Another former Donald Trump legal adviser pleaded guilty to a charge in the Georgia election interference case, telling a judge Tuesday she failed to do due diligence and in hindsight would have declined to represent the former president after the election.
Jenna Ellis also agreed to testify truthfully in the wide-ranging state racketeering case that includes the former president, which is centered on the efforts from Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election results. She was the third lawyer in the last week who pleaded guilty and agreed to testify in the case, along with Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro.
Ellis, Trump and 17 others were charged earlier this year in a 41-count indictment in Fulton County, Ga., that accused them of operating as a “criminal organization” as they sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia.
Ellis worked behind the scenes with lawyer Rudy Giuliani as part of a broader effort to reverse Trump’s loss in the 2020 election and even met with state lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Arizona, according to a final report from the now-disbanded House select committee that examined the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
The Georgia indictment also accused Giuliani and Ellis of placing a post-election phone call to the speaker of the Pennsylvania House, urging him to “unlawfully appoint presidential electors from Pennsylvania.”
Ellis was charged with two counts, one of which was under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law, known as RICO.
Judge Scott McAfee said Ellis would plead guilty to one count of “aiding and abetting false statements and writings.” McAfee accepted the plea and said the agreement would mean that Ellis would serve five years of probation, pay $5,000 in restitution, complete 100 hours of community service and testify truthfully in any future legal proceedings in the case.
Ellis tearfully addressed the court on Tuesday and said she apologizes to the people of Georgia.
Ellis said she relied on other people, including lawyers with more experience than her, to give her true and reliable information, particularly since her role involved talking with lawmakers and the media.
“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 in court. “In the frenetic pace of attempting to raise challenges to the election in several states, including Georgia, I failed to do my due diligence.”
“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,” she said.
Last week, McAfee oversaw guilty pleas from Chesebro, who prosecutors say played a role in the pro-Trump 2020 alternative elector plan, and Sidney Powell, a central lawyer in Trump’s efforts to reverse his loss in the 2020 presidential election.