Arizona legislature closes as Trump lawyers push for special session to pick electors

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Giuliani tested positive for coronavirus after speaking to Arizona lawmakers.

Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis blasted Arizona’s speaker of the House on Sunday night after the state legislature closed following news that her colleague Rudy Giuliani tested positive for coronavirus days after speaking to Arizona state lawmakers about allegations of election fraud.

The Arizona legislature closed for the coming week after Giuliani and Ellis held an 11-hour hearing with a panel of Republican state lawmakers last week, the Arizona Capitol Times reported. Lawmakers will be forced to cancel some partially remote interim committee meetings, according to the Arizona Capitol Times.

Ellis’ criticism of House Speaker Rusty Bowers comes as President Donald Trump’s allies in the state are pushing for the Arizona legislature to overhaul how the state’s electors are chosen and recall Arizona’s certification of the election.

“Absolutely unnecessary. Call [Speaker] Rusty Bowers in AZ and tell him not to use COVID as an EXCUSE!!” Ellis wrote on Twitter.

Supporters of President Donald Trump protest in front of a local hotel where Arizona Republicans have scheduled a meeting as a “fact-finding hearing” to discuss the election, featuring members of Trump’s legal team and Arizona legislators, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Trump legal team’s efforts to urge state lawmakers to override the results of the election and appoint their own electors is “furthest along” in Georgia with other efforts in Arizona and Michigan, Giuliani told “Sunday Morning Futures.”

It’s unclear how or when Giuliani contracted the virus.

“Mayor Giuliani tested negative twice immediately preceding his trip to Arizona, Michigan, and Georgia,” the Trump campaign said in a statement. “The Mayor did not experience any symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 until more than 48 hours after his return.”

Before Giuliani’s coronavirus diagnosis, Bowers signaled an opposition to convening the state legislature to change Arizona elector law, saying in a statement that the Trump legal team offered “only theories, not proof” of widespread election fraud.

Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Trump, speaks at a hearing of the Pennsylvania State Senate Majority Policy Committee, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Gettysburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

“Even if such evidence existed, the Arizona Legislature simply couldn’t do what is being asked. Under our state’s constitution, the Legislature can act only when it is in session, and the Legislature could call itself into a special session only with the support of a bipartisan supermajority of its members. That won’t materialize,” he said.

“For decades, Arizona law has required that the voters elect the state’s electors on Election Day—this year, on November 3rd,” Bowers continued. “And under a law the Republican-led Legislature passed just three years ago, the state’s electors are required to cast their votes for the candidates who received the most votes in the official statewide election canvass.”