Trump Campaign’s Actual Argument in Appeals Court: We’re Only Trying to Disenfranchise Up to 1.5 Million Voters, Not 6 Million Pennsylvanians
COLIN KALMBACHERNov 23rd, 2020, 6:34 pm
President Donald Trump’s campaign filed a brief in federal appellate court Monday afternoon castigating a lower court and blaming their former attorney for various self-inflicted mishaps, mistakes and missed opportunities.
The filing, fashioned as an opening brief which requests a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order (TRO), offers a decidedly extreme form of relief for the Republican Party plaintiffs: tossing out some one million votes for Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.
As Law&Crime previously reported, the 45th president’s legal team was given a 4 p.m. EST deadline to submit an expedited appeal based on their desire to file a second amended complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania–which previously denied the campaign’s efforts to file by dismissing their case with prejudice in a caustic opinion and order over the weekend.
To hear Trump and his newest attorneys tell it, U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, a onetime member of the Federalist Society, committed reversible error when he denied the campaign leave to file their amended complaint in that ruling which determined the president’s legal team made “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence.”
The appeal makes several excuses for why that original complaint was so bad it resulted in the case being laughed out of federal court.
First on the chopping block is now-former Trump campaign attorney Linda Kerns.
“Following the filing of the [original] complaint, the Trump campaign’s longtime, main counsel, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, received threats of violence and economic retaliation and withdrew,” the appeal notes. “The campaign’s remaining attorney, Linda Kerns, a sole practitioner, received a threatening telephone call from opposing counsel, Kirkland & Ellis. Rather than oppose the motions to dismiss, she filed the [first amended complaint] which incorrectly omitted numerous allegations and counts.”
A motion to amend the complaint was then filed by attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Marc Scaringi. The proposed “Second Amendment Complaint,” which came after Giuliani’s unforgettable appearance in federal court, didn’t go anywhere.
Plaintiffs believe that these allegations and better pleading cures any deficiencies which the court found in the amended complaint. Plaintiffs are not asking this court to rule on the merits of the motion to amend – to the extent [the Pennsylvania defendants] assert futility, either on its own or based on the decision dismissing the [first amended complaint] (over which Plaintiffs believe there may be no “case or controversy” because they do not intend to prosecute it), it is the district court’s role to resolve these issues in the first instance.