Source: Fulton County Jail
Jenna Ellis, the right-wing attorney who worked on the Trump 2020 presidential campaign, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a criminal charge in the Georgia election interference case.
Ellis is the latest co-defendant of former President Donald Trump to take a deal with prosecutors, joining Sidney Powell and two others.
The slew of recent plea deals in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ racketeering case signals a growing threat to Trump, who is fighting criminal charges in four separate cases as he runs for president in 2024.
Ellis, 38, pleaded guilty in Fulton County Superior Court to one count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings. The charge related to false claims of voter fraud that were made to members of the Georgia Senate at a hearing in early December 2020.
In a tearful statement before Judge Scott McAfee, Ellis expressed regret for her actions in the wake of Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Jenna Ellis reads a statement after pleading guilty to a felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings, inside Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee’s Fulton County Courtroom at the Fulton County Courthouse October 24, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.
John Bazemore | Pool | Getty Images
“As an attorney who is also a Christian, I take my responsibilities as a lawyer very seriously and I endeavor to be a person of sound moral and ethical character in all of my dealings,” Ellis said.
“I believed that challenging the results on behalf of President Trump should be pursued in a just and legal way,” she said, but “I failed to do my due diligence.”
Instead, she said she relied on information that was provided to her by other lawyers “with many more years of experience.”
“If I knew then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post-election challenges,” she said.
“I look back on this whole experience with deep remorse.”
Ellis originally faced two felony charges in Willis’ indictment, which accuses Trump and 18 co-defendants of illegally conspiring to overturn Biden’s victory in Georgia’s 2020 contest.
The 98-page, 41-count indictment alleges Ellis urged state legislators in key swing states Biden won to appoint presidential electors who would vote for Trump.
Ellis will avoid prison time as part of her plea agreement. She was sentenced to five years of probation and must pay $5,000 in restitution, in addition to completing 100 hours of community service and penning an apology letter to the people of Georgia.
She must also testify truthfully at all hearings or trials involving other co-defendants in the case, including Trump.
The three others who have already pleaded guilty — Powell, ex-Trump campaign attorney Kenneth Chesebro and bail bondsman Scott Hall — also agreed to provide truthful testimony in their co-defendants’ cases.
A lawyer representing Trump in the Georgia case did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Ellis’ change of plea.
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