Trump's lawyers play an unfortunate game of musical chairs

It was a bad sign when one of the two law firms representing Trump decided it no longer wanted to be part of a key case. Last night, it got a little worse.
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

When it comes to Donald Trump's legal strategy in the wake of his election defeat, the president is suffering a series of cascading embarrassments. First and foremost, of course, is the courtroom defeats for the Republican's legal machine, with one judge after another rejecting flimsy filings.

But the unfortunate game of musical chairs with Team Trump is just as bad.

It was obviously a bad sign last week when one of the two prominent law firms representing the president decided it no longer wanted to be part of a key case. Last night, as the Washington Post reported, it got just a little worse.

Three more attorneys have asked to be released from Trump's federal lawsuit challenging the election in Pennsylvania. Linda Kerns, John Scott and Douglas Bryan Hughes moved to withdraw from the case in a court filing on Monday. Two other attorneys who were previously representing Trump in the case pulled out last week.

Note, there are more than a few cases the president and his allies are pursuing, but this Pennsylvania case is of particular interest: Team Trump hopes to block certification of the state's election results.

And attorneys who helped bring the case suddenly feel the need to run away from the litigation.

The case is now in the hands of a lawyer named Marc A. Scaringi, which is notable for a couple of reasons. First, Scaringi is perhaps best known as a conservative activist and the host of a local talk-radio show. This generally isn't the kind of background one might expect for a litigator representing a sitting president's political operation.

Second, Scaringi may have some doubts about his own case: since the election, he's told his radio show's listeners he believes litigation "will not work" in Trump's favor. Scaringi added 10 days ago, "In my opinion, there really are no bombshells that are about to drop that will derail a Biden presidency, including these lawsuits."

Last night, the Trump campaign asked the judge in the case to postpone today's hearing because of the legal shake-up, hoping to give Scaringi more time to prepare. The judge declined.

Trump fans looking for legal breakthroughs should probably adjust their expectations accordingly.

Update: None other than Rudy Giuliani, who apparently hasn't worked in a federal courtroom in nearly three decades, has filed to appear as counsel for Trump in the Pennsylvania case.