2016—his vote margin out of Philadelphia improved this time around, for instance, and he did just about as well in Milwaukee. If Democrats were rigging the election, one would think Biden would have done much better in those places.
The hour-plus press conference featured so many falsehoods and half-truths that have been knocked down in court that to fact-check the entire event would be fruitless.
“[G]ive us an opportunity to prove it in court, and we will,” Giuliani said about the bevy of accusations, some of which have already been tossed out in the courts.
He demanded reporters look at the actual evidence—but then said he wouldn’t present it all.
“I can’t give you all these affidavits, because if I do, these people will be harassed, they will be threatened, they may lose their jobs,” Giuliani said.
I couldn’t turn away from watching this train wreck, hoping to see the guys in the white coats show up and throw a net over this obvious madman.
Giuliani wasn’t the only Trump lawyer making insane claims. Sidney Powell [The Fox News TV lawyer also representing Gen. Michael Flynn] followed up by echoing the baseless conspiracy theory that voting machines used in multiple states that were produced by Dominion Voting Systems were purchased because of their “ability to flip votes,” echoing a conspiracy theory pushed by QAnon and Breitbart News that has been widely debunked.
“I want the American public to know right now that we will not be intimidated. American patriots are fed up with the corruption from the local level to the highest level of our government and we are going to take this country back,” she said. “We are not going to be intimidated, we are not going to back down. We are going to clean this mess up now. President Trump won by a landslide and we are going to prove it. And we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom.”
“All of your fake news headlines are dancing around the merits of this case,” Trump adviser and attorney Jenna Ellis claimed about the dozens of cases that Trump has lost, before slamming the cable news networks for having cut away from the unhinged press conference. CNN and MSNBC stopped carrying the lie-packed conference early on, though Fox News stuck with it.
“We have given you an overview but recognize this is not a court of law,” Ellis said, arguing that the Trump campaign would prove the election was “irredeemably compromised.”
But the goal is not a court victory; they aim to poison Americans’ trust in democracy — and potentially set up an attempt for Republican state legislators in multiple states to overturn the will of their voters and reinstall Trump for a second term.
Numerous news outlets are now reporting the same plot against American democracy. Reuters: Trump’s election power play: Persuade Republican legislators to do what U.S. voters did not. Associated Press: Trump, allies make frantic steps to overturn Biden victory. The New York Times, Trump Invites State Lawmakers to White House in Bid to Subvert Election:
After failing repeatedly in court to overturn election results, President Trump is taking the extraordinary step of reaching out directly to Republican state legislators as he tries to subvert the Electoral College process, inviting Michigan lawmakers to meet with him at the White House on Friday.
A source with knowledge of the trip said that Mr. Trump would meet with Michigan’s Senate majority leader, Mike Shirkey, and speaker of the House, Lee Chatfield, late Friday afternoon. Both lawmakers are Republicans who have said that whoever has the most votes in Michigan after the results are certified will get the state’s 16 electoral votes.
The White House invitation to Republican lawmakers in a battleground state is the latest — and the most brazen — salvo in a scattershot campaign-after-the-campaign waged by Mr. Trump and his allies to cast doubt on President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s decisive victory.
It comes as the Trump campaign and its allies have been seeking to overturn the results of the election in multiple states through lawsuits and intrusions into the state vote certification process, often targeting cities like Detroit, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Atlanta with large and politically powerful Black populations. Mr. Trump himself reached out personally to at least one election official in Wayne County, Mich., home of Detroit, who tried to decertify the results there.
Some members of Mr. Trump’s team have promoted the legally dubious theory that friendly legislatures could under certain scenarios effectively subvert the popular vote and send their own, pro-Trump delegations to the Electoral College.
Mr. Shirkey said in an interview earlier this week with Bridge Michigan, a local news outlet, that the Legislature would not move to appoint its own slate of electors, stating, “That’s not going to happen.”
The AP adds:
The Michigan Legislature would be called on to select electors if Trump succeeded in convincing the state’s board of canvassers not to certify Biden’s 153,000-vote victory in the state. But both legislative leaders have indicated they will not try to overturn Biden’s win.
“Michigan law does not include a provision for the Legislature to directly select electors or to award electors to anyone other than the person who received the most votes,” Shirkey’s spokeswoman said last week.
The statewide canvassing board, a bipartisan four-member panel, is responsible for certifying Michigan’s election results by a Monday deadline. One of the Republican members of the board, Norm Shinkle, said in an interview on Thursday that he was coming under enormous pressure regarding his vote, which he said was complicated by a late night announcement from the two Republicans on the four-member canvassing board in Wayne County, which includes Detroit, that they wanted to “rescind” their votes to certify the county’s results.
Mr. Trump reached out Tuesday night to one of those Republicans, Monica Palmer, to thank her for her support, according to two people briefed on the call. Ms. Palmer and the other Republican board member, William Hartmann, had initially refused to certify the election results, before relenting Tuesday night after a public outcry and accusations that they were trying to disenfranchise voters in Detroit, which is more than three-quarters Black. Ms. Palmer and Mr. Hartmann are white.
The Republicans sought to rescind the certification votes they had cast on Tuesday night through affidavits released late Wednesday night, roughly 24 hours after Mr. Trump had spoken with Ms. Palmer. But legally, functionally and practically, they cannot do so.
This is arguably a violation of 52 U.S. Code § 20511:
shall be fined in accordance with title 18 (which fines shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury, miscellaneous receipts (pursuant to section 3302 of title 31), notwithstanding any other law), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
“There is no legal mechanism for them to rescind their vote,” Tracy Wimmer, a spokeswoman for Michigan’s top election official, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, said on Thursday. “Their job is done and the next step in the process is for the Board of State Canvassers to meet and certify.” That meeting is scheduled for next Monday.
The Trump campaign’s lead election lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, announced Thursday morning that the campaign was withdrawing a federal suit it had filed seeking to stop the certification of results in Wayne County. The campaign attached the affidavits to the dismissal notice.
[A]fter Ms. Palmer and Mr. Hartmann initially refused to certify the election results over slight discrepancies in majority-Black precincts, while ignoring similar problems in heavily white areas of the county where Mr. Biden won a far smaller share of the vote, public outcry ensued, with 300 voters and civil rights leaders on a Zoom call expressing outrage.
Hours later, Ms. Palmer and Mr. Hartmann changed course and voted to certify. But in their affidavits the next day, they effectively said that they had been bullied into voting for the certification and that they did not believe the Democrats on the board were following through with their promise to ensure an independent audit of the Wayne County results.
The announcement about the Republicans’ attempt to rescind their certification votes arrived in a news release from a Virginia-based public-relations firm, ProActive Communications, that has been paid millions for consulting work for Mr. Trump’s campaign and whose founder, Mark Serrano, has been a frequent television defender of the president’s.
With the withdrawal of the Wayne County suit, the Trump campaign and its Republican supporters have now lost or withdrawn from all of their major legal actions in Michigan, although the state’s Supreme Court is still considering an appeal of a lower court’s decision not to halt the certification of Wayne County’s results.
The AP analysis:
The increasingly desperate and erratic moves are not expected to change the outcome of the 2020 election, where Biden has now received more votes than any other presidential candidate in history and has clinched the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win.
But the president’s constant barrage of baseless claims, his work to personally sway local officials who certify votes and his allies’ refusal to admit he lost is likely to have a lasting negative impact on the country. Legions of his supporters don’t believe he lost.
“It’s about trying to set up the conditions where half of the country believes that there are only two possibilities, either they win or the election was stolen,” said Justin Levitt, a constitutional law scholar and professor at Loyola Law School. “And that’s not a democracy.”
It is sedition. Threatening election officials is a crime and giving in to threats is a crime. All involved should be prosecuted. https://t.co/s6OrkaxsRG
— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) November 19, 2020
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) is calling on Trump and his administration officials to be prosecuted for crimes against America after they leave office. Top House Democrat Demands Trump Be Tried For Crimes Against America.
And a slew of corrupt attorneys need to be disbarred and disciplined by the Bar.