Colorado House Republicans aiming to shine light on Colorado's election process will have some star power at their legislative committee hearing Tuesday morning.
Not Rudy Giuliani, who is recovering from a COVID-19 diagnosis. But the next best thing: Jenna Ellis, who has been at his side in battleground states and proclaimed Trump's unsuccessful legal team "an elite strike force."
Ellis will speak to the Legislative Audit Committee in Room 271 of the State Capitol at 10 a.m. Ellis is a senior legal adviser to the Trump campaign and a frequent guest on TV shows, but from 2015 to 2018, the former Weld County prosecutor taught pre-law, ethics and leadership courses at Colorado Christian University.
“It will be important for the committee to hear directly from Ms. Ellis as they look for ways to fully restore confidence and transparency in Colorado’s election system while providing tailored policy solutions to eliminate any remaining weaknesses within our elections,” Rep. Kevin Van Winkle, a committee member and Republican from Highlands Ranch said in a statement Monday morning.
The discussion is expected to center on mail ballots, though it's not clear what the hearing will accomplish, other than raising questions. The new General Assembly takes office when lawmakers return to a regular session in January. Democrats will retain majorities in the House and Senate, as well as the governor's office.
The Colorado legislature adopted predominantly mail-ballot voting in 2013, without a single GOP vote as the bill moved through the General Assembly that year. Nonetheless, its adoption and implementation was overseen by two Republican secretaries of state: Scott Gessler and Wayne Williams, who both opposed the bill creating the system.
Joe Biden won Colorado by 13.5 percentage points, or 439,745 votes. Four years earlier, Hillary Clinton won the blue-trending state by 5 points, or 136,386 votes.
“Election integrity should be an issue that both political parties care about, and the Legislative Audit Committee’s bipartisan membership should welcome any testimony from Ms. Ellis as they work to root out all election fraud, hold accountable any wrongdoing and strengthen our election system moving forward,” Rep. Dave Williams, a Republican from Colorado Springs, said in the statement.
Ellis' legal credentials and her work in Colorado were questioned in a lengthy profile in The New York Times on Dec. 3.
The Trump campaign and allies have filed 56 lawsuits since the Nov. 3 election trying to overturn results in swing states. As of Monday, when electors across the country cast ballots to formally give Biden the victory, no litigation of enough significance to affect the victory was still active. At least 46 have been denied, dismissed, settled or withdrawn.
The courts have repeatedly held that the campaign's arguments were not credible or lacked proof.
Neither Williams nor Van Winkle are members of the Legislative Audit Committee.
Secretary of State Jena Griswold's office released a statement late Monday afternoon saying it would provide written testimony Tuesday.
The testimony was prepared by Griswold and elections director Judd Choate to "meticulously lay out the steps that are undertaken to maintain election integrity, including protection of voting systems, protection of ballots, protection of voter identity, and protection of the accuracy of the results through post-election audits."
The statement continued, "The written testimony will also serve to dispel misinformation that has been propagated by various sources both leading up to and after the 2020 General Election. Even in the midst of a national pandemic, Colorado’s record election turnout proved once again to the country why the state’s election model is among the country’s best."
Public testimony will be accepted in writing only until the end of the day Monday. Comments can be sent to LACcomments.firstname.lastname@example.org.