Consultant democracy is ok, however let’s not carried away right here.
That seems to be the stance taken by Trump lawyer Cleta Mitchell in her acrimonious interview with the January 6 Choose Committee on Could 18, 2022. Mitchell, who was swiftly un-personned from Foley & Lardner after her involvement with the Trump marketing campaign’s efforts to overturn President Biden’s Georgia win, appeared largely unconcerned with the expressed needs of the voters.
Right here she is explaining that state legislators are entitled underneath the Structure to easily reject the outcomes of any presidential election in the event that they don’t like the result:
Let me make one thing very clear. The Structure of the USA grants plenary energy to state legislatures to selected the electors of the state. Congress has enacted a statute which is an enabling legislation, which I occur to suppose is unconstitutional, as a result of that energy granted within the Structure to state legislatures is full and whole. There’s nothing within the Structure about permitting individuals, residents to vote on electors. Now, that’s one thing that legislatures have over time determined they need to do. However in my opinion, based on the Structure, that’s an advisory function that occurs as a result of the legislature has created a mechanism to conduct the election. And assuming that that mechanism is carried out in accordance with the statutes that the legislature has enacted to make it doable for the residents to weigh in and make their voices heard, then the legislature can use — select to make use of what the individuals have determined. However that’s not within the Structure. And so I feel that that is likely one of the issues that we hadn’t actually — as a rustic, we haven’t centered on that. However that’s what the Structure says. So it’s not like selecting an alternate slate of electors. The legislature has the authority to decide on the electors. They usually don’t need to ask anyone’s place, in my opinion.
And right here she is explaining that Congress has the constitutional proper to easily reject a state’s electors for any purpose or no purpose in any respect:
I’ve received a report that any person could have despatched to me final 12 months that goes by means of the historical past of the USA and the variety of instances that members of Congress have mentioned I’m not going to vote to certify these electors. They usually don’t need to have a purpose. They’ll simply say I’m not voting for this. They usually have carried out that. And there have been much more Democrats doing that than Republicans over time. So there’s a protracted historical past of that occuring. Now, Mike Lee is a constitutionalist and he got here to imagine that, absent a competing set of electors that he had, he didn’t have the constitutional prerogative to reject the electoral slate. That’s as much as him. I respect that. I don’t agree with it, however I’m not going to argue with Mike Lee concerning the Structure, for heaven’s sake.
Actually, she appears fairly skeptical about voting throughout the board, alleging that cash spent by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to extend voter participation quantities to a violation of state election legislation. Equally, she pointed to elevated poll entry measures handed throughout the pandemic as “a pretext for upending the duly enacted legal guidelines handed by state legislatures.”
“Now, you’ll have a special view, however we’re legal professionals and we’re each entitled to learn the legislation in the best way that we predict is suitable,” she mentioned, implicitly acknowledging that her viewpoints are considerably outdoors the mainstream, including that, “I don’t suppose individuals must be massacred or put in jail or disbarred as a result of they’ve a special authorized view than you do.”
Who’s being massacred, Cleta?
If these cockamamie theories sound acquainted, it’s as a result of they have been additionally superior by Trump’s Coups 4 Dummies lawyer John Eastman, whom Mitchell known as “some of the good legal professionals I do know, and he’s good on constitutional legislation and constitutional historical past.” Eastman was additionally separated from his job at Chapman College Regulation College when his connection to the pretend electors scheme got here to mild — and that’s not the one connection between these two.
Mitchell made repeated reference in her testimony to one of many Trump election challenges in Georgia, not solely making false assertions a couple of dastardly failure to get a decide assigned in well timed vogue (the delay was the fault of Crew Trump leaping the gun on an enchantment), however claiming that she’d introduced proof of 1000’s of illegally forged votes, greater than ample to overturn Biden’s margin of victory.
It could seem that this was what Eastman was referring to in a December 31, 2020 e mail wherein he wrote: “Though the President signed a verification for [the state court filing] again on Dec. 1, he has since been made conscious that a number of the allegations (and proof proffered by the specialists) has been inaccurate. For him to signal a brand new verification with that information (and incorporation by reference) wouldn’t be correct.” US District Choose David O. Carter abrogated attorney-client privilege as to this e mail underneath the crime-fraud exception, since Eastman was apparently attempting wangle his method round having Trump signal a false attestation. However the truth that even Eastman knew that Mitchell’s numbers have been nonsense is … fairly humorous. And never for nothing, however Trump went on to signal it anyway.
Additionally humorous have been Mitchell’s dogged makes an attempt to disregard the inconsistencies in her personal place. Why was she bothering to sue if the state legislature and US Congress may merely reject the electors out of hand? Why was she solely difficult poll entry initiatives and COVID modifications in swing states the place Democrats received? Wouldn’t her fakakta theories imply that Democrats have been entitled to reject crimson state electors in the event that they managed the Senate? How may she presumably be claiming attorney-client privilege for her communications with the White Home Counsel’s Workplace? And if she thought Mike Pence’s function on January 6 was “ministerial,” why did she recommend that he reject Georgia’s electoral slate citing pending litigation?
However no concern brought on higher fireworks than her denial that she had something to do with the pretend electors scheme, regardless of a number of communications suggesting in any other case:
STAFF COUNSEL: Senator Lee says, “I feel that’s one of the simplest ways to border this, that our function (as to any state’s electoral votes) is triggered by the existence of a competing slate of electors?” After which Senator Lee says, “That appears to be the candy spot for getting my colleagues to have interaction.” You say, “Sure. That’s why I used to be asking the White Home right now to arrange that ASAP.” I’m attempting to grasp — I’m attempting to grasp what Ms. Mitchell is saying.
MITCHELL: It appears to me that it speaks for itself. The communications communicate for itself.
STAFF COUNSEL: Are you refusing to reply the query I requested you?
MITCHELL: I’m not refusing to reply. You retain asking me the identical factor and I maintain telling you a similar factor.
STAFF COUNSEL: I don’t suppose you’ve answered.
MITCHELL: I feel state legislatures have a sure authority and I feel members of Congress have a separate distinct duty and authority. And I don’t suppose any of this, none of it, ought to rise to the extent of your badgering me, as a result of I’m a lawyer and I’m having a dialog with a senator concerning the constitutional prerogatives of the Senate.
STAFF COUNSEL: Ms. Mitchell, I’m not —
MITCHELL: Sure, you’re. And I’m not refusing to reply. I’m telling you that the doc speaks for itself. That’s the dialog. That’s roughly the best way I keep in mind it. And I want to transfer on.
The ugliness went on for a number of minutes, on the conclusion of which Mitchell lastly conceded that, “Maybe, sure,” she was suggesting that she’d instructed the White Home that they wanted to arrange “competing units of electors” to fulfill the members of Congress who’d need to reject those legitimately chosen by the voters.
On the finish of which she was neither massacred or jailed. She wasn’t even disbarred! However little doubt in the event you requested her, Mitchell would let you know that she’s the actual sufferer right here.
Cleta Mitchell Transcript