‘The Ballots Might Have Been From Mickey Mouse,’ the President’s Lawyer Said. Likewise, His Legal Strategy.

‘The Ballots Might Have Been From Mickey Mouse,’ the President’s Lawyer Said. Likewise, His Legal Strategy.

One Michigan judge, Cynthia Stephens of the Court of Claims, mocked the Trump campaign’s entire argument this way: “I heard someone else say something,” adding, “Tell me how that is not hearsay.”

Similar episodes have played out across several states and jurisdictions. In a Pennsylvania courtroom on Tuesday, the president’s lead lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, made his first appearance as a lawyer before a federal judge in nearly three decades. The time off showed.

Mr. Giuliani demanded that the judge invalidate nearly seven million votes cast in the state because of what he called “widespread, nationwide voter fraud.” Later, after being pressed for evidence, Mr. Giuliani pivoted rather dramatically: “This is not a fraud case,” he said.

The former New York City mayor took over Mr. Trump’s legal team in part because nearly every other lawyer on the case had either quit or been ignored by the client. It was the latest proof that Mr. Giuliani is willing to do and say pretty much anything on behalf of his client, although not cheaply. He is seeking $20,000 a day from the president’s campaign for his services, multiple people briefed on the matter said. (Mr. Giuliani denied that he had sought the money and added that whoever said he had made the $20,000-a-day request was “a liar, a complete liar.”)

Either way, the lawsuits have kept Mr. Giuliani in his role as a central actor of some of the more farcical episodes of the Trump years, especially in recent days.

At a news conference on Thursday at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Mr. Giuliani unleashed a fire hose of conspiracy theories, false claims and unfounded fraud charges. As he spoke, a dark liquid (seemingly hair dye) streamed down both sides of Mr. Giuliani’s face — a strangely mesmerizing sight that conveyed an impression of a diminished figure melting in plain view.

In a federal courtroom on Tuesday in Williamsport, Pa., Mr. Giuliani asserted that the president had won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, except that they had been stolen by a “mafia” of Democratic leaders across the state. “The ballots might have been from Mickey Mouse,” he added.

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