A petition filed by Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to practice before the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in connection with the Trump campaign's lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state was accepted on Tuesday by the court.
The approval of Giuliani's motion to practice comes despite his incorrect claim on the petition that he is a "member in good standing" of a number of courts.
Giuliani wrote, for instance, that he is a member in good standing of the District of Columbia Bar, even though his membership status is listed on its website as "Administratively suspended: non-payment."
In addition, Giuliani has not argued before a federal court since 1992, nearly three decades ago, according to BuzzFeed News' Zoe Tillman.
Nevertheless, Trump tweeted on Saturday that Giuliani would be leading his team of lawyers, composed of:
- Joseph diGenova, whose antisemitic rantings have kept him off the air on Fox News for more than a year.
- Victoria Toensing, who is married to diGenova and worked with him and Giuliani to dig up dirt on Joe Biden in Ukraine, part of the basis for Trump's impeachment in the House of Representatives.
- Sidney Powell, who has represented former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.
- Jenna Ellis, a Trump campaign lawyer who has been lying about nonexistent voter fraud on Twitter for weeks.
The suit is Pennsylvania is another attempt by Trump and his supporters to steal the election won by President-elect Joe Biden — an effort that has so far been wildly unsuccessful, as almost every lawsuit their lawyers have filed has either been dismissed by a judge or voluntarily withdrawn for lack of any evidence backing up their claims of widespread voting fraud.
The Trump campaign has already removed its central claim from the suit, namely that representatives of the Trump campaign were not allowed to witness ballot counting and that almost 690,000 ballots should be therefore be invalidated.
The claim was a lie — the Trump campaign did in fact have observers in place to witness vote counting in Pennsylvania. Now the lawsuit seeks to invalidate ballots that voters were allowed to fix, which, the Washington Post reported, only impacts a few votes that won't change make a significant dent in Biden's current 74,047-vote lead.
The latest team of lawyers replaces high-powered law firms who are dumping Trump as a client as he continues to lie about voter fraud. On Monday, three lawyers representing him in Pennsylvania filed to be removed from the case, saying in their petition to the court: "Plaintiffs and Linda A. Kerns, John Scott, and Douglas Bryan Hughes have reached a mutual agreement that Plaintiffs will be best served if Linda A. Kerns, John Scott, and Douglas Bryan Hughes withdraw, and Marc A. Scaringi represent Plaintiffs in this case."
Law firms that have worked with Trump for years, such as Jones Day, have found themselves having to consider the potential blows to their standing and reputations if they represent him in lawsuits that are determined to be unfounded and frivolous.
Benjamin Ginsberg, a lawyer formerly at Jones Day, wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post two months before the election: "The president's words make his and the Republican Party's rhetoric look less like sincere concern — and more like transactional hypocrisy designed to provide an electoral advantage. And they come as Republicans trying to make their cases in courts must deal with the basic truth that four decades of dedicated investigation have produced only isolated incidents of election fraud."
Ginsberg wrote: "Republicans need to rethink their arguments in many of the cases in which they are involved — quickly. Otherwise, they risk harming the fundamental principle of our democracy: that all eligible voters must be allowed to cast their ballots. If that happens, Americans will deservedly render the GOP a minority party for a long, long time."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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