Dan Caplis is a serious lawyer, or so he says. So serious, in fact, that he’s trademarked the phrase, “a serious firm for serious cases.” Jenna Ellis is not a serious lawyer, but she has been charged with serious crimes. She also admitted, in her formal censure by Colorado’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, to spreading misinformation about the 2020 election no fewer than ten times, including on Dan Caplis’ KNUS radio show.
And yet, following the charges in Georgia filed against Ellis, John Eastman, and the rest of Trump’s legal team for trying to overturn the 2020 election, Caplis took to the airwaves last week to claim he never liked their legal strategy.
“Those who say that the Democrat D.A. in Georgia is trying to criminalize political disagreement, trying to make it illegal to contest an election, at least for a Republican to contest in election, those people are right, in my opinion,” said Caplis. “While I never agreed with that political strategy, and I always thought the legal theory was way way way off and wrong — and I said so on air— it shouldn’t be illegal to make those arguments.”
These days Caplis says he believes President Biden “won a very close election over President Trump,” and that he hasn’t seen proof that the election was stolen. Back in 2020, however, Caplis was an enthusiastic advocate of Ellis and the Trump legal team.
Caplis had Ellis as a guest on his show numerous times following the 2020 election. During each appearance he showered her with praise while repeating the underlying demand of Ellis, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Sidney Powell, and the rest of the Trump legal team: slow down the electoral process; we need more time to investigate allegations of fraud.
In reviewing their on-air conversations (as well as the false statements for which Ellis was censured, the difference between Ellis’s and Caplis’s claims about election fraud come down to a matter of certainty. Ellis flat-out said the election was stolen, while Caplis, even while asserting there was “substantial fraud” always framed his statements as merely “asking questions.”
While he may have expressed doubts later on, in days and weeks after the 2020 election, Caplis was an enthusiastic supporter of team Trump and their strategy. Here he is on November 7, 2020:
“In my view, those who would walk away from this fight, walk away from the very legitimate question as to whether this election is being stolen,” said Caplis. “Those people should not hold high positions, be they in the Republican Party, be they in the Democratic Party, be they in elective office, Because the question on the table right now is so legitimate, it’s so important. And for the good of America long term, for the good of both parties, it must be sorted out now… But the reality is there are so many legitimate reasons to be suspicious about whether this election was stolen that it would be irresponsible to move forward at this point without answering those questions…
“So you start with the reasonable suspicion and then you determine that because this reasonable suspicion exists, there should be a full opportunity to investigate. Any reasonable person should agree to that. A full opportunity to investigate. And that has two components: time and access. So there must be the time necessary with all due diligence, to dive in right now and fully investigate in each of these key states. And what you’re investigating in each state will be different from state to state based upon the issues that create the suspicion to begin with, but you need the time and you need the means to investigate. And then in the end, if you decide, you meaning the Republican Party and the Trump campaign, if you believe you have the info necessary, the information that justifies changing the outcome, then a court gets to decide that.”
Two weeks later, the day after Ellis joined Giuliani and Powell for an absurd press conference alleging election fraud that was immediately debunked by major media outlets, Caplis invited her on his show and again insisted there was fraud:
”One of the reasons the left is freaking out right now is it starts with the fact that they know there was- obviously there was fraud. The question is whether it’s widespread enough to change the outcome. They know with each passing day there will be more whistleblowers, there will be more solid, provable evidence of fraud.”
Caplis then concluded the interview by showering Ellis with praise.
“Jenna, you have been so impressive. You are so calm, cool, precise, focused today. I hope that as this gets into courtrooms, I hope that you become the leader of the [Trump] team,” said Caplis on air. “Because it is moments like this where some of the greatest legal talent in American history has had a chance to show itself. And boy, I would love to see you at the tip of the spear. I’m grateful for the time this afternoon and keep up the great work.
Three weeks later on Dec. 7, Ellis was back in studio to spread more misinformation about the election. When a Colorado judge censured her earlier this year for dishonesty, the court listed ten “misrepresentations” for which she was being reprimanded. One was a tweet she wrote summarizing a Dec. 22, 2020 on-air interview with Caplis.
I spent an hour with @DanCaplis for an in-depth discussion about President @realDonaldTrump’s fight for election integrity, the overwhelming evidence proving this was stolen, and why fact-finding and truth—not politics—matters!
LISTEN ⬇️ https://t.co/w7HSvWQpfV
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) December 22, 2020
That interview, like the previous one ended with Caplis praising Ellis. This time he claimed she was literally the best lawyer in America.
“As I’ve said to people for many months now, there is not a better, more effective advocate for this president in America than you,” said Caplis. “In the last time I checked, I’ve only been practicing law for about 37 years. I always thought your ability to advocate for your client was a pretty big part of being a world-class lawyer, and I can’t imagine him having a better advocate than you.”
Ellis wasn’t the only Trump legal team member Caplis held in high esteem, although admittedly with more reservation:
“If somebody wants to call question Sidney Powell’s credibility, whatever,” said Caplis. “I don’t claim to be a Sidney Powell expert, but from the research I’ve been able to do so far- A former federal prosecutor who has handled a lot of appeals in federal court, Michael Flynn’s attorney, etc.. I haven’t seen anything that would suggest to me that Sidney Powell is some kind of wingnut or anything… By all accounts, she’s been a serious person involved in serious cases. No sane person would make the kind of allegation she’s making as publicly and as precisely as she’s making those unless they truly believed it and believe they could prove it, because otherwise they’d be a laughing stock until their dying day, and then their family name would be a laughing stock and there would be the fear of being sued.”
Three days later, CNN ran this story about Powell: “Donald Trump finally found someone with a too-crazy conspiracy theory about the 2020 election.”
To be fair, Sydney Powell isn’t just being charged with election-related felonies, she is, as Caplis predicted, also being sued. In March, 2021, she offered this defense as a reason to dismiss Dominion Voting System’s lawsuit against her: “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.”
Caplis did not respond to an email inquiry as to whether he had any regrets about praising Ellis and the Trump legal team, particularly in light of Ellis’ admission to the Colorado Bar Association that she spread misinformation. The Colorado Times Recorder also asked for any examples of Caplis criticizing the Trump campaign’s political or legal strategy on air between the 2020 election and January 20, 2021. This piece will be updated with any response received.