It’d be a little unfair to say that Rudy Giuliani has had the opposite of a Midas touch during the Trump years, as the projects that he has turned into trash were pretty much garbage in the first place. But from his flailing effort to handle the Stormy Daniels blowback to his impeachment-inducing trips to Ukraine, it’s pretty safe to assume at this point that if Trump puts the former New York mayor on a given task, it’s probably not going to work out.
That dynamic appears to be in full effect in the Trump campaign’s attempts to overturn the election results in Pennsylvania, for which Giuliani reportedly asked to be paid $20,000 a day for his work. As the president forwards elaborate election-fraud conspiracies and an ally in the Senate pressures state officials to throw out legally cast ballots, Giuliani’s involvement in Pennsylvania has resulted in chaos among those still waging the fight in a state where Trump lost by over 72,000 votes.
According to a report from ABC News, Giuliani’s effort to take over the recount has resulted in some serious infighting:
Over the weekend, Giuliani and his own team of lawyers, which also includes Trump campaign legal adviser Jenna Ellis, attempted what was described to ABC News as an internal campaign “coup” — an attempt to wrestle power away from the current longstanding Trump campaign leadership by claiming the president had given them full control moving forward, multiple sources said …
Ellis told the remaining campaign staff that they should only follow orders from people named “Rudy or Jenna” and to ignore any other directives from campaign leadership, sources familiar with the episode said.
Such an order didn’t resonate well among campaign heads used to running the show. Sources told ABC News that campaign manager Bill Stepien and senior adviser Jason Miller got into a “screaming match” with Giuliani’s lieutenant Ellis: “They both threatened to call the president to settle who he wanted to be in charge, sources said. At one point, Miller berated Ellis and called her ‘crazy.’”
Though jockeying for power and calling Trump on his golf day won’t help the campaign overturn the vote count in Pennsylvania, the president’s hopes to legally remain in office are facing far greater obstacles. Trump’s lawsuits to contest the results are being overturned throughout the country, as judges describe the filings as without “evidentiary basis” and legal firms representing him quit.
Another challenge arose in Pennsylvania on Tuesday: The State Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s decision by ruling that election officials in Philadelphia did not block the Trump campaign from observing the vote count there. (That now makes 16 election-related lawsuits filed by Trump that have either been denied, dismissed, settled, or withdrawn.) In Wisconsin tomorrow, the campaign will have to decide whether or not to eat $7.9 million up front to finance a recount before the deadline expires at 5 p.m Central.
Giuliani, meanwhile, appears to be having more basic problems. In U.S. district court on Tuesday afternoon in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the former U.S. Attorney’s performance did not live up to the salary he reportedly requested:
The lawyer who once served as the nation’s associate attorney general also forgot a few basics of practicing law: