Top NewsJenna Ellis: Former Trump campaign attorney pleads guilty in Georgia case

Jenna Ellis: Former Trump campaign attorney pleads guilty in Georgia case


Washington
CNN

Former Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis He pleaded guilty Tuesday to a Georgia election tampering case and will cooperate with Fulton County prosecutors — the third such conviction in the past week.

In an unscheduled hearing in Atlanta, Ellis pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting false statements, a crime stemming from election fraud that Ellis and other Donald Trump lawyers made to Georgia lawmakers in December 2020.

She was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution.

Ellis gave a tearful statement to a judge on Tuesday as he pleaded guilty, denying participation in Trump’s unprecedented efforts to rig the 2020 election.

“Had I known what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post-election challenges. I look back on this experience with deep regret,” Ellis said, his voice breaking at times.

Growth will follow Repeated criminal cases In a detailed indictment last week of former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesbro, the fraudulent voters were instrumental in the conspiracy.

The three plea deals are a huge step forward for Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis, who indicted the case in August and is preparing to prosecute Trump, his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, his chief of staff Mark Meadows and other key figures. (They all pleaded not guilty.)

Ellis, Chesbro and Powell agreed to testify on behalf of the prosecution at future hearings. In a twist, these one-time Trump insiders are now on track to become key Trump opponents. They are all lawyers and can shed light on what is happening behind the scenes in 2020.

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Solicitors 19 people were initially charged In the broad case. Four have pleaded guilty so far.

In a tearful apology in court, Ellis spoke of his personal “failures” and expressed “deep regret” after denying his involvement in Trump’s legal efforts to subvert the 2020 presidential election.

“As a Christian, I take my responsibilities as a lawyer very seriously and strive to be a person of good moral and ethical character in all my dealings,” Ellis said.
But after the 2020 election, “I failed to do my due diligence,” he said.

“I relied on others, including lawyers with years of experience above me, to give me true and reliable information… What I didn’t do, but should have done, was corroborate the facts of other lawyers. What is said to be true, is in fact true,” Ellis said.

Ellis’ plea implicates Giuliani in a state crime — lying to Georgia legislators about false voter-fraud theories. It comes after a week Cesbro framed Giuliani In a fraudulent voter scheme that attempted to subvert the Electoral College process. Giuliani denies wrongdoing.

According to court filings, Ellis admitted to “intentionally aiding and abetting” Giuliani and another Trump lawyer, Ray Smith, in knowingly, intentionally, and unlawfully making false statements to members of the Georgia Senate.

Their false statements included unsubstantiated claims of massive voter fraud – including postal ballots and thousands of illegal votes from felons, minors and the “dead”. Both Smith and Giuliani have pleaded not guilty.

According to multiple investigations and recounts by Georgia election officials, none of these allegations are true. Trump lost the state to Joe Biden by about 12,000 votes.

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In exchange for Ellis’ cooperation, prosecutors dropped two of his original charges, including violating Georgia’s racketeering statute, known as RICO. Trump attorney Steve Sato said in a statement that he hoped it would help his client and that Ellis’s admitted criminal conduct “doesn’t implicate President Trump.”

“For the fourth time, Fannie Willis and her legal team have dismissed the RICO charge and responded to the motion for probation,” Sado said. “The so-called Rico case is nothing more than a bargaining chip for DA Willis.”

As a result of the petition In the agreement, Ellis, who has an active online presence, is barred from posting anything about the case on social media while the cases against any of the defendants unfold, prosecutors said.

Out of touch Disciplinary Proceedings in Colorado, Ellis is a lawyer, and Ellis has admitted that many of his post-election public statements were false, including his claim that the race was “stolen” from Trump. He was censured by a judge and agreed to pay $224, ending a misconduct investigation.

He hasn’t been in Trump’s orbit in recent months — and he’s been publicly endorsing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 Republican presidential bid.

After Ellis’ indictment, he publicly complained about the lack of financial support from pro-Trump groups. He has raised over $216,000 through an online crowdfunding website.

This story has been updated with additional updates.

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