Top Republican Lawyer Says Trump 'Setting a Fire' With 'Destructive' Election Fraud Claims

A prominent Republican lawyer accused former President Donald Trump of "setting a fire" with his false election fraud claims, describing the baseless allegations as "destructive" to democracy.

Attorney Ben Ginsburg is well-known for representing the GOP and various political campaigns of Republican candidates for decades. The lawyer served as national counsel for former President George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns and was a central figure in the contentious 2000 election recount in Florida that inevitably put Bush in the White House.

However, Ginsburg has pushed back against Trump's claims about the 2020 presidential election, issuing a dire assessment in remarks to The Guardian published on Saturday.

"What we've seen has been different from anything in my experience, because Donald Trump has made an assertion about our elections being fraudulent and the results rigged," the Republican lawyer said. "I know from my 38 years of conducting election-day operations that that simply is not true, there is no evidence for it. What Donald Trump is saying is destructive to the democracy at its very foundations."

Stop the Steal rally
Prominent Republican lawyer Ben Ginsburg warned that former President Donald Trump's false election fraud claims are "destructive" to democracy in remarks published Saturday by The Guardian. In this photo, a crowd of Trump supporters arrives for the infamous "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6 in Washington, D.C. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Ginsburg compared Trump to a firefighter who is also an arsonist.

"He is setting a fire deliberately so that he can be the hero to put it out. The problem is that there is no real fire, there is no systemic election fraud. The destruction is unnecessary," he said.

Trump and many of his GOP allies continue to promote the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was "stolen" to propel President Joe Biden to victory. Despite numerous legal challenges and audits, no evidence substantiating the extraordinary allegation has emerged.

More than 60 election challenge lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies have failed in state and federal courts. Judges appointed by the former president and other Republicans have consistently rejected the claims. Meanwhile, audits and recounts—including in areas where the election was overseen by pro-Trump GOP officials—have repeatedly reaffirmed Biden's victory.

A number of leading Republicans have condemned the groundless claims, while former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who was widely viewed as one of Trump's most loyal Cabinet officials, asserted in December that there was "no evidence" of fraud that would change the election's outcome.

Additionally, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which was led by a Trump appointee at the time, described the 2020 election as the "most secure in American history."

Ginsburg has previously denounced Trump's allegations shortly after the 2020 election.

"For the president of the United States, the leader of the free world and head of the Republican Party, to make completely unsubstantiated charges about our elections being rigged is not right," he told The Washington Post in an interview published on November 10, 2020.

Regardless, Trump's claims appear to have resonated with Republican voters. Large rallies and events promoting the conspiracy theory across the country are regularly attended by thousands of the former president's supporters. Polling also indicates that belief in the allegation is widespread among party supporters.

Polling published Wednesday by Morning Consult showed that about three-quarters (73 percent) of Republicans would support candidates in the 2022 midterms who believe the results of the last presidential election should be investigated. Survey data from CNN in September showed that nearly 60 percent of GOP voters think it is "important" to their political identity to back the claim that Trump won in 2020. Another recent poll carried out by Suffolk University and USA Today found that nearly 70 percent of Republicans do not believe Biden is the legitimately elected president.

Newsweek reached out to Trump's press office for comment but did not immediately receive a response.