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Trumpland Lawyer Jenna Ellis Decides She Would Not Like To Go To Prison After All, TYVM
And then there were 15.
This morning in Fulton County Superior Court, Doctor Jenna Ellis Jay Dee Esquire pled guilty to one felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings in violation of O.C.G.A. §16-10-20. She’ll have to pay $5,000 restitution, write an apology letter to the citizens of Georgia, serve five years probation, and testify against all her co-defendants.
You can watch the plea hearing here. Cut to about the 16 minute mark and watch a cheerful, calm person turn on a dime and drop some serious white lady tears as she sniffles through her prepared statement.
“As an attorney who is also a Christian, I take my responsibilities as a lawyer very seriously, and I endeavor to be a person of strong ethical and moral character in all of my dealings,” she informed the court.
Facts not in evidence, Jenna. Facts very much not in evidence!
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At this point in the shitshow, Ellis should require no introduction. We all watched her at that idiotic presser at the RNC where she followed up Rudy’s leaking and Sidney’s ranting with a vow that the Elite Super Friends Derp Squad Strike Force was gonna keep Trump in the White House forever. Then she spent two months toddling along behind Giuliani as he shambled around Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Georgia spewing made up numbers about dead and ineligible voters and accusing every person with melanin of ballot stuffing — all of which Ellis cheerfully parroted.
Or as she put it this morning, “I relied on others, including lawyers with many more years of experience than I, to provide me with true and reliable information, especially since my role involved speaking to the media and to legislators in various states.”
Tell that to Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, Jenna.
Ellis did say one true thing this morning, though, when she represented to the court that she’d “endeavored to represent my client to the best of my ability.”
Ellis started her career as a traffic court lawyer in Weld County, Colorado. After she was terminated, she successfully challenged her denial of unemployment compensation after convincing the hearing officer that she “did the best she could with her education and training” and was simply too incompetent to be fired for cause.
After that, she became a pre-law advisor at a Christian college, then rebranded herself as a constitutional scholar, self-publishing a couple of books on the “vile and abominable” sin of homosexuality generally and marriage equality in particular. From there she did a stint in Christian legal griftland, which she parlayed into appearances on Fox, and then it was just a hop, skip, and a jump to Trump world.
Whether Ellis engaged in actual legal work is unclear — her claim to fame, aside from being publicly baptized in flatus by Rudy Giuliani, appears to have been a couple of memos on the Electoral Count Act which were so stupid that even John Eastman couldn’t pretend they were sensible.
Since the election, Ellis accepted censure by the state bar in Colorado, admitting that she made false statements when she claimed Trump had won the 2020 election “by a landslide” and said that Hillary Clinton had never conceded in 2016. She followed that up by taking to social media to deny what she’d just stipulated.
“I would NEVER lie. Lying requires INTENTIONALLY making a false statement,” she rage tweeted, vowing to “continue speaking truth to the best of my ability and zealously advocating for due process, having learned I can do so in media even more carefully, while NEVER backing down to the political opposition mob who would seek to destroy me, my vocation, my mission, and my voice.”
Presumably she’ll be online later to explain how copping to a felony and “tak[ing] responsibility before this court and apologiz[ing] to the people of Georgia” is NOT an admission of guilt AT ALL.
Ellis, who recently complained that Trump’s PAC wasn’t paying her legal bills, becomes the fourth Fulton County RICO defendant to accept a plea deal. On September 29, Georgia bail bondsman Scott Hall, who coordinated with the campaign and played a role in the breach of Coffee County voting machines, pled guilty to four misdemeanors. Then last week, on the eve of her scheduled trial, Kraken lawyer Sidney Powell accepted six misdemeanor counts. Powell and fellow attorney Kenneth Chesebro asserted their right to a speedy trial and were scheduled to begin jury selection on Friday morning. But in the event, Chesebro pled guilty on Friday afternoon to one felony count of conspiracy to file false documents.
Wanna watch? Have at it.
Since we did not get to talk about it last week, let’s briefly talk about this melted slice of American cheese, shall we?
Ken Cheseboro was a weird, nerdy protegé of Prof. Larry Tribe who basically holed up in the Harvard Law library for 25 years writing appellate briefs before striking it rich with Bitcoin in 2014 and deciding that, on second thought, progressive tax policy was bad actually. After the Trump campaign’s Wisconsin lawyer James Troupis reached out to him, Chesebro drafted a series of memos which began with legal advice premised on the contingency that a court or legislature might flip a swing state’s vote, and ended with a blatantly illegal plan to have Pence toss out electoral ballots.
Along the way Chesebro and the rest of the Trump coup lawyers made sure to take as many notes as possible on the criminal fucking conspiracy they were masterminding.
“I particularly agree that getting this on file gives more ammo to the justices fighting for the court to intervene. I think the odds of action before Jan. 6 will become more favorable if the justices start to fear that there will be ‘wild’ chaos on Jan. 6 unless they rule by then, either way,” he wrote to John Eastman in a December 24, 2020, email reported by the New York Times.
In September, Chesebro rejected a deal that would have forced him to plead to a felony. But last week Judge Scott McAfee tossed his motion to dismiss on Supremacy Clause and First Amendment grounds, and then shitcanned his attempt to get the memos excluded based on attorney-client privilege. Worse still, the court made a lot of mean words about CRIME-FRAUD EXCEPTION, which is a weird thing judges keep saying with respect to Donald Trump’s lawyers! That seems to have been a Come to Jesus moment for the Cheese, who decided that maybe there are worse things in life than a felony. He pled guilty on Friday afternoon, sparing Fulton County DA Fani Willis the trouble of having to show the remaining defendants her entire case before their own trials.
In defense of Cheseboro, he did not get up in court and shed hot tears for Jesus. Nor did he try to weasel out of his probation by saying he had to get home to the little woman. Our girl Jenna, however, went full white girl, insisting that she could not possibly stick around while Georgia probation officials liaised with their Florida counterparts to get her squared away. She had a 2 p.m. flight to catch, and prevailed upon Judge McAfee to spare her complying with the very conditions she’d just agreed to five minutes earlier. The judge made some vague gestures toward working it out off the record, and the hearing was adjourned.
Let’s see if Pumpkin Spice Barbie actually gets on that plane this afternoon. Could be the fastest revocation of probation yet!
Catch Liz Dye on Opening Arguments podcast.
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