On Monday, writing for CNN, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig tore into President Donald Trump's legal strategy to try to get the Supreme Court to throw out votes and overturn the election.
"If the Trump campaign's legal team is counting on the Supreme Court to save them, they're delusional," wrote Honig, referencing a statement by Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis claiming that their latest case's dismissal by a federal judge advances their ability to appeal up the decision. "In this case, and in the larger effort to contest the outcome of the 2020 election, Trump's team is just about out of runway."
"In a news conference laden with false statements and incomprehensible legal claims, Ellis labeled Trump's legal team an 'elite strike force.' But their utter failure to uncover evidence of widespread voter fraud, or to articulate a coherent legal theory, suggests otherwise," wrote Honig. "Indeed, Saturday's ruling by federal judge Matthew Brann — an appointee of President Barack Obama who previously held various positions in Pennsylvania's Republican party — is one of the harshest rebukes I've ever seen from any judge. Brann heaped scorn on the Trump campaign's 'strained legal arguments' which, he noted, are 'without merit ... and unsupported by evidence.' He ridiculed one of the Trump team's primary constitutional claims as a 'Frankenstein monster.' And Brann noted that the Trump campaign position, if adopted, would 'disenfranchise almost seven million voters.'"
The problem for Trump's team, Honig noted, is that although they are appealing to the Third Circuit, they can't introduce new evidence or facts at the appellate level. Moreover, he added, there is no evidence their appeal will even be accepted: "While losing parties in federal court generally can appeal as a matter of right to the court of appeals, nobody has a right to be heard by the US Supreme Court," and even if they agree to hear it, "there's little in the record thus far to suggest the Trump team will prevail."
And even if the Trump team gets around all that and the Supreme Court somehow awards Trump Pennsylvania's electors, said Honig, that would still not be enough electors for the president to win.
"Through all the angry podium-pounding, through all the noise and bluster, Trump's lawyers have nothing," concluded Honig. "Their legal effort has been doomed from the day it started, and they're just about at the end of the line."
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