Jenna Ellis, a former lawyer for Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, has pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting false statements in a scheme to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. She is the third attorney associated with the former president to accept a plea deal in the sweeping criminal racketeering case that also involves Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, and other Trump allies.
Ellis appeared in Fulton County court on Tuesday morning for what appeared to be an unscheduled hearing, an indication of a potential plea deal. She admitted that she helped draft and disseminate false affidavits claiming that Georgia’s election was rigged and that Trump had won the state by a landslide. She also acknowledged that she knew these statements were false and that they were intended to pressure Georgia officials to overturn the election results.
As part of her plea agreement, Ellis agreed to cooperate with Fulton County prosecutors and testify against her co-defendants. She was sentenced to five years of probation, 100 hours of community service, and ordered to write an apology letter to the people of Georgia. She also agreed to pay a $10,000 fine and forfeit her law license in Georgia.
Ellis’s guilty plea follows those of Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, who also pleaded guilty last week to similar charges. Powell was a former Trump campaign lawyer who promoted the baseless conspiracy theory that voting machines were manipulated by foreign actors to steal the election from Trump. Chesebro was a lawyer who helped devise the fake electors plot, in which he and others falsely claimed to be certified electors for Trump and tried to submit fake electoral votes to Congress.
The Fulton County case is one of the most serious legal challenges facing Trump and his allies, who have been accused of engaging in a coordinated effort to subvert the will of the voters and undermine American democracy. The case is being led by Fani Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, who has charged 18 defendants with multiple counts of racketeering, conspiracy, false statements, and other crimes.
Willis has said that she is pursuing the case to uphold the rule of law and protect the integrity of elections. She has also said that she is not afraid of any political backlash or threats from Trump supporters. “I’m not intimidated by anyone,” Willis said in an interview with CNN. "I’m here to do my job.