We all remember poor Charlie Brown running at top speed to finally kick the football that Lucy was holding. We all know what happened next.
Eric Schmitt, are you following this?
Missouri’s attorney general found himself in the spotlight this week when he led a coalition of 17 attorneys general that joined a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn election results in four battleground states. If successful, that lawsuit would swing the election to Donald Trump.
Until now, Trump’s legal odyssey only served to underscore two points: One, it’s easy to make allegations on social media but a different thing to prove them, under oath, in a court of law. Two, Trump dearly needed an attorney with the stature of a James Baker, the former secretary of state who represented George W. Bush in 2000, rather than the buffoonery of Rudy Giuliani.
Trump gets stature with Sen. Ted Cruz, who clerked for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist and promises to argue this current case in the Supreme Court, if it gets that far. The question is whether Cruz, a Texas senator who happened to be the target of some of Trump’s nastier campaign comments in 2016, has much to work with on behalf of his old nemesis.
Schmitt, in a release, outlines examples of mail-in voting fraud and claims that four states — Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin — illegally expanded absentee voting and failed to enact critical safeguards to ensure election integrity. But none of those examples involved the four states singled out in the lawsuit. One, in fact, was centered on a 2018 ballot tampering scandal that attempted to swing a congressional election to a Republican candidate in North Carolina.
Schmitt will attract criticism for his involvement in a case that seeks to overturn an election that an arm of Trump’s Homeland Security Department called the most secure in history. William Barr, hardly a Democratic operative, also failed to come up with examples of widespread fraud.
Maybe this is just the way of the world: Bank robbers rob banks, lawyers file lawsuits and conservative attorneys file amicus briefs with other Republican attorneys general.
At the very least, Schmitt should be willing to call this what it is, less of a smoking gun and more of a Hail Mary. If unsuccessful, he should be prepared to affirm the integrity of the U.S. election system and the competence of elected officials and volunteers who oversee it.
It’s assumed, if Schmitt wants to run for election again, he’ll need to do so with the support of voters and not Ted Cruz or judges.