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Opinion: Trump's election challenges put lawyers' credibility on the line

November 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Jennifer Rodgers writes that while most of President Donald Trump's lawyers have withdrawn from his election litigation because they didn't want their professional reputations sullied, Rudy Giuliani "skated much closer to the ethics line than the rest of Team Trump was willing to go" when he went to court in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

The lawyers representing the Trump Campaign really got to work in Act Two, dutifully filing lawsuits in the chosen battleground states in complaints that set forth various legal claims about this supposedly rampant fraud.

So when Team Trump lawyers actually stood before judges who started asking pointed questions about the allegations and the proof, in case after case, the sweeping claims of fraud turned into something very different, with cautious lawyers furiously backtracking.

As the losses started to mount, Trump's lawyers not only withdrew from the unsupported and highly questionable positions in their legal papers, many of them fled the cases themselves.

Notwithstanding the attempt to save face by Trump legal adviser Jenna Ellis, it is not at all routine for lawyers to ask for leave to withdraw mere days after filing papers.

Nor is it a good sign to have to amend your complaint to remove claims because of a lack of evidence, or to drop cases altogether, but that is what happened once Trump's lawyers had to face the music about whether they stood behind the false allegations.

In its short life of less than 10 days, this case has involved two versions of the relevant legal claims, and multiple sets of lawyers.

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