Plenty of legal experts think President Trump’s attempt to flip the result of the 2020 election in court looks all but lost—even the lawyer who just joined Trump’s team. Or at least that’s what he said last week.
“At the end of the day, in my view, the litigation will not work,” attorney Marc Scaringi told listeners to his conservative talk radio show on Nov. 7, a week before he signed on to work for Trump in a Pennsylvania case. “It will not reverse this election.”
Now Scaringi, a Trump supporter and a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention, is tasked with reversing Trump’s defeat in the crucial electoral swing state where Trump is losing by almost 70,000 votes. His appointment marked the apex of a madcap dash by the Trump campaign to find a way to overturn the 2020 election—one that’s grown increasingly chaotic and contradictory by the hour.
Trump’s legal efforts have begun to look more like surrealist performance art than sober legal polemics. Since Sunday, in Pennsylvania alone, the Trump campaign has shuffled its legal team, gutted its own legal complaint of a key assertion, insisted that Scaringi would be fully prepared for an all-important hearing Tuesday afternoon, and then reversed itself moments later and asked the judge for more time to prepare.
U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann slapped down the request for more time without explaining why, other than to note tersely that the motion was filed at 7:40 p.m. on Monday night. The Trump campaign then followed up with a new request: to let Trump’s notoriously erratic personal attorney Rudy Giuliani join the proceedings.
Trump’s legal position appears to be crumbling, outside legal observers said. Trump has insisted that President-elect Joe Biden won by way of rampant fraud, but his lawyers have been unable to substantiate that claim despite filing a dizzying barrage of legal challenges in courtrooms across the country.
“Trump’s legal path to overturn the election results appears 100 percent dead,” election lawyer and analyst Rick Hasen wrote in a blog post on Monday. “It’s over. Trump may still say he has won the election. But there is no path.”
Scaringi made a similar case on that same Nov. 7 episode of his weekly talk show, which airs on WHP-AM out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“I’ve been saying since Wednesday morning that Biden would win,” Scaringi said. “In my opinion, there really are no bombshells that are about to drop that will derail a Biden presidency, including these lawsuits.”
Scaringi did say “some” of the pro-Trump lawsuits “have merit,” but he added that “several of the other lawsuits don’t seem to have much evidence of substantiating their claims.”
On Monday, attorneys representing the Trump campaign based in Pennsylvania and Texas moved to withdraw from the case in Scaringi’s favor. They told the judge in a formal court filing that “Marc A. Scaringi is aware of the schedule set by the Court in this matter and will be prepared to proceed according to that schedule.”
Less than two hours later, Scaringi filed a motion seeking “additional time to adequately prepare this case for the upcoming oral argument and evidentiary hearing.”
The judge declined the request.