Former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis censured in Colorado for false election claims
Jenna Ellis, a member of U.S. President Donald Trump’s legal team, listens to Detroit poll worker Jessi Jacobs during an appearance before the Michigan House Oversight Committee on December 2, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. Rudy Guiliani and the president’s legal team are claiming widespread voter fraud in Michigan and other closely contested states in the November 3 presidential election. The hearing will not change results of the vote in Michigan, which has already been certified. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Jenna Ellis, the Colorado attorney who was former President Donald Trump’s senior legal advisor as he tried to overturn his 2020 election loss, has been censured by a Colorado judge for misconduct.
The public censure order was signed Wednesday by Presiding Disciplinary Judge Bryon M. Large, who oversees lawyer discipline cases in Colorado.
As part of an agreement in the case, Ellis admits that multiple statements she made in late 2020 about the presidential election being stolen were “misrepresentations.”
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Those statements were part of an effort by Trump to reverse President Joe Biden’s victory, and they helped fuel the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. A majority of Republicans, including those running to chair the Colorado Republican Party, continue to doubt the 2020 election results.
Ellis had been under scrutiny by the Colorado Attorney Regulation Counsel Jessica Yates, who investigates allegations of lawyer misconduct, since at least last year when a nonprofit alleged Ellis violated multiple professional rules.
In an opinion accepting a censure agreement between Yates and Ellis, Large noted that Ellis has agreed that her statements about the election being stolen were misrepresentations, which he said were made “with at least a reckless state of mind.” Ellis also agreed that she, “through her conduct, undermined the American public’s confidence in the presidential election, violating her duty of candor to the public,” Large wrote, adding that “a selfish motive” and “a pattern of misconduct” were aggravating factors in the case.
Yates’ complaint cited 10 misrepresentations by Ellis. On Nov. 20, 2020, for example, Ellis made stolen-election claims on Maria Bartiromo’s show on Fox Business and Sean Spicer’s “Spicer & Co.” show.
“We have affidavits from witnesses, we have voter intimidation, we have the ballots that were manipulated, we have all kinds of statistics that show that this was a coordinated effort in all of these states to transfer votes either from Trump to Biden, to manipulate the ballots, to count them in secret,” Ellis falsely said on Bartiromo’s show.
Referring to contested states Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Georgia, she falsely said on Spicer’s show, “With all those states … combined we know that the election was stolen from President Trump and we can prove that.”
One of the false statements cited in the complaint was made by Ellis on her Twitter account, referring to her appearance on a show hosted by Colorado radio personality Dan Caplis: “I spent an hour with @DanCaplis for an in-depth discussion about President @realDonaldTrump’s fight for election integrity, the overwhelming evidence proving this was stolen, and why fact-finding and truth—not politics—matters!”
A statement from Yates’ office said, “The public censure in this matter reinforces that even if engaged in political speech, there is a line attorneys cannot cross, particularly when they are speaking in a representative capacity.”
The statement said the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel is not currently pursuing any other charges against Ellis.
Ellis appears among key Trump-aligned figures in the final report of the U.S. House panel that investigated the Jan. 6 insurrection, which concluded that the attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of a Trump-led “multi-part conspiracy to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 Presidential election.”
Her public censure is effective immediately.
An attempt to reach Ellis for comment was not immediately successful.
This story was originally produced by Colorado Newsline which is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus, including the Daily Montanan, supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity.
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