Jenna Ellis, former attorney for Donald Trump, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting false statements and writings last Tuesday. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has indicted 19 people, including Trump, for crimes relating to attempting to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election.
Ellis is now the fourth defendant to plead guilty in the Fulton County Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) case. She tearfully expressed her “deep remorse” in a statement given to the court for her role in challenging the 2020 election results.
“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 for those failures of mine, your honor,” said Ellis.
She maintained, however, that her conduct was the result of believing false information about the election from other 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.
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,” Ellis said.
As a part of her deal, Ellis will serve five years of probation, pay $5,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.
This comes on the heels of the major guilty plea from Sidney Powell earlier this month, another former member of the Trump legal team. For both Ellis and Powell, their plea deals were given on the condition that they testify against the other defendants in the Georgia case, including Trump himself.
Ellis played a major part in Trump’s election fraud scheme, attempting to convince lawmakers to not certify the election results and regularly appearing on news channels in 2020 to promote Trump’s stolen election claims.
“The outcome of this election is actually fraudulent, it’s wrong, and we understand that when we subtract all the illegal ballots, you can see that President Trump actually won in a landslide,” Ellis said on Fox News in December 2020.
“We have over 500,000 votes [in Arizona] that were cast illegally,” Ellis said the same week on a different Fox News show.
For her actions and comments, she was censured in March by the Colorado state bar, although she is still allowed to practice law.
The new developments in Georgia come in the context of the three other criminal cases and multiple civil cases Trump is currently involved in.
In Manhattan, Trump faces charges related to the hush money payments he sent to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
The Department of Justice has also brought two criminal cases against Trump, one involving the
mishandling of classified documents and the other involving the events of the Jan. 6 insurrection. The classified documents case is widely reported to be the strongest of the cases against Trump due to its incriminating audio and photographic evidence, including a viral photo of stacks of classified documents in a Mar-a-Lago bathroom. Controversy has surrounded Trump’s civil trials as of late. In one New York case, the judge issued a gag order, which
Trump violated twice, resulting in fines totaling $15,000. However, the judge has stated that further violations could find Trump in contempt of court.
Time will tell whether the Georgia case will find Trump guilty of the crimes. Georgia’s case is unique in that since they are state charges, Trump could face incarceration for his offenses. After Ellis’ guilty plea, all eyes are on Georgia for further develoments in Trump’s legal saga.