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Who is Jenna Ellis

Jenna Ellis is a lawyer who served as former President Donald Trump’s senior legal advisor. She was a “star player” in supporting his efforts to discredit and overturn the 2020 presidential election, working as part of Trump’s “elite strike force” legal team. Trump himself once referred to her and her Fulton co-defendant Sidney Powell as part of his “truly great team” of lawyers working in the aftermath of the 2020 election.


Background

Jenna Ellis is a conservative attorney and TV personality. She was hired by Donald Trump in November 2019 as a senior legal advisor to his campaign. During the course of the 2020 Presidential election and its aftermath, she made repeated unsubstantiated claims about the results of the election, and drafted legal memos asserting that Vice President Mike Pence had authority to change the results of the election – arguments that have subsequently been rebuffed by many seasoned attorneys.

Jenna Ellis
Pool photo by John Bazemore

As a result of these actions, in 2022, an ethics  complaint was filed against  Ellis with the Colorado Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, asking the office to open an investigation into Ellis’s conduct. On March 8, 2023, a Colorado judge took disciplinary action against Ellis, publicly censuring her for attorney misconduct. As part of the censure, Ellis admitted that she knowingly misrepresented the facts about the 2020 election at least 10 times.

Ellis has become increasingly critical of Trump and the efforts he made to overturn the 2020 election. On her podcast, she recently said “I simply can’t support him for elected office again. Why I have chosen to distance is because of that frankly malignant narcissistic tendency to simply say that he’s never done anything wrong.”


Why Was Ellis Indicted?

As part of Trump’s legal team, Ellis spread incorrect information about the 2020 election to undermine the results. She was indicted in August 2023 on two felony charges in Fulton County, GA, focused primarily on her efforts to get Georgia legislators to nominate and accept an alternate slate of fake electors for Donald Trump, even though Joe Biden had won the popular vote in Georgia.


Ellis’s attempts to support Donald Trump’s baseless claims about the 2020 elections included:

  • Asking state legislators in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Michigan to certify slates of fake electors, disregarding the popular vote outcomes in their state.

  • Speaking with members of the RNC to espouse conspiracy theories that the election had been rigged, including that long-deceased Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez had played a role in hacking voting machines.

  • Drafting memos for Trump and trying to convince Vice President Mike Pence of his purported ability to single handedly change the results of the 2020 presidential election, overturning the will of voters in 7 states.

  • Serving as a public face of Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election, frequently appearing on TV to promote reckless and false claims.

Ellis ultimately pled guilty in Fulton County to 1 felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and writing on October 24, 2023. In pleading guilty, she admitted to a crime stemming from her efforts to spread lies about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and elsewhere.

Ellis gave a statement at her plea hearing. She said, of her role in trying to overturn the 2020 election, “I failed to do my due diligence. 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.”



In pleading guilty to this felony, Ellis was sentenced to 5 years probation and 100 hours of community service. As a condition of her plea deal, she agreed to offer testimony against Trump and other defendants, and other assistance to the prosecution as requested. She has also agreed to issue a written apology to the citizens of Georgia and pay $5,000 in restitution to the state.



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