In her opening statement, Jenna Ellis, the Trump campaign’s senior legal advisor, made the case for the Arizona State Legislature, and for legislatures across the country, to reclaim their power to assign their states’ electoral college votes themselves, and use this power to, in her terms, prevent millions of Americans from being disenfranchised by the widespread voter fraud the campaign is working to prove.
“After you hear the facts and the evidence today, and we will give you this document,” said Ellis, “We are going to ask you, as legislators, to reclaim that authority, and to make sure that the people of Arizona, and indeed the people of the United States of America as whole, are not disenfranchised by corruption.”
Ellis repeatedly referenced both the statements of the Founding Fathers as well as established case law going back to the 19th century that adds legal grounding to the campaign’s claim.
One case, McPherson v. Blacker from 1892, Ellis says clearly establishes the state’s right to overturn fraudulent results and assign electors themselves.
“If you look at page 35, this is an 1892 case, and it says, ‘Nonetheless the Constitutional power to decide to on the method to choose electors remains exclusively with state legislatures,'” quoted Ellis.
Quoting Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers, Ellis added that he believed “this safeguard, vesting that authority exclusively with State Legislatures, is the safeguard to make sure that corruption does not win.”
“It is the responsibility, the duty, and the obligation, not just the choice, but the actual duty and obligation of the legislature, to step in and to make sure that you don’t certify false results.”
“You are the last step,” Ellis added, receiving applause, “To make sure that this election is not corrupted. Again, we aren’t asking you to step in and overturn an election. We are asking you to step in and make sure that the corruption that occurred here does not stand.”