Way back in the year 2000 – when the world seemed relatively sane and normal – a dispute over the U.S. presidential election results appeared to drag on interminably. Indeed, that battle lasted over a month. Fast forward to the present day, and America finds itself 20 days into a much larger electoral discrepancy. This week, though – the week of November 23 – will likely bring the matter to a conclusion, or close to one. By Friday, the nation will probably know whether it will have a 46th president or four more years of the 45th.
There is no doubt that President Trump still has one or more paths to the 270 electoral votes he needs to secure a second term. There is also no doubt that those paths are narrow indeed and littered with obstacles. Ultimately, it will come down to whether the incumbent’s legal team can produce a preponderance of pretty solid evidence that large numbers of illegal ballots were counted – or miscounted – in three or four crucial states.
The Sidney Powell Twist
If the attorneys representing the president are to be taken at their words, sufficient evidence exists. Much of it has already been collected and organized, but not all, it seems. Sidney Powell, one of the attorneys engaged in this fight, said on November 21 that she didn’t expect the principal case, which she described as a big fraud case, to be filed until Wednesday, November 25, or perhaps even a day or two later than that. There is a new wrinkle, however. Late on Sunday, Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, released a statement:
“Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.”
It had been assumed – probably by everyone who has been paying attention – that she was indeed a member of Mr. Trump’s legal team. Trump himself even suggested as much in a November 14 tweet. The Wall Steet Journal obtained a statement from Powell which said: “I agree with the statement today. I will represent #WeThePeople and seek the Truth. I intend to expose all the fraud and let the chips fall where they may. We will not allow the foundations of this great Republic to be destroyed by abject fraud.”
What to make of this new development, then? Is Giuliani’s statement part of some as yet unknown strategy? Has the Trump campaign parted ways with Powell because she has recently given several interviews during which she made some decidedly explosive claims about a massive voter fraud scheme? It is not yet clear.
In the meantime, Wisconsin has been conducting a recount. Officials in Milwaukee County are none too pleased that observers from the Trump campaign have allegedly been challenging almost every ballot. Georgia will also now conduct a recount, as requested by the Trump campaign and allowed under state law. Georgia’s recent audit of ballots – which Giuliani described as a waste of time – concluded that Joe Biden still led the president, but by only about 0.25%.
There were so many anomalies in the 2020 election. A host of circumstances, voter turnout figures, and voting patterns appear to defy all mathematical and statistical probabilities. Moreover, aspects of the reported results go against all previous voting trends and, quite frankly, appear almost illogical.
Whether she is working alongside the Trump campaign or on her own behalf, Sidney Powell will be making her case and presenting what evidence she has within the next four or five days. It appears that Giuliani is focusing on a narrower route to the federal courts, and then probably to the Supreme Court. Whichever president spends the night of January 20, 2021 in the White House – the 45th or the 46th – half of the nation will always believe he does not rightfully belong there – and, at this point, that is the only certainty.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.