Jenna Ellis becomes latest to plead guilty in Trump case
Jenna Ellis, who boosted former President Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, pleaded guilty in Georgia on Tuesday after reaching a deal prosecutors.
She is the third attorney charged in Fulton County, Ga., in connection to attempts to subvert the 2020 presidential election to take a plea deal, and the fourth person to plead guilty in the racketeering case brought in August by Dist. Atty. Fani Willis.
“I believe in and I value election integrity. If I knew then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post-election challenges. I look back on this whole experience with deep remorse,” Ellis, 38, told the court when entering her plea.
Without naming them, Ellis said she relied on facts given to her by other, more seasoned lawyers.
“I relied on others, including lawyers with many more years of experience than I, to provide me with true and reliable information, especially since my role involved speaking to the media and to legislators in various states,” Ellis said. “What I did not do, but should have done, Your Honor, was to make sure that the facts the other lawyers alleged to be true were in fact true. In the frenetic pace of attempting to raise challenges to the election in several states, including Georgia, I failed to do my due diligence.”
Ellis pleaded guilty to a single count of aiding and abetting false statements/writings. She was indicted along with Trump and 17 others on charges that they participated in a wide-ranging scheme to keep the Republican president in office after he lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden.
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She had been facing felony charges of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and soliciting the violation of oath by a public officer in connection with a plan to submit fake electoral slates to Congress ahead of the Jan. 6 ratification vote. The 98-page indictment alleges Ellis urged state legislators in key swing states Biden won to appoint presidential electors who would vote for Trump.
As part of her plea, Ellis was sentenced to five years of probation, and must pay $5,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service. She has already written an apology letter to the citizens of Georgia, and she agreed to cooperate fully with prosecutors as the case progresses, which could see her testifying against her former client. She can be called to testify about a broad range of topics related to the post-2020 election efforts to keep Trump in power.
As a senior legal advisor to Trump, Ellis participated in a November 2020 news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, where she appeared alongside fellow co-defendants Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sidney Powell. The three lawyers made baseless allegations of election fraud and accused states of suppressing votes. Ellis traveled extensively with Giuliani afterward in attempts to convince lawmakers in states including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania to overturn their results.
Ellis was censured by the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel in March and acknowledged making 10 false statements on television and Twitter about the election. Ellis is based in Washington, but has practiced law in Colorado, where she is from.
Ellis has been crowdsourcing funds for her defense after questioning in August why Trump’s super PAC wasn’t helping his co-defendants in the Georgia case. As of Tuesday, she had raised more than $215,000.
Last week, Fulton County prosecutors reached plea deals with two other lawyers who worked with the Trump campaign shortly before their trial was scheduled: Kenneth Chesebro, who helped devise a plan to submit fake electoral slates supportive of Trump, and Powell, who pleaded guilty to helping with a plan to breach the vote management system in Coffee County, Ga.
Last month, bail bondsman Scott Hall pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties, all misdemeanors for his role in breaching election equipment in Coffee County.
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