Just days after Sidney Powell pled guilty in Georgia, former Donald Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis is doing the same.
Ellis gave a tearful statement to the judge after pleading guilty to one felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and will now face years of probation and a fine.
“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.
What Ellis is admitting to her plea deal isn’t ambiguous or contained. She has directly implicated former Trump lawyers Rudy Guiliani and Ray Smith, who have pleaded not guilty to a far wider range of charges than Ellis was dealing with. According to her, she assisted them in making “false statements” to Georgia lawmakers during a legislative hearing, a setting which put all of them in legal peril.
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.
Are these defendants pleading guilty simply to avoid jail time, signaling that Fani Willis’ case is weak? That’s been the speculation of many on the right following the guilty pleas of Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell. But while Powell’s deal was lowered to a misdemeanor, Chesebro and Ellis have both now pleaded guilty to felonies, which represents an escalation. These are convictions that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
Certainly, there is reason to believe that putting one’s life in the hands of a Fulton County jury is far less preferable than probation and a criminal record given the circumstances. With that said, all of these guilty pleas include provisions for cooperation and testimony, and Ellis’ agreement is not good news for Guiliani and Smith, and by virtue, Donald Trump, who is at the head of Willis’ pursuit.