The Death Star Strategy: Is Trump Contemplating The Ultimate Constitutional Trick Shot?

Below is my column in The Hill on the possibility of contesting electoral certifications by key states. With the adverse ruling in Pennsylvania, the Trump legal team is still pledging new evidence of massive fraud as certifications are completed. The options for the team seem more and more reduced to the ultimate constitutional trick shot in engineering a fight on the floor of Congress.

Here is the column:

The Thursday press conference by President Trump’s legal team left many breathless as Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani alleged a global communist conspiracy to steal the 2020 election. While making passing references to credible election challenges over provisional ballots or “curing” rules, he repeatedly returned to the allegation of a purported massive conspiracy directed by Democrats to change and “inject” votes into state tallies.

It was a strange narrative that seemed to move away from the provable to the unbelievable. The question is, why?

One possibility: to raise sweeping allegations with insufficient time to resolve them in order to force an Electoral College fight. The idea would be to give license to Republican-controlled legislatures to intervene with their own sets of electors or block the submission of any set of electors. Concern over such a strategy was magnified when Trump called key Republican leaders from Michigan’s legislature to the White House on Friday.

Call it the “Death Star strategy.”

In “Star Wars,” a struggling rebellion was in full retreat on every front against an overwhelming force in the Empire. The rebels were left with just one strategy and literally one shot. Luke Skywalker had to skim the surface of the Death Star along a trench and fire a round into a small thermal exhaust port to travel down an air shaft and cause an explosion in the core reactor. Then poof! No more Death Star.

However, if this is the Trump team’s plan, it will make Luke Skywalker’s shot look like a beanbag toss.

The electoral ‘trench’

The “trench,” in this instance, is found in state election systems leading to the electoral equivalent of the “exhaust port” in the Constitution’s Electoral College. It is the Electoral College where the actual election of an American president occurs. Each state certifies votes to the Electoral College — a figure that adds up to the number of members the states have in the two houses of Congress, or 535. (In addition, for Electoral College purposes, the District of Columbia is given three electors, for a total of 538.) Thus, a candidate must have at least 270 electoral votes to become president.

To reach that “exhaust port,” Trump’s legal-team equivalent of X-wing fighters must get all the way down the electoral “trench” by creating challenges to multiple state certifications and deny Joe Biden the 270 threshold or claim those votes for Trump. The Trump team has focused on states such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. If the litigation can create serious doubts over the authentication or tabulation of ballots, the Trump campaign could force fights on the floors of these state legislatures. However, after meeting with the president on Friday, the Michigan legislative leaders dealt that potential strategy a serious blow by saying they are unaware of anything that would change their state’s certification for Biden.

The electoral ‘shaft’

Once litigation introduces doubt as to the validity of the vote, the matter travels down the electoral version of the Death Star’s air shaft to individual state legislatures. This is when things move into some uncertain constitutional physics.

Article II of the Constitution states that electors are appointed “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” All but a couple of states have directed that all of their electoral votes will go to the candidate with the greater number of statewide votes. The question is, what happens if legislators decide they cannot say with confidence who won the greater number of votes?

Such controversies have arisen before, as in 2004, when Democrats objected to counting Ohio’s electoral votes due to voting irregularities. The greatest controversy occurred in 1876 after a close, heated election between Republican Rutherford Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden. Like Biden, Tilden won the popular vote and more electoral votes (184, to Hayes’s 165). The problem was that rampant fraud was alleged in Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina. (For example, South Carolina reported 101 percent of voters voting). The controversy led to rival sets of electors being sent to Congress. A long fight led to the improbable election of Hayes as president.

For Trump to pull off a similar maneuver, he would need the cooperation of Republican state legislators. He also would face collateral litigation over who should certify electors — a state’s governor or its legislature. In Bush v. Gore in 2000, the Supreme Court ordered an effective halt to further litigation, but that was just one state. It is possible that such multistate litigation could push the challenges beyond the end of the safe-harbor period for certification on Dec. 8 or beyond Dec. 23, when those votes are supposed to be submitted to Congress. Indeed, it could force a fight on Jan. 6, when Congress gathers in joint session to count the votes.

The electoral ‘reactor’

Only then would the action make it into the “core reactor” equivalent of our constitutional system — the joint session of Congress. This would trigger a law passed after the Hayes-Tilden election. Unfortunately, the Electoral Count Act (ECA) of 1887 is hardly a model of clarity and would become the focus of litigation itself. Under some circumstances, Vice President Pence could issue a ruling in favor of Trump, but one senator and one House member could challenge his ruling.

What if there were insufficient votes overall to elect a president? This is where we could see a rare court intervention in a contested election in Congress. The ECA is ambiguous on what it means to have a majority of electors; it does not clearly state whether a majority of “electors appointed” means a majority of the 538 electors (270) or simply a majority of those electors accepted or successfully certified (allowing election with less than 270 electoral votes). There also are untested terms and provisions, ranging from the weight given to the decision of governors and the meaning of what is “lawfully certified” or whether votes were “regularly given.”

There also is the potential under the 12th Amendment for a “contingent election” when there is a tie or insufficient votes. In such a case, Trump could win again. In that case, the vote for president is held in the House based on state delegations, not individual members. Republicans likely will control a majority of state delegations in the House, despite having fewer seats overall — as well as the Senate, where Pence could be reelected.

Again, that is all quite a long shot — a bit more than Luke Skywalker’s boast that he could sink it because he “used to bull’s-eye womp rats in my T-16 back home.” It is enough to make an Ewok weep. All one can say, to paraphrase Han Solo’s parting words before heading out for Death Star, is “Hey, Rudy. May the Force — and the ECA — be with you.”

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

 

618 thoughts on “The Death Star Strategy: Is Trump Contemplating The Ultimate Constitutional Trick Shot?”

  1. Trump attorneys’ Death Star Strategy is succinctly summed up by Sidney Powell: “The entire election in all the swing states should be overturned & the legislations should make sure the electors are chosen for Trump.” Simply put, Trump’s attorneys want to invalidate 2020 election results.

    In 2016, Hillary Clinton received 2.9 million more votes than Trump. Trump called that fake news & proclaimed himself the winner of the popular vote. But he never produced any evidence of massive voter fraud. When Republicans lost the House in the 2018 midterms, Trump claimed Democrats voted multiple times wearing disguises but never produced any evidence of massive voter fraud.

    If Trump attorneys’ Death Star Strategy succeeds, it insures that no American will ever trust election results again. Goodbye America.

    1. It is too late. Half of America will not trust the election results already. That is part of the R grand plan. They assault the elections in order to impose even more voter suppression laws, and if that fails, just invalidate the results.

      1. Molly G:

        “They assault the elections in order to impose even more voter suppression laws, and if that fails, just invalidate the results.”

        *******************************************

        Not one voter who wanted to vote got suppressed — even the dead ones in Dim states.

        1. Tell that to all those whose states have voter ID laws, but make it tough to get an ID, to those who were wrongly purged of the voter rolls, those who could not vote by mail because the mail was too slow to get the papers to and from the election office, and those who were at-risk and could not vote in person. Those all add up to far more then zero.

            1. I do not want to get into the details, they are well documented elsewhere, but not all areas have local DMVs, and some are not easy to get to. In my area the DMV is miles out of town in the middle of farm land. Not easy to get to if you don’t have a car.

        2. Tell that to the former felons in FL who served their time and completed their probations and should have been able to vote after the citizens of FL passed Amendment 4, but who can’t because the legislature changed the law and the state can’t tell them how much they owe.

            1. I’ve read the FL news reporting about it, like this one –
              https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/elections/2020/10/07/florida-ruled-felons-must-pay-to-vote-now-it-doesnt-know-how-many-can/
              I’ve read part of the judges’ ruling about it too –
              https://media.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/files/202012003.enb.pdf
              “the District Court noted discrepancies in available records or lack of definitive information regarding what they owed”
              “countless scores of individuals will be uncertain of their eligibility to vote. At the time of the trial, the Florida Division of Elections had identified more than 85,000 registered voters with felony convictions whose eligibility had to be screened. The District Court made a finding of fact, unchallenged by the State, that it will take until 2026 at the earliest, and possibly even into the 2030s, for the State to complete its eligibility determinations.”

      2. Voting is a privilege. If you cash a check or sometimes pay with a credit card you are asked for ID. If you fly you provide ID. There should not be voter dilution but there is.

        Simple and straightforward voting laws that insure one vote for one citizen is all that is required. Democrats refuse to do what most third world nations do to protect the voting process.

        Why are you against protecting against fraud?

        1. Cashing a check and flying are not rights.

          Voting is a right.
          15th Amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
          19th Amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
          24th Amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.”
          26th Amendment: “The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.”

          Who, exactly, is “against protecting against fraud”?

          I think most of us want people penalized for voter fraud. I certainly do.

          But there isn’t much voter fraud. You might read this thread from the Lt. Gov. of PA about the small number of cases of voter fraud in PA, for example:
          https://twitter.com/JohnFetterman/status/1327619075971932160

          1. “Voting is a right.”

            We will now quibble between what is a right and what is a privilege. There are natural rights and rights provided by the Constitution but there are requirements to access those rightsand those requirements are written in the constitution and the state constitutions.

            You have a right to drive a car, but one requires a driver’s license. Voter ID does not violate the 15th, 19th, or 26th amendment.

            One who wishes to protect from voter fraud should have no objection to voter ID laws or absentee ballots where people are registered with a signature that matches the absentee ballot submitted. I think it was Nevada where they didn’t demand matching signatures.

            I will copy the list just posted by a Mel and think this list should be kept handy.

            City of Detroit worker swears she witnessed thousands of ballots being falsified

            Nearly three quarters of Detroit’s precincts had mismatched voting totals

            Unfolded, pristine mail-in ballots flagged in Georgia

            Thousands of ballots went uncounted initially in Georgia, belatedly discovered during audit

            Large numbers of Pennsylvania voters say their absentee votes weren’t counted or someone else requested their mail-in ballot

            Social worker charged in Texas with submitting voter registration applications for nursing home residents

            Computer issue in Oakland County, Mich., blamed as a GOP incumbent belatedly declared winner after first being told he lost.

            Antrim County, Mich., reversed election results after error found

            Numerous Republicans poll observers in multiple states say they were improperly ejected

            Voter drive in Nevada targeting Native Americans offered gifts as voting incentives

            Los Angeles prosecutors uncover scheme in which thousands of fraudulent ballots cast

    2. OMG things will never be the same! The Dims went on a four-year outrage against a duly constituted election and you think Rudy caused the mistrust among the masses. Are you Rip Van Winkle?

      1. The Ds did not call into question the actual voting or vote counting. Not liking the results of an election and opposing the president is a far cry from making up lies about election fraud.

        1. MollyG:

          “The Ds did not call into question the actual voting or vote counting.”
          ************************
          Oh really. They called it into question before the results: ” Hillary Clinton said in a new interview that Joe Biden should not concede the 2020 presidential election “under any circumstances,” anticipating issues that could prolong knowing the final outcome.

          “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances, because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch, and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is,” Clinton said in an interview with her former communications director Jennifer Palmieri for Showtime’s “The Circus,” which released a clip Tuesday.”

          https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/hillary-clinton-says-biden-should-not-concede-2020-election-under-n1238156

          1. Get you talking points correct. That quote has noting to do with the 2016 election at all. And that quote has nothing to do with what is happening now. I don’t care if Trump concedes, but he can’t lie about voting fraud and block the transition process.

      2. No, Mespo, what you see might be the beginning of the end for American democracy, thanks to a lying narcissist whose ego will not allow him to accept defeat, enabled by a dying political party afraid to stand up for democracy because they need the support of his adoring fans, who are mostly not wel-educated and who support his racist and xenophobic rhetoric due to their own fears and insecurities. So, they overlook the failing economy, the daily records for new COVID infections and deaths, the trade deficit, and the growing lack of respect for America thanks to him. Trump did not “win” in 2016–Russia helped him cheat, so he was not “duly elected”, and he was impeached. 48 US Senators voted to remove him from office. Most Americans never approved of him and have rejected him once again, but his tender, fragile ego won’t allow this, so it’s game on. Anything, literally anything, to keep that fat ass in our White House and continue forcing himself on America against the will of the American people. Now, do the claims of women like E. Jeanne Carroll, who says he forced himself on her in Bergdorf Goodman Department Store and raped her in a dressing room, sound so far-fetched?

        Most Americans are not “Dims”, either: Trump was disapproved by a wide swath of Americans, including a group of Republican leaders who formed a group called “The Lincoln Project”. The real outrage is this arrogant, fat slob refusing to accept the will of the American people, continuing to play POTUS for the perceived glory and recognition, despite massive failures of leadership actually causing people to die, and his refusal to cooperate with the choice of the American people for their next leader. Biden and Harris are doing their best to carry out the mission they’ve been entrusted with, but Trump thwarts that with lies and baseless claims of fraud. That’s the outrage.

  2. Turley writes:

    “All one can say, to paraphrase Han Solo’s parting words before heading out for Death Star, is “Hey, Rudy. May the Force — and the ECA — be with you.”

    No, one could and should say “Rudy, GFY and your attempts to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters and the infantile and corrupt president you work for.”

    Turley could not more clearly demonstrate his complete lack of morals, and principle, and his pretense of having any is exposed as an act.

    1. Joe Frauday:

      “Turley could not more clearly demonstrate his complete lack of morals, and principle, and his pretense of having any is exposed as an act.”
      ************************

      You need better English teachers in the Gulag, Joe.

  3. At what point does violent revolution become plausible. I mean, if Congress were to steal the election for Trump (after Trump being unable to win at the ballot box and unable to prove sufficient fraud in court, but merely to get a party line vote in Congress), I would think the 80 million who voted for Biden should take up arms. I mean, there is a lot of hyperbole out there, but this would seem justified.

    1. Seeing as how leftists hamfistedly started the vast majority of the violence this year you may be right.

      Once President Trump’s 2nd term is confirmed the meth addled lefty brownshirts might go apeshit.

      If Kyle R is a tell on casualty raitio’s, I suspect the mostly peaceful protesters from blue town will be in trouble.

    2. “At what point does violent revolution become plausible. I mean, if Congress were to steal the election for Trump ”
      ***********************************
      Behold the lunacy of the Left. Oh and we have all the guns, cops and ammo so Viva la Revolucion’! Oh and of that 80 million, you’ve got droves of snowflakes, pajama boys, girlie men and, well, the entire population of the Island of Misfit toys.

  4. I remember when Trump was impeached last year, a lot of Trump defenders (including Turley) said “hey, you can’t impeach Trump, that would be Congress invalidating the will of the voters who voted for Trump last time. (Well, not a majority or even a plurality, but in the electoral college). Anyway, if Congress were to go ahead and install Trump despite him losing by 6-7 million votes and losing the electoral college — and make no mistake, this would be a party line vote if it were to happen – well, then you are really just saying Trump can never be removed ever by the voters.

    At that point, not only does it show Republicans in Congress being hypocrites (what else is new), but Trump becomes a for life dictator like Putin, Kim or Hitler.

    1. We have been going over the same arguments for weeks, and thank you for a new one. You clearly point out the R hypocrocy.

  5. Trump, like the Emperor in Star Wars, is the incumbent. This would be like the Rebel forces won a free and fair election and then the Emperor and Darth Vader just said there was fraud so they are throwing the votes out and installing themselves, and threatening legislators until they get their way.

    The transformation of Rudy from Anakin to Darth Vader over the years has been particularly stark.

  6. “Such controversies have arisen before, as in 2004, when Democrats objected to counting Ohio’s electoral votes due to voting irregularities.”

    Really, I thought Kerry conceded the next day. It was not the Presidential candidate or their lawyer contesting something. There are always going to be some dead-enders, but the contest here is by a Presidential candidate who won’t concede, not some random party member.

    1. Skull and Bones Kerry with his adulterous running mate took a dive for team uniparty.

      J Kerry is a comprimised choot.

      1. Because as anyone with a brain knows at this point, it wasn’t a legal election.
        Try educating yourself and just look at the facts.

        1. You have a brain, yet you apparently don’t know that you’re assuming facts not in evidence. According to you, what “facts” show that “it wasn’t a legal election”?

          So far, not one of the judges ruling on over 3 dozen post-election cases has determined that “it wasn’t a legal election.” These include Republican judges as well as Democratic judges.

          1. The stopping Vote Counting late at night, something that has NEVER happened before is the first tell.

            If you are unwilling to look remain in bliss till the hammer comes.

            1. The workers were counting votes sine 7 am, and you fault them for taking a break after midnight? And then have the nerve to call that evidence of fraud?

              1. LOL taking a break!

                Maria Bartiromo has noted she has never seen vote counting stop in an election.

                We were told they were stopping counting, not taking a break. Is lying like breathing for you?

                O and the verb i used was a tell, not evidence are you illiterate or willfully blind?

                1. LMAO that you think if Maria Bartiromo says she never saw it before, it can’t have happened before.

                  Learn your parts of speech. “A tell” is a noun, not a verb.

                  1. Dear Grammar Nazi

                    I don’t take internet comments as seriously as you. And not only do I rarely proof read comments because IDGAF.

                    Can you provide an example of a presidential elections vote being paused in the last 70 years.

                    Maria has more credibility than some anonymous douche bag.

                    I don’t take internet comments as seriously as you. And not only do I rarely proof read comments because IDGAF.

                    No run along to your coup coup plotting cowards.

                  2. Hoist with his own petard:

                    Anon: “Learn your parts of speech. ‘A tell’ is a noun, not a verb.”

                    Here’s what PF wrote:

                    “If Kyle R is a tell on casualty raitio’s [ratios] . . .”

                    In that context, “is a tell on” means “is an indication of.” Which means that “tell,” in that context, is an intransitive *verb*.

                    But PF’s reply is more eloquent: “Grammar Nazi.”

                    1. No, Sam, “tell” in the phrase “is a tell on” is still a noun, just like “indication” in the phrase “is an indication of” is a noun.

                      Articles like “a” and “an” precede nouns.

                      That insult rolls off my back. The only reason I pointed it out was because of PV’s snarky last sentence in his response to MollyG. PV wants to dish it out but can’t take it.

          2. “You have a brain, yet you apparently don’t know that you’re assuming facts not in evidence.”

            One doesn’t need facts in front of a court to be considered facts. We have laws that were not followed, videos of illegal action, we have a mess of ballots not handled in the appropriate fashion.

            The above are facts. The opinion something not in front of a judge or evidence isn’t a fact is your opinion.

            1. You say “The above are facts,” and I say: show us the actual evidence for them. There’s no reason for us to accept your word for it.

              1. We know that the legislature of Pennsylvania passed voters laws that were not followed. That is a constitutional issue. The list has been provided with videos and reports about the mishandling of ballots in many different ways.

                I don’t know what else you want from FG, but you can ask the lawyers that have the proof or wait for the lawyers to use it in trial and then get the transcripts.

                I understand that you don’t consider these things facts until proven in a court of law so no commenter will ever be able to provide you with the facts in the way you want them. In that way you can badger people because it’s highly unlikely that any poster can get their hands on all the facts. The one thing that can be provided are the videos that were posted, I think from PV. Do you dispute those videos? They prove 2 of the 3 things he mentioned.

            2. FG, I just responded to Commit, but here is a longer list to use next time.

              City of Detroit worker swears she witnessed thousands of ballots being falsified

              Nearly three quarters of Detroit’s precincts had mismatched voting totals

              Unfolded, pristine mail-in ballots flagged in Georgia

              Thousands of ballots went uncounted initially in Georgia, belatedly discovered during audit

              Large numbers of Pennsylvania voters say their absentee votes weren’t counted or someone else requested their mail-in ballot

              Social worker charged in Texas with submitting voter registration applications for nursing home residents

              Computer issue in Oakland County, Mich., blamed as a GOP incumbent belatedly declared winner after first being told he lost.

              Antrim County, Mich., reversed election results after error found

              Numerous Republicans poll observers in multiple states say they were improperly ejected

              Voter drive in Nevada targeting Native Americans offered gifts as voting incentives

              Los Angeles prosecutors uncover scheme in which thousands of fraudulent ballots cast

                1. “Anonymous”

                  You have posted several comments that were deleted because you impersonated the identity of other commenters. If you do this again, you face revocation of your posting privilege on this blog.

        2. So all the judges that have thrown out the cases, all the elections officials and experts who say it was a clean election, Fox News, all have no brain. But the people who insist that this is a massive fraud, yet can point to no valid evidence are the smart ones? Even the Michigan Republicans did not buy Trumps BS.

    1. Anonymous, a fighter? The man is constantly playing golf instead of coordinating with his lawyers. Obviously he’s letting others fight for him while he plays around. Oops, wait, there’s still a pandemic raging out of control too. The man gave up. He’s just too proud to concede.

      1. Lol. There was a hearing on Friday. Dominion failed to show.
        If you want to be taken seriously ,try to keep up

      2. Still, all those evidenceless statements that Dominion has done bad stuff to the vote…given their entire business model hinges on transparency and integrity…you’d kind of expect them to at least do a cease and desist…instead they lawyer up, bail out of a hearing at the 11th hour and ask the building janitor to remove theirs and the Tides Foundation signage from their office building lobby in Toronto. Doesn’t exactly appear like the actions of a Company that is confident of their products legality.

        1. It is exactly what I would expect. Their is ongoing litigation. They are going to keep their mouths shut as much as they can. It is the correct legal move.

          1. It is exactly what I would expect. Their is ongoing litigation. They are going to keep their mouths shut as much as they can. It is the correct legal move.

            Then of course you have no problem when the other party, with ongoing litigation efforts, don’t fold to public pressure and reveal their evidence in advance.

            1. We’re all waiting with bated breath for Powell to actually file a brief with these allegations against DVS, so we can see her evidence.

            2. I do not have a problem with that. But I do have a massive problem when they repeatably claim to have evidence, but fail to submit that “evidence” to court.

              1. But I do have a massive problem when they repeatably claim to have evidence, but fail to submit that “evidence” to court.

                I can understand that frustration. It would be sadly ironic that President Trump’s final legal battle in office would fail because he (not the Democrats) alleged wrongdoing that did not have the evidence to back it up. That would be quite the reversal for Republicans and this president to feel crimes were committed and the Democrats to demand facts and evidence. 2020 cannot end fast enough.

      3. here we have a lot of keyboard experts who never tried a case talking.

        ever heard of discovery? sue dominion for fraud and it will go on for years

        there’s a lot of dirt there. gonna be fun watchin

  7. Professor Turley’s analogy to the destruction of the Death Star is clever when it comes to projecting the odds of Trump winning such a strategy, but is awkwardly transparent in his casting Trump and the legal team as Luke Skywalker and the rebellion. His claims of purely academic neutrality is quite a load.

    1. Aninny:

      “but is awkwardly transparent in his casting Trump and the legal team as Luke Skywalker and the rebellion.”
      ************************
      Well, Biden surely resembles the Emperor, Kamala really is Princess Lay-a and could anybody mistake Mad Maxine’s helmet of hair for anything other than Darth Vader’s helmet? Don’t get me started on Shiny SchiffP0 or that R2DNadler rolling around! And does anybody think Chewbacca is anything other than Gavin Newsome in drag? Really?

        1. mespo………I am one of the few, the proud, cinema-loving citizens who has never seen one minute of any of the Star Wars films.
          Instead, I have dedicated my life to serve in the coveted role as the doyenne of Doris (Day).

    2. Anonymous, Turley used the wrong character in describing his chances. Trump’s team is no Luke Skywalker. It’s more of a bad Jar Jar Bink just learning to fly an X-Wing. He’s been careening down the canyon smashing onto the walls so much he won’t have an X-wing to use at the end. That’s a much better analogy than Turley’s.

  8. What happened in the Pennsylvania evidentiary hearing?

    And what’s up with the Judge’s Strawman argument?

  9. It did seem to me that the courtroom litigation was just a test to see if the state courts were disposed to question the mainstream media election call. That strategy does not seem to be producing results.

    Last week’s press conference was clearly aimed at another audience that does not require a preponderance of the evidence–state legislators–in order to throw the election to Nancy Pelosi’s House, where the minority Republican members could really stick it to Nancy and reelect the despised Orange Man who she impeached.

    Such a move is not illegal or unconstitutional, and indeed has hapened multiple times in American history.

    1. J. Rock, this is the key passage from your comment: “aimed at another audience that does not require a preponderance of the evidence”.

      You seem to admit here that no evidence exists to support Trump’s claims. However you’re pretending like evidence is just some annoying formality.

      1. Only a closed-minded moron could take that statement to mean no evidence (or proof, for that matter) exists. There are multiple affidavits, which are universally acknowledged to be the textbook example of evidence.

        Apparently you do not have even a small understanding about standards of proof, nor understand voting decisions or constitutional process. In deciding a matter, criminal courts require a determination of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Civil courts require a preponderance of the evidence. Other standards exist and include beyond any doubt, clear and convincing evidence, substantial evidence.

        Voters require no (zip, zero, nada) evidence.

        Attempting to influence legislators requires the same standard as persuading voters. If that is demeaning to you than you also have little understanding why we allow voters, and even jurors, to make weighty decisions.

            1. Trump didn’t win his federal case in PA; he lost, and his lawyers were soundly rebuked in Judge Brann’s ruling:
              https://pacer-documents.s3.amazonaws.com/147/127057/15517440654.pdf

              The 3rd Circuit has granted the Trump Campaign’s motion for emergency expedited review in that PA case and ordered the Trump Campaign to submit its brief by 4pm today, with appellees responding by 4pm tomorrow. But the Trump Campaign is only appealing the judgment that they cannot further amend their complaint in the district court, so even if they win in the court of appeals, it goes back to Judge Brann’s district court for whatever amended brief they want to file there.

              1. So what?

                It is expected that ultimately the Trump case will fail. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t corruption. All that does is place more elections in jeopardy.

  10. Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts & evidence. John Adams.

  11. Professor Turley

    The ‘ultimate . . . trick shot’ would have been a plausible legal claim supported by credible evidence adjudicated in a court of law which would have been affirmed on appeal.
    The President’s problem is that since the November 3 Election, neither he nor his legal team ever asserted or filed a plausible claim of widespread voter fraud affecting the outcome of any of the elections in any of the States.
    While your narrative is intellectually interesting, it probably will not become a reality in the real world of 2020 politics because if it does, then our democratic institutions surely will collapse. (Respectfully, this is not the era of 1887 politics).
    My view is that with the loss of the Pennsylvania legal challenge, the President’s options have not just simply narrowed, as you have suggested, they have disappeared.
    He needs to concede so that the transition can proceed.

    1. And yet that is false. There are now over 100 affadavits most of democratic election officials asserting that they witnessed and or participated in election fraud.

      That is more than sufficient to proceed.

      Further most of us are well aware of the major claims – and aware that those claims are valid.

      States election officials failed to follow their own laws. Often with the impramatur of state courts.

      That is lawlessness.
      That undermines the rule of law.
      It undermines government
      It undermines the courts.

      That must be addressed.

      You seem to think this is all about getting your prefered outcome.

      It is not. Until the process is trustworthy the outcome is meaningless.

      If you continue to obfuscate, to refuse to shine the light on all of this,
      then you are part of the problem.

      You say Trump has not provided evidence of fraud – that is FALSE.

      All that is in question is the scale of the fraud – 10 ballots, 1000 ballots, 100000 ballots.

      We can not know for certain without a meaningful inquiry.

      Democrats have wasted out time trying to hide, all that does is make it more plausabile that the scale is enormous.

      Sydney Powell’s claims against Dominion seem incredible – hard to beleive. If false they are egregious defamation.
      In light of the hand recount in GA they seem highly unlikely.

      Yet Dominion has not vigorously challenged the claims – they have not demanded retractions, they have not threatened Powell, they have not filed defamation claims.

      Dominion was supposed to testify before the PA legislature – and then backed out at the last minute.

      They are not behaving like they are wrongly accused. They are behaving like they are hiding the truth.

      We have variations of the same conduct everywhere. Democrats rather than inviting inquiry – exposing the election conduct to sunlight are hiding everything, are seeking to thwart all further inquiry. They are behaving like they are guilty of something and that if they just hunker down long enough they can get away with it.

      The behaviour of DVS and democrats in general is not proof, but along with the other EVIDENCE, it is a strong basis to dig deep.

      1. As of last night, the affidavits have not been filed in a court.
        The PA judge asked Rudy about affidavits, but he declined to file them in his case because, as he said, the affiants were concerned about their safety, whatever that means.
        As of this morning, no affidavits have been filed in a court. Sidney Powell said she is ‘working’ on them, whatever that means.
        Dominion does not need to do or say anything until after the inauguration on January 20. Dominion can let the attackers continue with their wild and baseless attacks and then sue all of them next year for massive defamation damages.

        1. Sidney Powell has not been “fired”, numbnuts.

          In order to fire a a lawyer, the lawyer first has to have been retained. She was not working under a retainer.

          When you get out of middle school maybe someone will bring you up to speed on all of this adult stuff.

          1. What an emotional statement, Rhodesy. Weren’t you the one who said “Making emotional statements like that is what children do. Are you a child, or an adult?”

          2. Rhodes I’m sorry but Im afraid you may have lost the plot. To the extent that I can even piece through your weird quotes, insults, and unsupported declarative statements you seem to be very angry about…something? It’s not clear at all to me what but maybe it would be a good idea to take a break and get away from the keyboard or something? This is coming off super-unhinged. Like even for the internet.

      2. You make an awful lots of strong claims without every producing evidence. Your word is not trustworthy. If you’re going to claim that “There are now over 100 affadavits most of democratic election officials asserting that they witnessed and or participated in election fraud”, link to them, and let’s see if you’re being honest.

  12. Trump’s legal team (although they are now disassociating themselves from Sydney Powell) laid their groundwork for fraud in a 90 minute news conference. This include attacks on Dominion voting. If the allegations against Dominion are proven patently false, Trump must concede. They laid their reputations on the line. Trump included Sydney Powell in his legal team statement of Nov 14th. This stinks. I am only “John Doe”, so correct me if I’m wrong, but by trying to dislodge Sydney Powell it removes the “team” from total liable and defamation suits? This stinks.

    1. Justice Holmes wrote, “And you wonder why complaints need to be file against Trump’s lawyers!”

      Another anti-justice, anti-constitutional, intimidation wielding comment from the oxymoron moniker “Justice” Holmes.

    2. Why file a complaint? Just because “Justice” doesn’t like this does not make it illegal. More like a wah to mommy thing.

      1. A complaint to the Bar does not rely on the illegality of a lawyer’s conduct but on a breach of the rules of conduct the jurisdiction(s) in which they are barred. The Trump legal team has knowingly advanced dicey legal theories (not unethical) based on allegations for which they have no evidence (unethical). As a population, lawyers face bar complaints every day for similar conduct. Why should the Trump legal team be exempt.

        By the way, a complaint only requests an investigation. The Bar would have to determine that they violated rules of conduct and also determine the punishment to be meted out. If you are confident, they did nothing wrong, this would be no skin off your nose. It seems like the “wah to mommy thing” rests more in moaning about the consequences of the Trump legal team’s actions.

        1. You do not seem to be able to grasp the difference between evidence.

          There is plenty of evidence at this point – like it or not affadavits are evidence.

          The next step is supposed to be investigating that evidence – not hiding from it.

          Trump’s legal team has far more than deep enough cover for their filings.

          The proceeddings against them are just a massive waste of time.

          With respect to the actually provided evidence – that you are hiding from.

          An affadavit is sworn. The author is subject to prosecution if it is false.

          The claims made in the affadavits must be investigated.

          If they are true – there must be consequence.
          If they are false – those who signed the affadavit must be prosecuted.

          Regardless, we have numerous credible claims of fraud and we must follow them where they lead, not try to hide them as you are.

          1. John say, affidavits with hearsay upon hearsay are essentially worthless. Trump’s lawyers have been fielding such affidavits and judges are not buying it.

    3. Neither you nor I know what Trump’s strategy is.

      That said what Turley outlines is both unlikely and ultimately constitutional.

      You can not attack Lawyers for proceding in a legitimate way that you do not like merely because the odds are long and you do not like the possible result.

      Regardless, My interests are elsewhere.

      There have been myriads of credible allegations of election fraud, assorted other irregularities and violations of election law.

      These should all be thoroughly investigated – no matter how long that takes. No matter whose ox is gored.

      Where there is sufficient evidence – people should be fired. Where that evidence reaches criminal conduct they should be prosecuted, convicted and jailed.

      Then we need to make sure this never happens again – that means better elections laws and process.

      That means no mailin voting.

      That means meaningful voter ID.

      That means hard deadlines for voting and counting the vote.

      That means purging voter registration roles of ineligible voters.

      That means secret ballots.

      That means public oversight of the entire process.

      1. If anything, the lack of any sign of significant fraud in this election shows that our current voting laws are fine, and all those extra suppression tactics are just that, suppression tactics. We should go to all mail-in ballots for the whole country. The states that do that have smooth elections.

      2. John say, “ You can not attack Lawyers for proceding in a legitimate way..”

        Actually, that depends on the competence of the lawyers. So far it’s been one incompetent lawyer after another.

        All affidavits have been either hearsay or just plain incompetent witnesses. Everyone knows Trump’s strategy. You can see it collapsing in real time. There is no mystery to it. He lost. Anything more is just an embarrassment that is cementing his legacy. Everyone will remember this more than anything else.

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