[NWPT48]Court is back in session, and the Democrats are expected to rest their case by noon. Yeah, I know… I wrote the exact same thing yesterday… but this time I mean it. Really. If you don’t believe me, check out the latest trial update from David Postman in The Seattle Times.
And speaking of Postman
I found this little comment in Postman’s first update of the day, particularly telling:
The courtroom crowd is as sparse as it’s been. No final day surge in attendance, except for a small increase in the press section.
I’m sure a few more people will wander into the courtroom this afternoon for the closing arguments, but the drop in attendance is indicative of the fact that after the Republicans failed to present any evidence of fraud or ballot stuffing, few now expect the trial to produce anything dramatic… you know, like setting aside the election.
Courtroom fireworks! (9:55 am)
Hah-hah… made you look! Actually, all they’re doing right now is admitting evidence. To give you an idea how boring this entire case is, they are up to exhibit number 12,013.
Apparently, when they’re done with this, the Republicans have a couple more rebuttal witnesses. Closing arguments are scheduled for after lunch.
Damn. Postman scoops me (11:42 am)
One of the “rebuttal witnesses” didn’t go so well for Dino Rossi. But since David Postman already reported everything I was going to report, I might as well just blockquote his update:
Deputy state elections director John Pearson, on the stand as a rebuttal witness for Republicans, said that Republican allegations of election fraud and wrongdoing upset members of the “election community” in the state, including himself.
“I certainly shared the frustration and frankly the anger,” Pearson said.
Pearson said specifically that he, as a former military voter, objected to Republican claims that military ballots were not being sent to overseas voters because he knew that was false.
He also cited Republican claims that ballot accounting problems indicated fraud, saying, “We knew there were good reasons why those numbers did not balance.”
Short lunch break (12:15 pm)
Court has recessed until 1:00 pm, half the usual allotted time. Judge Bridges has stated that they would definitely get to closing statements today.
It is interesting to note that contrary to his pattern of the past two weeks, Judge Bridges has routinely sustained Democratic objections during the GOP’s questioning of their rebuttal witnesses. This could be because he’s just getting testy with the Republicans… or it could be that seeing as lenient as he has been, the GOP attorneys have been pushing their luck.
It kind of makes sense for the press to testify (1:27 pm)
Democratic attorney Hamilton has threatened to call David Postman to stand. Man this is getting meta.
Vance, lies and video tape (1:38 pm)
The Democrats just introduced a video of GOPolitburo Chair Chris Vance, in which he vouched for the integrity of elections in King County and Washington state. The tape was from a November 9, 2004 interview on TVW, in which Vance touted his intimate knowledge of KC Elections, having twice served on the canvassing board while a council member. On the subject of election fraud, Vance definitively states:
“I know that there is no fraud going on, nothing nefarious in Washington state. […] I’ve been as close to it as you can be, and there is no truth to it, at least not here.”
This statement of support was made at a time when it looked like Dino Rossi would win by about three thousand votes. Of course, once it became apparent that Christine Gregoire won, his opinion changed.
John Carlson at 3:15 (2:30 pm)
The GOP finished there rebuttal (finally,) and the court has recessed for 10 minutes. When we come back, closing arguments will commence. Of course, I’ll probably miss a chunk of the closing arguments, while I’m arguing with Stefan on the John Carlson Show, KVI-570, at 3:15.
It’s almost over (2:58 pm)
Closing arguments are underway. Republican attorney Harry Korrell sounds much more subdued in his closing than Dale Foreman was in his opener. He expects to go about 30 minutes.
KVI is covering the arguments live, so Stefan and I won’t be coming on the Carlson Show until after they’ve finished… I’m guessing closer to 5 pm.
Republicans close (3:28 pm)
The Republicans have finished their closing arguments.
I know I’m biased (hey… I’ve always been up front about that,) but I found Korrell’s summation to be disappointing in both form, content and delivery. To borrow Stefan’s paraphrasing schtick: “It’s all King County’s fault… it’s unfair to the rest of the state… and if you don’t set this election aside King County will never mend their ways.”
The GOP has always argued that with more errors than the margin of victory, the court is compelled to set aside the election… which I suppose might be a good argument if the Judge hasn’t repeatedly disagreed with them on this point of law. One of the more curious arguments is that surely, the legislature couldn’t have intended to allow an election like this stand… yet they’ve never gone back to the history of the statutes to argue legislative intent. I can only assume that is because the record wouldn’t support their interpretation.
Jenny Durkan is now giving the Democrats closing arguments.
If I need a lawyer, I’m hiring Jenny Durkan (4:13 pm)
She was great in cross-exam, and she’s great in summation. Yes, I’m biased, but she is in the process of tearing apart the Republican case. She makes Harry Korrell look like an amateur.
The most noticeable difference is that Durkan has spent much more time addressing both statute and case law (not to mention logic.) This is because both statute and case law — as well as Judge Bridges’ previous rulings — support the Democrats’ arguments. Korrell on the other hand, spent much of his time rehashing the litany of errors and illegal votes, adding little analysis to the evidence already admitted.
Secretary of State refuses to take sides (5:18 pm)
Arguing on behalf of the Secretary of State, attorney Thomas Ahearne refused to take sides and recommend a ruling to the court. However, much to the dismay of the Korrell, he did take issue with many of the Republicans’ mischaracterizations of the election, including the issues of military ballots, duplication and enhancement, and ballot security.