Rudy Giuliani has shocker first day in court trying to overturn US election results

Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump.
Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump. Photo credit: Reuters

Rudy Giuliani's first appearance in a courtroom as a lawyer in nearly three decades did not go well, if reports are anything to go by.

The 76-year-old former New York Mayor, who was a prosecutor before going into politics, has taken over US President Donald Trump's legal fight to overturn the result of the presidential election, which he lost to Joe Biden. His appointment came after other lawyers representing the Trump campaign quit.

Giuliani, who last represented a client in court in 1992 before becoming Mayor of New York City, reportedly struggled in presenting Trump's case in a Pennsylvania court on Tuesday (US time).

The Associated Press reports the "rusty" veteran "fiddled with his Twitter account", forgot the names of the the judge and opposing counsel, struggled to answer questions and at one point forgot the meaning of the word 'opacity', confusing it for transparency - the opposite.  

"I'm not quite sure I know what opacity means," he told the judge, after complaining Republican observers were "denied the opportunity to have an unobstructed observation and ensure opacity".

"It probably means you can see, right?" he asked. 

"It means you can't," the judge told him. 

Giuliani mistook the judge for another in a separate case the Trump campaign filed, and tripped up on basic questions around the law, one of his colleagues having to step in to take over. 

He claimed voter fraud had taken place, but didn't provide evidence, and was forced to acknowledge the case before the courts wasn't technically even about fraud. The case is alleging voters were allowed to make corrections to ballots that might otherwise have been disqualified on a technicality, US media reports - not fraud. 

"I sat there dumbfounded because the story presented by Mr Giuliani bore no relationship to the actual complaint in the case," said Mark Aronchick, who's representing Pennsylvania, which wants to certify its results giving Biden the win. 

"There is no merit for their claims, there is nothing on fraud, there is nothing on illegal votes," state Attorney-General Josh Shapiro told CNN, saying it was time for Guiliani and his "gang of sycophants" to move on. 

"They don't even have standing to bring these claims; it's law school 101, and you would think Rudy Giuliani would have known that."

The Trump campaign has lost a string of lawsuits intended to reverse the results of the election. Previous investigations have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the US.