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Jenna Ellis


Jenna Ellis is a right-wing Christian lawyer who served as a legal adviser to Trump during his final year in office, becoming part of what she called a legal “elite strike force team” that aggressively challenged the outcome of the 2020 election. Although she has never litigated in a federal or district court, she describes herself as a “constitutional law attorney.”

With a law degree from the University of Richmond in Virginia, Ellis began her legal career as a deputy district attorney in Weld County, a rural area of Colorado. She later worked at the Dobson Policy Institute — run by evangelical activist James Dobson, who advocates for such so-called “family values” as corporal punishment and intolerance of LGBTQ rights.

When Trump first ran for president in 2016, Ellis was repeatedly critical on social media, calling him an “unethical, corrupt, lying, criminal, dirtbag,” among many other colorful epithets. In one Facebook post, she wrote: “I could spend a full-time job just responding to the ridiculously illogical, inconsistent, and blatantly stupid arguments supporting Trump. But here’s the thing: his supporters DON’T CARE about facts or logic. They aren’t seeking truth. Trump probably could shoot someone in the middle of NYC and not lose support. And this is the cumulative reason why this nation is in such terrible shape: We don’t have truth seekers; we have narcissists.” By 2019, she had become equally uninterested in truth or facts and joined Trump’s legal team.

After Ellis was indicted in Georgia in August 2023, she pleaded guilty on Oct. 24, becoming the fourth defendant to strike a plea deal in the case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. The sprawling indictment charged Trump and 18 co-defendants with conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and violating the state’s anti-racketeering law.

In addressing a courtroom in Atlanta in October 2023, Ellis expressed regret for taking part in those efforts and pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of aiding and abetting false statements and writings. Like the other defendants who have pleaded guilty so far, she agreed to potentially testify against Trump and fully cooperate with prosecutors as the case unfolds.

January 6, 2021

  • On Dec. 31, 2020, Ellis delivered a memo to Trump arguing that Vice President Mike Pence should not certify Electoral College votes from any states where Trump and his allies believed fraud had occurred. On Jan. 4, 2021, she made the same argument on the pro-Trump media channel Real America’s Voice. Politico points out that her grasp of constitutional powers is “widely disputed” by legal authorities.
  • On Jan. 5, 2021, Ellis issued a second memo addressed to Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow arguing that elements of the Electoral Count Act were unconstitutional and that Pence could and should stop the electoral vote count early in the process the following day. 
  • Ellis is a member of Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a group that participated in the Jan. 6 March to Save America rally that devolved into the violent attack on the Capitol that afternoon.
  • After angry Trump supporters attacked the Capitol, Ellis downplayed the significance of the event, claiming on Nov. 9, 2021, that “January 6 is the new Russia Collusion. Democrats will continue to drive this propaganda until they come up with a new way to try to push Trump and his supporters aside.” 
  • In January 2022, Ellis was subpoenaed by the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection. In response to the subpoena, she tweeted that members of the committee are “just mad they can’t date me.”

The Big Lie

  • On Nov. 9, 2020, Ellis tweeted: “Election fraud = national security threat,” a militant endorsement of right-wing claims that Biden had stolen the election.
  • On Nov. 20, 2020, Ellis joined fellow Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell at a press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters where they presented false evidence of election fraud.
  • Ellis also travelled to Pennsylvania, Arizona and Michigan with Giuliani in order to convince elected officials to replace their states’ legally selected electors with others who would instead cast votes for Trump.
  • During this period, Ellis allegedly met with members of Georgia’s Senate Judiciary Subcommittee to urge them to appoint a second set of electors.
  • In the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 congressional procedure for certifying the election, Ellis continued to use her platform of over 897,000 followers on Twitter to issue false and misleading statements about the election. On Dec. 3, for example, she recycled the viral — and discredited — theory that Georgia elections officials had counted fraudulent ballots after ejecting observers from the room. “The VIDEO EVIDENCE being shown in the Georgia Senate Hearing is SHOCKING,” she tweeted. “Room cleared at 10:30pm. 4 people stay behind. Thousands of ballots pulled from under a table in suitcases and scanned. FRAUD!!!” Her tweet drew 108,000 “likes.” 
  • In the year following the election, Ellis continued to double down on the lie that the election had been stolen. In June 2021, for example, she wrote an article for Newsmax, a pro-Trump news outlet, claiming: “We have a system that is still the best government system ever designed. It isn’t perfect, and we saw clearly ways that it could be ignored, manipulated, and outright discarded in 2020.” 
  • In March 2023, the Colorado Supreme Court censured Ellis for perpetuating the Big Lie, but allowed her to keep her bar license in good standing because she agreed that she made 10 specific misrepresentations.
  • On August 14, 2023, a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia indicted Trump, Ellis and 17 co-defendants for violating 16 state statutes in their plot to sabotage the 2020 presidential election results in the state. She was charged with two felonies: violation of the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act and solicitation of the violation of oath by a public officer.
  • Shortly after the Georgia indictment, Ellis, who lives in Florida, was defiant, posting on X (formerly Twitter): “The Democrats and the Fulton County DA are criminalizing the practice of law. I am resolved to trust the Lord.”
  • In September 2023, Ellis finally indicated that her loyalty to Trump had limits. Speaking on her Christian broadcasting radio show, she called the ex-president “a friend” for whom she has “great love and respect.” But she added that she could no longer support him politically due to his “malignant narcissistic tendency to simply say that he’s never done anything wrong.”
  • On Oct. 24, 2023, Ellis made a statement in court as she pleaded guilty to a single felony in the election conspiracy charges brought against her in Georgia, telling the judge, “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 experience with deep remorse. For those failures of mine, your honor, I’ve taken responsibility already before the Colorado bar, who censured me, and I now take responsibility before this court and apologize to the people of Georgia.”

Election Audits

  • Ellis used her podcast Just the Truth With Jenna Ellis and her platform on Twitter to voice support for partisan election audits in multiple states. 
    • In a June 6, 2021, episode of her podcast, Ellis invited Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward and Arizona State Rep. Jake Hoffman to discuss the Maricopa County election audit. 
    • On Twitter she has endorsed audits and audit attempts in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Texas.

Post-2020 Election Subversion

  • On Sept. 7, 2021, Ellis endorsed Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Ariz.), an election denier who pushed to overturn the 2020 election, for secretary of state in Arizona, a role that would have given him oversight of all aspects of elections and the voting process in Arizona.