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November 15, 2021 10:17 AM UTC

Move Over Eastman Memo, Here's The Ellis Memo

  • by: Colorado Pols
Rudy Giuliani, Colorado attorney Jenna Ellis.

As readers know, the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th of this year has subpoenaed ex-University of Colorado “visiting conservative scholar” John Eastman to testify about his allegedly central role in the planning of a last-ditch attempt to overturn the results on the 2020 presidential election on that day. Eastman, a key player in the “war room” organized in Washington D.C. to coordinate what could in the worst case have been a combined strategy of procedural chicanery and violence to flip the election, committed all of these actions while holding his position at Colorado’s flagship university with the enthusiastic support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl.

But as ABC News reported Sunday, Eastman wasn’t the only member of Trump’s legal team–or for that matter the only Colorado-connected lawyer for Trump’s legal team–drawing up plans to flip an election won by Joe Biden by over seven million total popular votes. In addition to Eastman, Colorado lawyer Jenna Ellis, whose “constitutional law” credentials have turned out to be rather flimsy, had her own plan for sowing one last desperate bit of parliamentary chaos on January 6th:

The memo, written by former President Donald Trump’s campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis, is reported for the first time in Karl’s upcoming book, “Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show” — demonstrating how Pence was under even more pressure than previously known to overturn the results of the 2020 election…

Ellis, in the memo, outlined a multi-step strategy: On Jan. 6, the day Congress was to certify the 2020 election results, Pence was to send back the electoral votes from six battleground states that Trump falsely claimed he had won.

The memo said that Pence would give the states a deadline of “7pm eastern standard time on January 15th” to send back a new set of votes, according to Karl.

Then, Ellis wrote, if any state legislature missed that deadline, “no electoral votes can be opened and counted from that state.”

The endgame here would be to throw the election to the U.S. House, where the rule of one vote per state would allow the possibility that a majority of Republican state delegations could hand the election to Trump. It’s no less of a longshot strategy than Eastman’s own, which Eastman himself makes no effort to defend except when he thinks he’s talking to the party faithful.  Jenna Ellis’ memo, like Eastman’s, was as much about giving Trump rhetorical ammunition to rally the rioters on January 6th as a serious proposal for Mike Pence to consider. They both serve the secondary objective identified early on by Steve Bannon: perpetuating the myth of the stolen 2020 election to “kill [the Biden] administration in the crib.”

While John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani, and other members of Trump’s legal team who filed contemptibly baseless lawsuits have paid with sanctions against their law licenses, Jenna Ellis has not been punished by Colorado’s attorney oversight body the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. In fact, while Giuliani had his license suspended and Eastman is a pariah in the academic world, Ellis has a new show on Newsmax and seems blissfully unaffected by the disgrace suffered by her peers.

Perhaps news that Ellis was doing everything she could to keep up with John Eastman will change that.


2 thoughts on “Move Over Eastman Memo, Here’s The Ellis Memo

  1. re:  "On Jan. 6, the day Congress was to certify the 2020 election results, Pence was to send back the electoral votes from six battleground states that Trump falsely claimed he had won."

    In the real world, the Vice President/Senate President serving as a Presiding Officer has no such power.  Even if one overlooks the pretty clear idea that January 6 is a formality and not a decision point, Pence could not individually decide which certified votes were legitimate and which were not, that they should be sent back to the states, or that there would be a specific response deadline to honor.  There would need to be action by the members of the House and Senate to object; there would need to be a majority in each chamber to uphold the objection; and I can't find any mention of a power to allow states a "do-over" process as an alternative to their certification.



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