Jenna Ellis isn’t the first name that comes up when thinking of attorneys for Donald Trump. But then, with Sidney Powell plotting to take control of the voting machines, Rudy Giuliani heading to court to face charges of being “a sexist sexual predator and abuser,” Jeffrey Clark under investigation for his scheme to become attorney general by overthrowing the government, John Eastman creating a blueprint for an American coup, and a whole legal team being hit with a $900,000 fine for “a continuing pattern of misuse of the courts,” that understandable. It can be a challenge to stand out among such … stars.
Even in 2020, Ellis was known as the “quiet member” of Trump’s “elite legal strike force.” Which didn’t mean she was ever less than awful. In addition to calling President Biden, seven-time Olympic medal winner Simone Biles, and gold medal-winning soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe “losers,” she went on Facebook to call gay people “vile and abominable.” She’s also made a career out of lying about her career, falsely claiming to be a “constitutional law professor” and frequently appearing as an expert on areas in which she has neither experience nor training.
Now Ellis’ lies have finally caught up to her. On Wednesday, a disciplinary judge appointed by the Supreme Court of Colorado issued a censure for lies Ellis promoted while working for Trump.
While serving as a senior legal advisor to the then President of the United States and as counsel for his reelection campaign, Jenna Lynn Ellis (“Respondent”) repeatedly made misrepresentations on national television and on Twitter, undermining the American public’s confidence in the 2020 presidential election. The parties stipulate that Respondent’s misconduct warrants public censure, and the Presiding Disciplinary Judge (“the Court”) approves the parties’ stipulation.
The complaint against Ellis focuses on at least 10 incidents in which she made statements while working as Trump’s attorney, either on television or on social media, in which she made false claims about the election. That list includes claims of having affidavits that didn’t exist, witnesses that never came forward, and proof of election fraud she never produced. Some of these statements were vague (i.e., “we will present testimonial and other evidence IN COURT to show how this election was STOLEN!”) others were explicit ("We have over 500,000 votes [in Arizona] that were cast illegally”).
All of them were simply lies. What may be most remarkable is that Ellis agreed they were lies. Not only that, she agreed that they were made with “a reckless state of mind” and …
...that Respondent, through her conduct, undermined the American public’s confidence in the presidential election, violating her duty of candor to the public. Finally,the parties agree that two aggravators apply—Respondent had a selfish motive and she engaged in a pattern of misconduct...
In other words, Ellis admitted that she lied, that she did so recklessly, that she did it repeatedly, that she did it for selfish reasons, that it was done in violation of the rules surrounding her role as an attorney, and that it undermined public confidence in the election. That’s quite an admission.
For all this Ellis will get what amounts to a black mark on her permanent record and … that’s it. She remains a practicing attorney “in good standing.” Let that be a lesson to you, attorneys who lie repeatedly in ways that threaten the whole damned nation.
In the spirit of all Trump supporters caught red-handed, she’s also right back on Twitter showing her contrition.
Ellis is, of course, a “Twitter Blue” member so her full response sprawls on at length, explaining how her lie wasn’t really a lie because it was just “dishonesty, fraud, deceit, OR misrepresentation.” Somehow, she believes that does not mean “lie, lie, lie, or lie.”
In any case, she immediately returned to attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci, promoting a conspiracy theory that President Joe Biden has brain damage, and making fun of Mitch McConnell’s fall. That’s all spaced out with some bible quotes, because she’s just that Christian.
Ellis’ word has always been her bond. Where bond means whatever it takes to collect a paycheck and a dash of attention on any given day. As CNN noted, back in 2016 Ellis repeatedly called Trump “an idiot,” as well as “a bully.” She said the statements that he made were “disgusting,” that he was “not a real Christian,” and had this to say about Trump supporters:
“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.”
If anything, Ellis was astoundingly prescient, as everything she ascribed to Trump supporters almost perfectly described where she would go by 2020.
Unsurprisingly, it was just over a year later when Ellis was on television as a “legal analyst” supporting Trump and attacking the Department of Justice for their investigation into his campaign. In fact, it was her willingness to ignore those old facts and logic and her enthusiastic disregard for the truth that put her on the fast track to becoming part of Team Trump.
As The New York Times pointed out in 2020, Ellis was not exactly a legal superstar when Trump tapped her for his “elite” team. She wasn’t even a candle. Her credentials as a “constitutional law attorney” seemed to have been pulled straight from her nethers, though she did claim to be a “professor of constitutional law” while writing for right-wing rag The Washington Examiner. The truth was that the only teaching Ellis had done was a couple of semesters teaching pre-law classes for undergraduates at Colorado Christian as an “affiliate faculty member.”
However, she had the one vital quality required by Trump.
Those who know Ms. Ellis said they imagined that her willingness to say almost anything in the president’s defense was what he found appealing about her.
The Supreme Court of Colorado agrees. Too bad they also agreed that it wasn’t worth even a slap on the wrist.
Markos and Kerry luxuriate in the battle going on between Donald Trump’s ascending fascism and Mitch McConnell’s disappearing neocon establishment. The fighting has become much sharper recently as the MAGA-media outlet Fox News has traveled further and further away from reality.