Former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, a Trump ally, who now serves as U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, expressed concern on Wednesday about Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s last minute bid to fill the shoes of a trained election lawyer amid Trump’s flimsy effort in court to advance false claims of election fraud in Pennsylvania.
“I’m still a little concerned about the use of Rudy Giuliani,” Mulvaney told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo during an interview on Wednesday morning. “It strikes me that this is the most important lawsuit in the history of the country and they’re not using the most well-noted election lawyers.”
The Trump campaign was forced to reassess its legal staffing after failing to hang onto several other attorneys. The President was initially represented in the case by lawyers from the prominent Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, but the firm backed out last week over internal concerns that representing Trump in the lawsuit could undercut the integrity of the electoral process.
Mulvaney’s casting doubt on Giuliani’s legal credentials comes just a day after the former New York City mayor dusted off his briefcase and made his first appearance in federal court since the early 1990s on Tuesday, pushing an unsupported argument to affirm President Trump’s false declarations of widespread election fraud across a battleground state that was won by President-elect Joe Biden more than a week ago.
On Tuesday, Giuliani opened his argument with the sweeping claim that the Trump campaign was alleging “widespread nationwide voter fraud.”
A claim that he later withdrew under questioning when he admitted that the lawsuit did not in fact allege fraud as a matter of law and that “this is not a fraud case.”
“There are folks who do this all the time. This is a specialty,” Mulvaney said, taking jabs at Giuliani’s legal chops. “This is not a television program — this is the real thing.”
Mulvaney said he was “struck” by things Giuliani said on Tuesday without elaborating, adding of Trump’s effort to stop the certification of the vote in the Keystone State: “I wish that it was being prosecuted a little more effectively.”
Mulvaney’s unspecified critique of Giuliani could have been about any number of snafus, including Giuliani’s apparent inability to recall basic legal terminology — but also may have referred to a clear slip-up by the Trump lawyer who falsely denied in the days leading up to Tuesday’s hearings that some of the claims had been deleted.
To the Trump attorney’s embarrassment, he was forced to acknowledge in court on Tuesday that they had been removed, adding that a third version of the lawsuit would be filed to restore the earlier allegations.