Trump enlists Rudy Giuliani, Jay Sekulow to oversee post-election legal battles

Over the past few months, President Donald Trump has spoken directly with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani about overseeing a legal fight that could stem from a close or contested 2020 election, two people familiar with the situation said at the Daily Beast.

In related conversations with Giuliani and other confidants, Trump has also made it clear that he wants Jay Sekulow, another Trump personal attorney who defended the president in Special Advocate Robert’s two-year investigation. Mueller, plays a major role if the courts were involved in the resolution of electoral disputes.

“I want Jay and Rudy on this,” Trump said in a private conversation this summer, according to one of the sources.

The president has discussed the issue several times in recent weeks with Giuliani, who also helped prepare for the presidential debate last month. The president wanted his team of lawyers to be immediately ready to go with an elaborate war plan – as he kept insinuating that he will look to the justice system to question the validity of many postal ballots. However, it is not clear whether Trump spoke directly to Sekulow about it. And it remains to be seen how large such a legal team will be.

The president’s insistence on looking to Sekulow and Giuliani nonetheless demonstrates just how much he values ​​Trump’s loyalty and political instincts over all other characteristics when it comes to navigating the critical moments of his presidency. Both lawyers were at the forefront of efforts to defend Trump’s impeachment (or in the case of the former New York mayor, at the forefront of the Ukrainian saga that ultimately led to the impeachment. Trump), and Giuliani in particular has become something of a political Buddha for Trump. , whose proverbial belly he loves to rub in difficult times.

But the stakes could be much higher in a few weeks, in what could be the death knell or the salvation of Trump’s tumultuous presidency. The operations of Team Trump and Joe Biden are already preparing for a lengthy legal battle after the vote ends.

Giuliani and Sekulow declined to comment for this story.

“If the elections come to court after election day, it makes perfect sense for the president to want the lawyers he trusts the most to be in charge of his case,” said Steven Groves, who previously worked as lawyer then spokesperson in the Trump White House. “The president trusts Jay and Rudy, especially if the case has to go to the Supreme Court, where Jay has argued many cases. Even though Rudy has no experience in electoral law, it makes sense for the President to ask him to play the same role Jim Baker played in 2000 for George W. Bush.

Ahead of polling day, the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee, and various conservative allies have devoted vast resources and treasure to advertising campaigns and court challenges against the practice of postal voting during the coronavirus crisis. Trump in particular has insisted that the practice of postal voting is rife with corruption, despite the lack of even modest evidence to suggest it, and despite the fact that he votes by mail himself.

The likelihood of there being litigation around the mail-in ballot appeared to increase as the election neared, with the Justice Department weakening guidelines that discouraged staff from bringing cases of voter fraud closer to election day. The expectation in some political circles is that court battles could be brutal and, potentially, find their way to the Supreme Court, where Trump is set to have freshly upheld justice.

When questioned last month, President Trump refused to embark on a peaceful and orderly transition of power, saying, “We’re going to have to see what happens. And if a case over the outcome of the election does reach the U.S. Supreme Court, Trump is likely to have a new 6-3 Tory majority waiting for him there.

In a Trump 2020 conference call with reporters Monday morning, Deputy Campaign Director Justin Clark said the president’s campaign and his allies were working overtime to “aggressively” fight what he saw as “every provision. mad ”that the Democrats were trying to respect in this election.

“The president will continue to fight,” Clark told reporters.

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