Major law firm abandons Team Trump in Pennsylvania election case

On Monday, one of Trump's law firms filed a federal case in Pennsylvania, alleging election "irregularities." Last night, the firm walked away.
A gavel sits on a desk inside the Court of Appeals at the new Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, which celebrated its official opening on Monday Jan. 14, 2013, in Denver.
A gavel sits on a desk inside the Court of Appeals at the new Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, which celebrated its official opening on Monday Jan. 14, 2013, in Denver.Brennan Linsley / AP

To the extent that Donald Trump has a post-election strategy, it involves filing strange lawsuits that most serious people consider ridiculous. Nevertheless, the president is working with two prominent law firms -- Jones Day and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur -- in the hopes of finding some way to hold onto power despite losing his re-election bid.

The New York Times reported earlier this week that these developments -- filing a series of weak cases, without any credible evidence, which undermine the country's democratic system -- was causing "growing discomfort" at the firms. The article added that at Porter Wright, lawyers have "held internal meetings" to voice concerns about the Trump-related cases. At least one lawyer at the firm has already "quit in protest."

It was against this backdrop that the Times had a striking follow-up report this morning:

Porter Wright Morris [and] Arthur, the law firm leading the Trump campaign's efforts to cast doubt on the presidential election results in Pennsylvania, abruptly withdrew from a federal lawsuit that it filed days earlier on behalf of President Trump. "Plaintiffs and Porter Wright have reached a mutual agreement that plaintiffs will be best served if Porter Wright withdraws," the law firm said in a federal court filing.

It was just four days ago when Porter Wright filed a federal case in Pennsylvania, alleging election "irregularities" that neither the firm nor its client have been able substantiate in any way.

That was on Monday. On Thursday night, the law firm decided it no longer wanted anything to do with the case.

In fairness, I'm not privy to the internal deliberations that took place at the firm, and at least for now, Porter Wright has filed other cases on behalf of the Trump campaign, and I haven't seen any reporting on the firm walking away from those other lawsuits.

That said, I think it's fair to say this a bad sign for the flailing, outgoing president.