Ex-Trump lawyer admits election “misrepresentations” and “selfish motive” — gets off with a censure

Former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis was censured by a Colorado judge after admitting to multiple “misrepresentations” about the 2020 election being stolen.

Ellis, who served as former President Donald Trump’s legal advisor and accompanied fellow ex-Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani on his crusade to reverse the Republican’s election loss, was publicly censured by Judge Bryon Large, who oversees lawyer discipline cases in the state, according to Colorado Newsline.

Ellis as part of the censure agreed that she violated regulations prohibiting “reckless, knowing, or intentional misrepresentations by attorneys” and that she made a number of public statements while working for Trump “that were false,” the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel said in a statement.

Ellis has been under scrutiny by Colorado Attorney Regulation Counsel Jessica Yates after the nonprofit group States United Democracy Center asked her to investigate Ellis for violating professional regulations.

In an opinion accepting a censure agreement between Ellis and Yates, Large wrote that Ellis agreed that her false claims were made “with at least a reckless state of mind” and that she “through her conduct, undermined the American public’s confidence in the presidential election, violating her duty of candor to the public.” The judge added that a “selfish motive” and “a pattern of misconduct” were aggravating factors in the case.

Yates’ complaint cited 10 misrepresentations by Ellis, including one of her interviews with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo.

“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 in the interview.

During another interview with former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer, Ellis claimed that “we know that the election was stolen from President Trump and we can prove that.”

Ellis also admitted that she falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton did not concede the 2016 election, that Trump’s team found 500,000 illegal votes in Arizona and that Trump’s team had evidence of 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.”

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Courts repeatedly rejected lawsuits seeking to overturn Trump’s loss due to a lack of evidence of any widespread fraud or irregularities. Numerous Trump administration officials and Republican state officials have also acknowledged there is no evidence of any widespread fraud or irregularities.

“Respondent made these misrepresentations on Twitter and on various television programs, including Fox Business, MSNBC, Fox News, and Newsmax,” Large wrote in his opinion. “The parties agree that by making these misrepresentations, Respondent violated [a state attorney rule of conduct], which provides that it is professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.”

Yates’ office said in a statement that she is not pursuing any additional charges against Ellis.

“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,” Yates said.

As part of the censure, Ellis agreed to pay $224.

“My client remains a practicing attorney in good standing in the State of Colorado. In a very heated political climate, we have secured that correct outcome,” Ellis attorney Michael Melito told CNN.

Ellis is the latest Trump attorney involved in the post-election effort to face discipline. Giuliani had his law license temporarily suspended and is facing discipline from the D.C. bar. Attorney John Eastman, who crafted Trump’s Jan. 6 strategy, faces discipline in California. Former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, who was involved in administration discussions about aiding Trump’s effort, is fighting bar discipline proceedings against him.

Some legal experts suggested that Ellis got off easy for her violations.

“Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis repeatedly lied about the 2020 election.  She admits that.  As a result, millions believe the election was stolen,” tweeted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. “Her penalty?  Censure.  She keeps her followers and platform.”

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