Local attorney Jenna Ellis, who rose to a dubious kind of fame from relative obscurity as a Colorado Christian University instructor with little real-world legal experience joining the team of lawyers working on now ex-President Donald Trump’s behalf to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election by any means necessary, has built a reputation for…well, smugness in the face of increasingly serious allegations against her. When subpoenaed by the Select Committee investigation into the January 6th insurrection, Ellis cracked that “the committee is just mad they can’t date me.”
But as the AP reports, Ellis lost a court battle yesterday over whether she should be compelled to testify before a grand jury in Georgia investigating Trump’s attempts to coerce local officials into overturning the results of the election:
In the petition seeking Ellis’s testimony, [Fulton County DA Fani] Willis identified her as “an attorney for the Trump Campaign’s legal efforts seeking to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”
Ellis appeared with Giuliani at a Dec. 3, 2020, state Senate committee hearing at the Georgia Capitol during which false allegations of election fraud were made, Willis wrote. She also wrote at least two legal memos to Trump and his attorneys advising that then-Vice President Mike Pence should “disregard certified electoral college votes from Georgia and other purportedly ‘contested’ states” when Congress met to certify the election results on Jan. 6, 2021, the petition says.
Evidence shows that Ellis’s actions were “part of a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere,” Willis wrote.
In May, a DC-based legal watchdog group filed a complaint with the Colorado Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel summarizing Ellis’ role in Trump’s coup plot and asking for Ellis’ Colorado law license to be suspended like Ellis’ former boss Rudy Giuliani’s law license was suspended in New York. Unfortunately, Colorado’s attorney oversight does not appear based on a number of recent unpursued complaints to be nearly as robust as New York’s–which we hope doesn’t become common knowledge among the Saul Goodmans of the world.
But as we know today, attorney oversight is not the only path to accountability for Jenna Ellis. Ellis lied to a lot of people in a lot of places in a brazen, unprecedented attempt to subvert American democracy. Society should not reward Ellis with cash and prizes and TV news appearances for that, but since January 6th, 2021 Ellis has prospered even while her co-conspirators face the heat.
That needs to end. Hopefully, this is the first step.