MSNBC's Ari Melber vs. Trump Legal Team's Jenna Ellis: "What Is The Point Of All Of This?" | Video | RealClearPolitics

MSNBC's Ari Melber vs. Trump Legal Team's Jenna Ellis: "What Is The Point Of All Of This?"


Trump campaign legal team member Jenna Ellis faced off with MSNBC host and attorney Ari Melber on Monday over the campaign's legal challenges of the 2020 election result. Ellis said the election was stolen and President Trump won by a landslide. Read the transcript of the interview below.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: And now we turn to an attorney directly in the battle.

Jenna Ellis is part of Trump campaign's legal team.

Thanks for being here.

JENNA ELLIS, TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN SENIOR LEGAL ADVISER: Thank you so much for the opportunity. I appreciate it.

MELBER: Absolutely. We have been covering this with great interest.

Given that there's no way to change the Electoral College outcome, what is the point of the remaining legal strategy now?

ELLIS: Well, of course there is an opportunity to change the Electoral College outcome, because that's just a projected winner at the moment.

No states have actually put forward their slate of electors. And that vote doesn't even happen until December 14. So, right now, we have a cert petition that's pending before the Supreme Court out of Pennsylvania.

We just won the opportunity on an expedited hearing before the Third Circuit out of Pennsylvania for that lawsuit. And also today, we have learned that the Michigan House is going to grant us a hearing. And that is going to be announced on their Web site.

The legislature is very concerned about all of the reports of election integrity issues, and that will be announced tomorrow morning around 9:30 on their Web site.

MELBER: But, to be...

ELLIS: So, of course we're going to...


MELBER: To be clear, well, I don't think we need the exact scheduling of it. I understand what you're referencing.

But, to be clear, those state results are in. Michigan, you mentioned, is certified. Many these other states have or will certify.

What I'm asking you directly is, do you have a legal strategy? Or are you just hoping that, somehow, in someplace, politicians would override those results? Is that what you're on record advocating?

As you know, Sidney Powell said something to that effect, and then was quickly removed or accounted as not on the legal team anymore.

ELLIS: Well, let me be clear.

Our legal strategy is to make sure that every legal vote counts and is counted fairly and accurately. And we have time, again, until December 14, at least, where those electors for the Electoral College will vote.

And so our strategy is to make sure that we continue to challenge all of these false and fraudulent results.

I mean, listen, Ari, we have thousands of pages of witness affidavits from six states that are talking about election official fraud. These are people who changed the rules. They went against the will of their own state legislators in asking for their own election officials to disregard protocols.

I mean, we have people who have said that they came in on Election Day and were told that they already voted by mail-in ballot, and they didn't do that. And so they were only allowed to cast a provisional ballot. All of these things have to come out.


MELBER: Well, let's look -- let's look specifically at, say -- say, for example, Pennsylvania, because anyone can say anything at a press conference or on television.

The biggest problem your team has -- and you know this, and I don't mean it pejoratively, but, as a legal matter, you continue to lose over and over and over in all the key cases in all the key states.

Pennsylvania is the latest one. That's a big state, the judge not only rejecting this, but calling strained legal arguments without merit from your team, unsupported by evidence haphazardly stitched together. Trump's argument, flatly, the judge says -- quote -- "is not how the Constitution works."

Since you mentioned some of your evidence, I will...


MELBER: I will let you respond, but I want to put a little more evidence, because there's context here, and so folks have the full facts, in addition to the claims you're making.

We can show some Trump campaign cases that are just dead on arrival. This is in Georgia. He lost the effort to block certification. "Wall Street Journal," a pretty conservative publication, noting you guys just went ahead and dropped your own legal challenge from Trump allies in Arizona. And then, in Michigan, you dropped the lawsuit there.

And so my question to you, big picture, is not, do you have a statement or a claim somewhere from a witness, but what do you do with the fact that everywhere that this has reached a judge, you have been losing in key states, and, in some of those I just mentioned, you guys dropped out beforehand?

What do you want people to take from this? What is the -- here's my big question.

ELLIS:Well, I want...

MELBER: What is the point of all this?

ELLIS: Well, the point of this, of course, is to get to fair and accurate results, because the election was stolen and President Trump won by a landslide.

And how you're mischaracterizing this, I think that your viewers need to understand the truth of this. So, let's not forget that President Bush actually won -- or lost, rather, at every single lower court stage before, ultimately, Bush v. Gore got to the Supreme Court, the Constitution and the law was applied fairly and accurately.

And we have President George W. Bush, not then, as the media, your network included, was calling president-elect Al Gore. That's simply not true. So, even though we did withdrawal the lawsuit...


MELBER: Well, number one, you just said you. You're using second -- you're using the second person and saying you.

But I just quoted you a whole range of sources, including "The Wall Street Journal." So I just...


ELLIS: Let me finish. Look, I'm trying to answer your...


MELBER: Look, I think we have to take -- I understand.

ELLIS: The reason that we withdrew the lawsuit in Michigan...

MELBER: But you made a mistake. Hold on. Hold on. Take a pause, and I will let you...


ELLIS: ... election integrity issues. And so we are...


MELBER: I will let you go again, but we have to take a pause. If you make false statements, you don't just run roughshod, OK?

So you made a false accusation I had to deal with.


MELBER: Hold on. Hold on. And then I will let you go again.

If you have seen this program, people get their turn. I had Rick Gates on here recently. He got time.


ELLIS: I'm trying to answer your false statements, because you're accusing us of something that's simply not true.

You're attributing lawsuit losses to us that were not on behalf of the Trump campaign. And you're also saying...


MELBER: I said Trump campaign and Trump allies. I provided several sources.


MELBER: I'm going to keep moving forward and ask you about another item. And you can answer it, or we will move on. But here's the question for you, you can answer this factual.

What is the largest swing a recount has ever changed a result? What's the largest number of votes that have changed in a recount?

ELLIS: So, in -- and not in a recount, but in Bush v. Gore, for example, in Florida, that was over 61,000 votes.

The margin in Arizona, for example, is only around -- or, in Georgia, is only around 14,000. That's very significant.

MELBER: Well...

ELLIS: What you're trying to do is piecemeal and break apart each of these different things to say, oh, that's not happened before, and that's...

MELBER: No, I mean, look, I'm trying to make sure people have the numbers.

I said recount. And, as a good lawyer, I understand you're changing the topic.


MELBER: We will put up on the screen here, so people can get something out of this -- I wanted to have you on, so we could have a back-and-forth.

But these are the margins that you see. If you look at, for example, Michigan, Pennsylvania, or Georgia, where you're seeking this extra recount, it's 12,000, and the largest change in ballots ever was 355.

And so we have about 30 seconds left. I will give you the final word.

When people look at this and say, well, if you're not going to change the vote with the recount, what is the point, that's the real question I don't think has been answered.


ELLIS: ... recounts because we have never had, in the history of America, as many mail-in ballots as we have in this election.

Absolutely, recounts can change this election. Our lawsuits are all about election integrity. And we're making sure that we put this together as one big lawsuit to make sure that election integrity is preserved in each of these states.

If you look at what happened on the ground in each of these states, there is massive election official fraud by going against the will of the state legislatures to change the election results in those states.

And, altogether, of course, this is outcome-determinative. And every single American should want us to be able to present that evidence in court, which consists of thousands of pages of witnesses that are voters, that are election officials, and that absolutely matter.


MELBER: As you know, the shows -- the shows end at the end of the hour.

That's why I have to fit in the break.

Jenna Ellis, thanks for coming on THE BEAT.

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