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Jenna Ellis, former Trump lawyer, pleads guilty in Georgia election interference case

Nature

Former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in the Georgia election interference case, becoming the fourth co-defendant to accept a plea deal instead of going to trial.

Ellis pleaded guilty in court to aiding and abetting false statements and writings.

Conditions of the plea agreement include a requirement that she serve five years of probation, pay $5,000 in restitution to the Georgia Secretary of State within 30 days and testify at hearings or trials in the case.

Ellis must also complete 100 hours of community service and write a letter of apology to the citizens of the state of Georgia. Ellis also agreed to provide any requested documents or evidence, not post about the case on social media, and not communicate with any witnesses or the media until the case is closed.

Ellis served as Trump’s lead legal advisor from early 2019 until shortly after he left office in January 2021 and was part of the legal team that advised him as he sought to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that Ellis participated in a meeting in December 2020 in which Rudy Giuliani and other Trump lawyers made false statements in an effort to disregard the certified results of the presidential election in Georgia and to nominate fake presidential electors. They said Ellis was also involved in similar false claims in other states, including Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Ellis became emotional in court Tuesday, with tears in her eyes as she delivered brief remarks about how she regrets her experience representing Trump.

“As a lawyer who is also a Christian, I take my responsibilities as an attorney very seriously and strive to be a person of good character and ethics in all my dealings. Following the presidential election of 2020, I believed that the challenge to the results on behalf of President Trump should be pursued in a fair and legal manner. I strove to represent my client to the best of my ability. I relied on others, including attorneys with many more years of experience than me, to provide me with true and reliable information, especially since my role was to speak to the media and legislators in various states,” Ellis said.

“What I didn’t do but should have done, Your Honor, was make sure that the facts that the other lawyers claimed were true were in fact true,” she continued. “In the frenetic pace of attempts to contest elections in several states, including Georgia, I have failed to do my due diligence. I believe in and value election integrity. If I Had I known then what I know now, I would have refused to represent Donald Trump in these post-election challenges. I look back on this entire experience with deep remorse.

His plea deal comes after co-defendants Sidney Powell and Scott Chesebro reached plea deals last week. Powell pleaded guilty Thursday to six counts of conspiracy to commit election interference. Chesebro pleaded guilty Friday to one count of conspiracy to file false documents.

The two co-defendants were scheduled to begin a joint trial in the case before their plea agreement.

Another defendant in the sprawling case, Scott Hall, pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor charges in late September as part of a deal with Fulton County prosecutors. Hall, a bail bondsman, was indicted for a voting system violation in Georgia’s Coffee County in early 2021.

They were among 19 defendants named in District Attorney Fani Willis’ indictment, which also charged former President Donald Trump.

Nature
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