Trump’s lawyers have lots of affidavits. That doesn’t mean as much as it seems.
What a joke.
The Trump lawsuits to undermine the election are as inept and incompetent as Trump and his administration have been.At their news conference Thursday, President Trump’s lawyers implored reporters to take their thus-far-baseless allegations of massive voter fraud more seriously. And in the course of doing so, they repeatedly referred to the hundreds of affidavits they had assembled as genuine evidence of fraud.
“It’s your job to read these things and not falsely report that there’s no evidence,” said Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer.
“We have evidence that we will present to the court,” Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis said.
“These people are under penalty of perjury,” Giuliani assured again about the affidavits. “Their names are on an affidavit.”
But how much weight do these affidavits carry? And what is their true reliability?
The Trump campaign has repeatedly cited the hundreds of sworn affidavits it has assembled. It has even shown stacks of them to illustrate the supposed heft of its legal case. Many of them are not available because they haven’t been filed in actual lawsuits or made available publicly. (Giuliani cited the alleged targeting of their authors for keeping them obscured.)
But among the witnesses who have had their allegations aired in court, many have been dismissed by judges as inadmissible or not credible. One particularly high-profile one alleged many precincts in Michigan had more votes than actual voters, but shortly after Giuliani et al. raised the issue Thursday — alongside their pleas to take the affidavits seriously — it fell apart.
Another issue is just what the affidavits allege. Many filed by the Trump campaign don’t actually allege wrongdoing, but rather refer to alleged issues in the vote-counting process. And as The Washington Post’s David A. Fahrenthold, Emma Brown and Hannah Knowles reported this week, many of them have been rather thin:
“Shocking allegations of voter irregularities revealed in 234 pages of signed and sworn affidavits,” the Trump campaign wrote on Twitter.But a closer look at the affidavits showed that many did not allege any wrongdoing with ballots. Instead, they showed poll challengers complaining about other things: a loud public-address system, mean looks from poll workers, and a Democratic poll watcher who said “Go back to the suburbs, Karen.”Some poll observers had become suspicious simply after seeing many ballots cast for Democrats — in Detroit, a heavily Democratic city where Biden won 94 percent of the vote. “I specifically noticed that every ballot I observed was cast for Joe Biden,” one observer wrote.The Trump campaign filed that as evidence in court.
What a joke.