Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis issued two memos urging Pence to halt Biden's election win
Jenna Ellis (screen grab via YouTube)

One of Donald Trump's campaign lawyers wrote two legal memos in the weeks before Jan. 6 claiming that then-vice president Mike Pence had the authority to overturn the 2020 election.

Campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis argued in the memos that Pence could refuse to count presidential electors from states won by Joe Biden, and suggested Dec. 31 that the vice president should simply refuse to open envelopes from states Trump considered to have been tainted by fraud, reported Politico.

A second memo, dated Jan. 5, was delivered to Trump attorney Jay Sekulow and argued that portions of the Electoral Count Act were unconstitutional and concluded that Pence should halt the certification process when the alphabetical proceeding reached Arizona.

Then he should declare the state failed to meet the legal standard for certifying its electors and then “require the final ascertainment of electors to be completed before continuing," Ellis argued.

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Ellis denied that she endorsed the legal theories she explored in the memos and told Politico that she was only examining various legal strategies for her client.

"At no time did I advocate for overturning the election or that Mike Pence had the authority to do so," Ellis told POLITICO. "As part of my role as a campaign lawyer and counsel for President Trump, I explored legal options that might be available within the context of the U.S. Constitution and statutory law.”

The existence of the Ellis memos was first reported by ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl in his recent book, “Betrayal,” but Politico was the first to publish the contents of those arguments.

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