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Rudy Giuliani joins Trump campaign's sputtering legal effort in Pennsylvania

The former mayor of New York joined the team after most of Trump's other attorneys in Pennsylvania backed off the effort.
Rudy Giuliani speaks in the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia on Nov. 7.Bryan R. Smith / AFP - Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday joined a court hearing over President Donald Trump's effort to contest the election results in Pennsylvania, baselessly alleging "widespread national voter fraud" while signaling yet another strategy pivot for the campaign's legal offensive.

Giuliani argued broadly against mail-in voting, which he called "dangerous," and said that the Trump campaign would be filing at least four more lawsuits across the country in the coming days.

In the Pennsylvania case, Giuliani claimed that poll watchers were kept too far away from poll workers and that some counties improperly cured mail ballots while others did not. In another case in another court in the state later that day, however, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected the Trump campaign’s claim that Philadelphia violated state election law in the way it handled poll watchers.

The former New York City mayor appeared alongside a Harrisburg attorney and conservative talk radio host, Marc Scaringi, and attorney Linda Kerns. He signed on to join the legal team after most of Trump's other attorneys had withdrawn or petitioned to withdraw from the suit in the last few days.

It's the latest in the sputtering effort by Trump’s campaign to try and change the results of the 2020 election. Trump's team sought to delay Tuesday's scheduled hearing to accommodate for new counsel but U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann refused. Another hearing is slated for Thursday.

Court records indicate it is Giuliani's first time as a listed attorney in federal court since 1992. The mayor disputed this timeline in a text with NBC News, saying he'd argued a case in federal court "four or five years ago," but declined to offer additional details.

The case on the docket is pared down from its earlier iterations, which sought to invalidate more than 680,000 ballots because of where poll watchers were standing at the time. The current suit instead focuses on stopping vote certification and prohibiting ballots that they said were counted in some counties but wouldn't be in others.

But Giuliani said Tuesday they'd restore the earlier claims and iteration to the suit, saying it had been pared down in error.

"What did they steal really? Well, they stole an election," he said. "These results are way more than enough to overturn the results."

In Pennsylvania, many poll watchers were asked to remain a distance away from poll workers, but there's no evidence that fraud occurred at any point in the ballot counting, which was also live-streamed in some areas. According to NBC News, Biden won the state by more than 74,000 ballots.

The president’s legal effort — which he has claimed will secure the presidency for him — centers on trying to prove widespread voter fraud and illegal election administration in a slew of key states, and to try and stop those states from certifying their election results and sending them to Congress, the legal processes to ascertaining President-elect Joe Biden as the next commander in chief.

The Trump campaign and its Republican allies have filed at least 26 lawsuits in six swing states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — but the courts have not found a single instance of fraud.

So far, at least 15 suits have been denied, dismissed, settled or withdrawn — half in the last four days alone.

Several suits were tossed over a lack of evidence.

One Michigan judge declared claims of widespread fraud alleged by a nonprofit as "mere speculation," another rejected the Trump campaign's evidence — which included an affidavit of a poll worker alleging what another poll worker said, and a Post-it note — as hearsay inadmissible in court.

In another Michigan suit brought by the nonprofit Election Integrity Fund, a group that has set out to try and prove voter fraud, Judge Timothy M. Kenny, the chief judge of the 3rd Judicial Circuit Court, dismissed a request for an injunction declaring the allegation to be “mere speculation.”

Seven suits were withdrawn or ended by the Trump campaign and its Republican allies, as well.