As a treat, on the day before Thanksgiving, members of the Trump administration planned to head to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for a hearing on unproven election fraud claims. President Trump was reported to be joining his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani — the now infamous host of Four Seasons-gate — who seeks to continue leading the unsuccessful legal charge and prove that Democrats "stole" the Presidential election. However, on Wednesday morning, it was announced that Boris Epshteyn, who was with Giuliani at a presser last week, had tested positive for coronavirus, raising questions about whether Giuliani would be able to travel to the hearing.
The hearing is currently scheduled to be held by the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee at the request of Republican Senator Doug Mastriano and is being labeled a "public hearing," despite most reports listing it as just a press conference. “Pennsylvanians have lost faith in the electoral system” as a result of “issues experienced at the polls, irregularities with the mail-in voting system and concerns whether their vote was counted,” Mastriano said in a press statement. He added that he had heard complaints from “thousands of Pennsylvanians,” though it was unclear who, why, or when.
In case this meeting of the minds needed to be any more theatrical, it's scheduled to be held at the Wyndham Hotel in Gettysburg — which Google, Expedia, and Hotels.com list as a 3.5-star hotel. In Gettysburg. The fact that this hearing is being held in Gettysburg is an ironic and horrifying twist, as it is the site of the gruesome Civil War battle. This was not lost on observers, who suggested that Trump and the Republicans were once again trying to undermine democracy and galvanize their voter base to believe the election results are somehow fraudulent. “White supremacists want to lose at Gettysburg AGAIN?” tweeted CNN analyst Joan Walsh. “MAGA indeed.”
This is also not the first time Trump has tried to hold an event in Gettysburg. In August, the outgoing president and former reality star suggested the Pennsylvania town as a site for his party nomination acceptance speech, which also incurred the wrath of Twitter and other pundits, though it's of little surprise that he would attempt this again.
If the event does happen and Trump still attends, it would be his first trip out of the Washington, D.C. area since the November 3 election. Since the election, Giuliani and Trump have been working hard to push the narrative — for which they have yet to produce compelling evidence — that President-elect Joe Biden’s victory is illegitimate. Trump’s legal team has filed a series of lawsuits that continue to be dismissed and eviscerated by judges across the country. "It's beyond an embarrassment," lawyer Glenn Kirschner told NBC News of Giuliani and Trump’s legal efforts to overturn the election results. "It's both really poor lawyering and it has the worst possible motive behind it."
Many lawyers have asked to be removed from Trump’s legal cases related to the election, including a lawsuit in Pennsylvania, which Giuliani personally argued in court after the rest of the attorneys dropped out of the case. Giuliani’s argument was riddled with errors, including forgetting the name of the judge who was hearing the case. In his opinion dismissing the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann wrote that Trump’s legal team presented “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations” that were not supported by any evidence. Mr. Giuliani has pledged to appeal and continue the legal fight.
While Trump seems to be (finally) coming to terms with the fact that he lost the election, he is still using mouthpieces — like Giuliani, and his Large Adult Sons — to suggest otherwise. Here's to hoping the event is canceled and we can avoid yet another gruesome press conference with Rudy at center stage.