The main lawyers working on President Trump’s electoral coup attempt are the Fab Five — from a Bizarro universe.
If you can get past former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani literally melting in a press conference, there are still the bonkers conspiracy theories. The most recent is a pip: the right-wing governor of Georgia, who ran as a mini-Trump candidate, is supposedly taking bribes from a company that allegedly has ties to Communists, a liberal Jewish philanthopist and the long-dead president of Venezuela.
Amazingly, the LGBTQ community has yet to be named as part of this nefarious plot — but there’s still time! There’s even the perfect team member in place who can provide it: Jenna Ellis.
No Trump legal team would be complete without at least one raving anti-LGBTQ activist on it. Ellis fits that bill all too well.
The other attorneys — Giuliani, Joseph and Victoria Toensing, and the now-fired Sidney Powell — may be crackpots, but they haven’t made denying LGBTQ people their rights a mission in the way Ellis has. (In fact, as mayor in the 1990s, Giuliani was notably friendly to gay and lesbian rights, bucking the GOP trend.)
Ellis, meanwhile, has a track record of attacking LGBTQ people that makes her stand out from the rest of the legal team. She rose among the rest from the religious-right world, and her rhetoric reflects it.
Ellis joined the Trump campaign early this year because Trump thought she looked good on television.
“These sinners need our prayers also, and while their conduct is vile and abominable, certainly we cannot forget that they are human beings, made in the image of God,” Ellis once wrote about LGBTQ people, “unlike gorillas.”
In the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub massacre, Ellis condemned Islam – and LGBTQ protections. “Two wrongs do not make an LGBT right,” she proclaimed.
Ellis has also said that HIV among gay and bi men is “God’s moral law and His supremacy.” She has asserted that “transgender women are still men.” She’s stood up for conversion therapy, and even complained that the LGBTQ flag is co-opting the rainbow which belongs to “God Himself.”s
Trying to shine in the Trump campaign, she furthered baseless birther claims against now-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, advocated for an end of separation between church and state, and tried recruiting anti-LGBTQ voters to the campaign so they can ensure “the Supreme Court stays in their lane” on social issues.
Why Ellis — or any of the other legal eagles, for that matter — would want to attach themselves to Trump’s undemocratic effort is an open question. The exposure and money probably helps, but you have to be a true believer to subscribe to the logic-free, messy conspiracy theory that Giuliani and Powell have been pulling out of their collective tinfoil hats.
The team is also not doing their legal reputations any favors. Even Trump supporter and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has called the group a “national embarassment.” The sloppy legal filings have made the team a laughingstock.
Ellis went so far as to argue at the same press conference featuring the melting Giuliani that reporters asking for evidence “clearly don’t understand the legal process.”
Try that one on a judge.
Despite their clownish performance, the Trump legal team will always have a platform. For one thing, Trump isn’t going to go away, and he will look for surrogates to promote his own loony theories.
Moreover, the emergence of far-right media platforms like Newsmax and One America News Network means that there will always be a guest spot for Trump acolytes. No conspiracy theory can be crazy enough for true believers, and no rhetoric too hateful. Unfortunately, that means Ellis is likely to be with us for a long time to come.
Editor’s Note – This article has been updated to reflect the recent announcement by Ellis and Giuliani on behalf of the Trump campaign that Sidney Powell “is not a member of the Trump Legal Team” or “a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.” This is after she led the way in spreading nationwide election fraud allegations for the last month.