Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani quoted an old movie, sweat through his hair dye and failed to offer any evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud on Thursday, during a wide-ranging and conspiracy theory-filled press conference from the Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C.
Giuliani baselessly accused Democrats of election fraud against his client, U.S. President Donald Trump, and called for ballots to be thrown out in several battleground states won by President-elect Joe Biden.
Other members of Giuliani’s team used the news conference to peddle conspiracy theories about communists, Venezuela, Hillary Clinton and Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros, a frequent target for far-right paranoia.
None of their claims of widespread fraud have been proven in court.
Giuliani also complained about the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and did an impression of actor Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny, the 1992 court drama, to explain one of his allegations out of Pennsylvania.
“Did you watch My Cousin Vinny? You know the movie?” Giuliani said at the press conference. “It’s one of my favourite law movies because he comes from Brooklyn.”
“How many fingers do I got up?” Giuliani said, impersonating the actor.
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Giuliani cited anecdotal claims of voting irregularities, and alleged a much broader Democratic conspiracy from a “centralized place” that he could not identify. He offered no evidence to support his broad allegations of systemic fraud.
It was the latest attempt by Trump’s team to muddy the waters around the election, after Biden was declared the winner on Nov. 7. Trump has refused to concede despite losing the popular vote and the electoral college map.
The president’s lawyers, including Giuliani, have launched a series of lawsuits in various battleground states, while the Trump administration has blocked Biden’s efforts to begin the peaceful transfer of power. However, those lawsuits have not turned up any significant wins for the outgoing president.
Several prominent law firms have bailed on the Trump campaign, leaving Giuliani as its face.
Giuliani allegedly sought an unprecedented fee of $20,000 per day to work on the case, according to the New York Times. That is reportedly $5,000 more than the top lawyers charge in New York City, though its unclear if he will get that much.
Giuliani last argued a federal court case in 1992 before agreeing to represent Trump.
Giuliani appeared to be feeling the heat throughout the press conference on Thursday. He dabbed at his head several times with a napkin, and streaks of brown liquid — an apparent mix of sweat and hair dye — eventually started running down both of his cheeks.
Giuliani on Thursday echoed many of the unproven claims he pushed on Nov. 7, when he held a press conference outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia, Pa. He was widely mocked at the time for staging the press conference in a landscaper’s parking lot beside an adult bookstore, rather than at a Four Seasons hotel.
Many Trump critics mocked Giuliani for his Pesci impression and his runny hair dye on Thursday, in yet another setback for the former New York mayor.
Jonathan Lynn, who directed My Cousin Vinny, took a dig at Giuliani for quoting the film on Thursday.
“I regard Giuliani’s praise of My Cousin Vinny as generous from the man who is currently giving the comedy performance of the year,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
Giuliani also faced a personal setback last month, when he appeared as the butt of a joke in Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat 2 film.
Giuliani has frequently alleged voter fraud in public on behalf of Trump. However, he acknowledged under questioning from a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Tuesday that his argument “is not a fraud case.”
Biden is due to be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Jan 20.
— With files from The Associated Press