Jenna Ellis, a former lawyer for Donald Trump, made headlines on Tuesday when she pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of conspiracy to commit election fraud in Georgia. Ellis was one of the 19 defendants indicted by a grand jury in August for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in favor of Trump. She faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted, but she accepted a plea deal that spared her from jail time and required her to cooperate with prosecutors against her co-defendants.
Jenna Ellis: A Trump Loyalist Turned Cooperating Witness
Jenna Ellis, who was born in Colorado and graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law, joined Trump’s legal team in November 2019 as a senior legal adviser. She became one of the most vocal and visible advocates for Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and election irregularities after he lost to Joe Biden.
Ellis appeared frequently on conservative media outlets and social media platforms, spreading conspiracy theories and false information about the election. She also participated in several lawsuits and legal maneuvers that sought to challenge or overturn the election results in key battleground states, including Georgia.
Jenna Ellis booking photo: pic.twitter.com/85vg79RZXK— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 23, 2023
However, none of these efforts succeeded, and many of them were dismissed or rejected by courts for lack of evidence or merit. Ellis also faced criticism and ridicule from legal experts, journalists, and even some of her former colleagues and mentors for her lack of professionalism and credibility.
In August 2023, Ellis was indicted by a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, along with Trump and 17 other associates, including Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Mark Meadows, and Lindsey Graham. They were accused of conspiring to pressure Georgia officials, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Governor Brian Kemp, to overturn the election results or find more votes for Trump.
The indictment was based on evidence from phone calls, emails, text messages, and other documents that showed how the defendants tried to interfere with Georgia’s election process and certification. The indictment also alleged that the defendants violated Georgia’s racketeering law, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Ellis initially pleaded not guilty to the charges and vowed to fight them in court. She also claimed that she was being persecuted for her political views and that the case was part of a “witch hunt” against Trump and his supporters. She said she was confident that she would be exonerated and that the truth would prevail.
However, on October 24, 2023, Ellis changed her plea to guilty during an unscheduled hearing in Fulton County Superior Court. She admitted that she conspired with others to commit election fraud by attempting to influence Georgia officials to change or falsify the election results. She also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and testify against her co-defendants in exchange for leniency.
As part of her plea deal, Ellis was sentenced to five years of probation and 200 hours of community service. She also had to pay a $10,000 fine and forfeit any money or property obtained from the conspiracy. She was also barred from practicing law in Georgia or any other state.
How Jenna Ellis Raised $200K for Her Legal Defense
Before she pleaded guilty, Ellis received significant financial support from her friends and fans who believed in her cause and wanted to help her with her legal defense. Ellis launched a crowdfunding campaign on GiveSendGo.com, a Christian fundraising platform, where she asked for donations from anyone who wanted to “stand with” her against the “unconstitutional” indictment.
Ellis’ campaign quickly gained traction and attention from prominent figures in the conservative media and political circles. Many of them endorsed Ellis’ campaign and urged their followers to donate to her fund. Some of them included:
- Congressman Chip Roy (R-Texas), who called Ellis a “patriot” and a “friend” who was being “targeted” by the “radical left”.
- Daily Wire host Ben Shapiro, who said Ellis was a “victim” of a “political prosecution” that was “designed to intimidate” Trump supporters.
- One America News’ Liz Wheeler, who said Ellis was “fighting for election integrity” and needed “our help”.
- Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, who said Ellis was “under attack” by the “deep state” and asked his followers to “pray for her”.
- Fox Host Mark Levin, who said Ellis was a “brilliant lawyer” who was being “railroaded” by a “rogue prosecutor”.
- Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, who said Ellis was a “hero” who exposed the “corruption” of the 2020 election.
- Far-right writer Ashley St. Claire, who said Ellis was a “warrior” who deserved “our support”.
- Former congressional candidate Robby Starbuck, who said Ellis was a “fighter” who was being “persecuted” for her “courage”.
There was a pretty large push in conservative media to crowdfund Ellis’ defense — she ended up raising more than $200K. pic.twitter.com/poOREyWQ9a — Andy Kaczynski (@KFILE) October 24, 2023
Ellis’ campaign was also boosted by some of her former clients, including Trump himself, who tweeted his endorsement of her fund and said she was a “great lawyer” who was being “unfairly treated” by the “fake news media” and the “Democrat Party”. He also claimed that the indictment was a “hoax” and a “witch hunt” and that he would “never stop fighting” for the truth.
Ellis’ campaign raised more than $216,000 from over 4,000 donors, according to GiveSendGo.com. Ellis thanked her donors for their generosity and said she was “humbled” and “grateful” for their support. She also said she would use the money to hire the best lawyers and experts to defend her case and prove her innocence.
However, after Ellis pleaded guilty, many of her donors felt betrayed and angry. They accused her of being a “traitor”, a “liar”, a “coward”, and a “sellout”. They demanded that she return their money or donate it to a worthy cause. They also expressed their disappointment and frustration with the conservative media figures who promoted her campaign and misled them into believing that she was innocent and that the case was baseless.
Jenna Ellis’ booking photo became a symbol of her downfall from a loyal Trump lawyer to a cooperating witness in a historic election fraud case. Ellis’ plea deal shocked and angered many of her supporters who had donated to her legal defense fund. Ellis’ case also raised questions about the credibility and accountability of the conservative media figures who endorsed her campaign and spread false information about the election.