BY: JOHN SANTUCCI AND MATTHEW MOSK, ABC NEWS
(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump has installed Rudy Giuliani to lead the legal efforts he has mounted to resuscitate his failed bid for a second term in office, a move that comes after a series of court defeats Friday, two sources told ABC News.
A spokesperson for Giuliani confirmed his expanded role for the president.
The decision, first reported by The New York Times, also came following court filings from the law firm that had been handling some of the Trump campaign’s legal efforts. Lawyers from K Street firm Porter Wright Morris & Arthur have asked to withdraw from the federal lawsuit the Trump campaign filed in Pennsylvania to challenge the election results there.
Biden holds a lead of more than 59,500 votes in Pennsylvania. On Friday, the Trump campaign suffered adverse rulings in six cases in the state — rulings that determined that 8,921 votes the Trump legal team had contested would not be tossed out.
Giuliani has since Election Day been a public face of the president’s legal campaign. He has headlined a series of press conferences to claim, without support, that the mishandling of the election and fraud cost Trump the race, despite purported evidence that has been exposed as weak in court.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.
One of the firms that had been handling the actual day-to-day work on the legal filings announced Friday it would seek to withdraw.
“Ronald L. Hicks, Jr., Carolyn B. McGee, and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP (collectively “Porter Wright”) hereby move to withdraw their appearance as counsel for Plaintiffs,” the filing says, noting that Linda A. Kerns, a Philadelphia-based attorney, would stay on the case.
The announcement comes as progressive groups have announced protests in front of law firm offices in Washington to protest the president’s legal challenge to the election.
“Plaintiffs and Porter Wright have reached a mutual agreement that Plaintiffs will be best served if Porter Wright withdraws, and current co-counsel and such other counsel as Plaintiffs may choose to engage represent Plaintiffs in this case.”
Porter Wright filed the initial complaint in federal court earlier this week.
“These law firms have been under tremendous pressure as it became clear these claims were baseless, and that they were part of a broader campaign to delegitimize the election,” Wendy Weiser, from the Brennan Center for Justice, a bipartisan law and public policy institute, told ABC News. “This was not an appropriate use of the court system.”
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