The Daily Beast

Trump’s Last Hurrah: Trying to Kill American Democracy

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photos Getty

When do we start calling this criminal? I’m not a lawyer, but if what Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani and the whole parade of charlatans and falsifiers behind them are doing isn’t illegal, it’s only because people who write laws never imagined that any human being in a position of public trust would behave so explicitly and remorselessly like members of the Gambino family.

We have entered a three-week period, possibly the most fateful in our history, or certainly in the top three (the post-election period of 1860, the fight to settle the election of 1800) when American democracy will live or die. I think it will live. I’d rather know it will live. And even though I very much doubt these crooks will pull this off, I can’t honestly say today that I know that.

Thursday, we watched Rudy Giuliani give a sweaty press conference—hair dye literally dripping down the side of his face—in which he claimed to have hundreds of affidavits from people who saw Democratic poll workers get up to a hundred kinds of no good. If it’s all true—backdating ballots, ballots getting counted three times, and so on—then it’s a big scandal I guess, but the greater likelihood, given the Trump legal team’s 1-25 won-lost record on the same claims he was putting out at this presser, is that none of it is true, or maybe 1.5 percent of it is true. Because let’s put it this way: If everything he’s saying is true, it would be rather amazing that we’ve had, what, 61 presidential elections in this country, and hundreds of other elections, and this is the first time ever we’ve had fraud on a scale grand enough to flip around 400,000 votes in the state of Pennsylvania, which is what Giuliani claimed. The big scandal here appears to be not these wild claims, which Giuliani said he couldn’t share his evidence for, but Fox News (and OAN and Newsmax) airing all that live, along with wild talk about how Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013, and George Soros have supposedly stolen the election that Trump supposedly won.

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