Ben Ginsberg, a prominent conservative lawyer who was on George W. Bush’s vote recount legal team in 2000, came to Jesus on Tuesday, denouncing President Donald Trump’s jaw-dropping comments about mail-in voting. The President, he claimed, was casting a shadow over what Ginsberg described as legitimate efforts by Republicans’ to stamp out mass election fraud — something Ginsberg also now admits isn’t really a thing.
“The truth is that after decades of looking for illegal voting, there’s no proof of widespread fraud,” Ginsberg wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “At most, there are isolated incidents — by both Democrats and Republicans. Elections are not rigged.”
The lawyer laid out how Trump has shattered Republicans’ talk of “election security” by parroting the debunked claim that mail-in voting causes mass election fraud, only to tell his supporters to double vote by mailing their ballots and then voting again in person on Election Day.
“The President’s words make his and the Republican Party’s rhetoric look less like sincere concern — and more like transactional hypocrisy designed to provide an electoral advantage,” Ginsberg wrote.
He warned fellow Republicans that Trump’s remarks are undermining their legal arguments in some 40 court battles for establishing restrictive voting laws, which Republicans argue are necessary to stave off election fraud, while critics point out that the laws disenfranchise nonwhite voters.
“Republicans need to rethink their arguments in many of the cases in which they are involved — quickly,” Ginsberg wrote. “Otherwise, they risk harming the fundamental principle of our democracy: that all eligible voters must be allowed to cast their ballots.”
Ginsberg’s op-ed marks an about face from the longtime GOP lawyer’s previous stance on voter fraud, which at one point drove him to argue that the total results of the 2009 Minnesota Senate race, during which Ginsberg represented then-incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), were illegitimate due to alleged fraud.
Besides Bush and Coleman, Ginsberg’s long list of GOP clientele includes Mitt Romney, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), and the Republican National Committee.