Trump and his supporters can't prove election fraud — so they're trying to redefine it: legal expert
Trump speaks at the "Stop the Steal" rally on Jan. 6. (Screenshot via

Unable to prove former president Donald Trump's false claims of widespread election fraud, Republicans are now attempting to move the goalposts.

Marc Elias, a prominent Democratic elections-law and voting-rights attorney, explained Tuesday how GOP lawmakers in numerous states are effectively trying to change the definition of "fraud."

"What Republicans are doing now is they are redefining ordinary and even exemplary behavior, and redefining it to be fraudulent," Elias told MSNBC. "So that when people engage in this behavior, like handing a bottle of water to someone who's thirsty, the Republicans can now say, 'You see, that was all fraud.' And it's a really pernicious way that I think Republicans are preparing to challenge the results of the election in the future."

Elias, who oversaw the state-by-state response to Trump's election-fraud lawsuits, examined the threat in more detail in a recent article on his website, Democracy Docket.

"Consider Georgia's new voter suppression law," he wrote. "Handing a bottle of water to someone waiting in a long line to vote used to be an act of a good Samaritan. Now it is a crime. In previous elections, many Georgians relied on nonprofit organizations to send them an absentee ballot application and help return the application in time to receive a mail-in ballot. That too is now illegal."

"By manufacturing fraud from ordinary activity, Republicans create the foundation to challenge election results in 2022 and 2024," he wrote. "By manufacturing fake fraud, these new laws provide defeated candidates in 2022 and 2024 with the propaganda necessary to support their own Big Lies in the future."

Watch Elias' MSNBC interview below.

Mark Elias on MSNBC