CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Former Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis pleads guilty in Georgia case

Oct 24, 2023, 8:21 AM | Updated: 8:30 am

FILE - Jenna Ellis, a former member of then-President Donald Trump's legal team, speaks during a ne...

FILE - Jenna Ellis, a former member of then-President Donald Trump's legal team, speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington. Ellis has pleaded guilty to reduced charges over efforts to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia. Ellis is the fourth defendant in the case to enter into a plea deal with prosecutors. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Washington (CNN) — Former Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis has pleaded guilty in the Georgia election subversion case to one count of aiding and abetting false statements and will cooperate with Fulton County prosecutors.

Prosecutors are recommending five years of probation and for Ellis to pay $5,000 in restitution.

Ellis delivered a tearful statement to the judge Tuesday while pleading guilty, disavowing her participation in former President Donald Trump’s unprecedented attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

“If I knew then what I knew now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post-challenges. I look back on this experience with deep remorse,” Ellis said, her voice breaking at times.

She also said, “I failed to do my due diligence.”

“In the wake of the 2020 presidential election, I believed that challenging the results on behalf of President Trump should be pursued in a just and legal way … I endeavored to represent my client to the best of my ability,” she said.

The development comes after back-to-back guilty pleas last week in the sprawling case from former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, who helped devise the fake electors plot.

Ellis has implicated former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in her plea deal by admitting that she aided and abetted the former mayor’s “false statements” to Georgia lawmakers at a December 2020 hearing, where they both peddled baseless voter fraud claims.

She acknowledged that she was “assisting with the execution of” that legislative hearing with Giuliani and another co-defendant, Trump campaign attorney Ray Smith.

Both Giuliani and Smith have pleaded not guilty.

As a result of the deal, Ellis, who has an active online presence, is also banned from posting anything on social media about the case while the proceedings are unfolding against any of the defendants, prosecutors said.

In unrelated disciplinary proceedings in Colorado, where Ellis is a practicing attorney, Ellis admitted that many of her post-election public statements were false, including her claim that the race was “stolen” from Trump. She was censured by a judge and agreed to pay $224, ending the misconduct probe.

She is supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.

After Ellis’ indictment, she publicly complained about the lack of financial support from pro-Trump groups. She has raised more than $216,000 through an online crowdfunding website.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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Former Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis pleads guilty in Georgia case