Midway through President Donald Trump’s testimony to the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee on Wednesday, Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis received another incoming call on her cell phone.
That was a problem for Trump, because he was addressing the committee via speakerphone, and the beeps from the incoming call to his lawyer’s phone were an annoying interruption. Trump was reportedly planning on attending the meeting in person with Ellis and the campaign’s other lead attorney as of late, Rudy Giuliani, but he ultimately decided against it.
Still, the President managed to get his point across: The Democrats cheated all over the country! The election was fraudulent! After all, he’d heard a commentator on television say there was no way he’d lost Pennsylvania, because “the energy industry was all for him.” In fact, not only had he won in Pennsylvania by a lot, he’d won “all of these swing states” by a lot.
His solution to this predicament was clear: He deserved to win, tallied votes and court losses be damned.
“Why wouldn’t they overturn an election?” he seethed, referring to the judges who’ve rejected his campaign’s attempts. Trump added later: “We have to turn the election over, because there’s no doubt we have all the evidence, we have all the affidavits, we have everything. All we need is to have some judge listen to it properly.”
Some elected officials might have been aghast at the President’s request to deliver him a “victory” in defiance of the voters’ will. But Sen. David Argall (R), the committee’s chairman, beamed.
“What you’ve just heard guarantees that 100 years from now, that this is the most important public hearing ever held by this Senate committee,” he said after Trump hung up.
Judges faced with the Trump campaign’s legal pitch haven’t been nearly as starstruck. In case after case, they haven’t listened “properly” — meaning, they haven’t delivered Trump a second term.
So while Giuliani and Ellis’ appearance before the committee was billed as a hearing on “2020 election issues and irregularities,” Giuliani quickly made clear that he came with a singular demand: Deliver the state for Trump.
In real terms, Giuliani asked the state legislature to simply ignore more than 682,000 votes in Philadelphia and Allegheny County (home to Pittsburgh) that he falsely said “were not observed by any single Republican.” That’s not going to happen — the state has already certified it’s results, and Joe Biden won. But, apparently, the President’s team felt it was worth a shot.
“We don’t want to disenfranchise anyone,” Giuliani said, referring to a judge’s ruling against the campaign Saturday that summarized, “Plaintiffs ask this Court to disenfranchise almost seven million voters.”
“We want to disqualify 682,000 votes,” Giuliani continued, “so that 74 million people are not disenfranchised.”
To support that argument, Giuliani called up a series of Republican witnesses — observers, lawyers, local party officials — each with their own gripe. Playing prosecutor, Giuliani tried to build the case that hasn’t worked before actual judges, under threat of perjury. Namely: Something smells fishy here, better overturn the election.
Unsurprisingly, the testimony didn’t fully cohere. Some witnesses complained of the distances observers were required to stand away from where ballots were being counted, creating what they described as an insurmountable obstacle to election integrity. Others complained of the county-by-county patchwork that meant voters in some areas got more opportunity than others to “cure” ballots rejected for technical errors.
David Shestokas, a Republican elections attorney, voiced frustration that mail-in ballots came tri-folded in envelopes, requiring elections workers to flatten them before counting them and creating delays.
“There’d be workers kneading the ballots to try and make them so they could go through the machines!” he said, calling the process “absurd and obscene.” (Ironically, the state’s Republican-controlled legislature failed to pass legislation that would’ve allowed for “pre-canvassing” of mail-in ballots, which would have addressed this concern.)
Lest the proceedings get too pedestrian, some of Giuliani’s witnesses spiced things up a little bit, even renewing the conspiracy theory offered by since-sacked Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell at Giuliani’s last off-the-walls event, in which she made her case that communists had infiltrated America’s voting system.
Phil Waldron, a retired Army colonel, did the heavy lifting.
“The voting systems in the U.S. and in Pennsylvania were built to be manipulated,” he said, explaining the lengthy chain of title of the corrupt communist DNA behind America’s electoral infrastructure.
How did he know?
Well, Waldron said, “I know there’ve been statements to the contrary, but I personally debriefed the son of a Cuban intelligence officer, who had first-hand knowledge of Hugo Chavez’s family members, who told him not to worry about the populist threat against Maduro’s election in Venezuela. Quote-unquote, that ‘it was guaranteed, their father invested the money to build the SGO voting machine system.’”
“So… I have no reason to doubt this gentleman,” Waldron said, as the hearing entered its second hour.