UPDATE: The New York Times takes note of Jenna Ellis’ lack of contrition:
In a message posted on Twitter Thursday morning, Ms. Ellis sought to split hairs concerning her agreement with officials in Colorado, saying that she never admitted to lying about election fraud, which she asserted “requires INTENTIONALLY making a false statement.”
But in her stipulation with bar officials, she agreed that censure was merited when lawyers “knowingly engage” in any “conduct that involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.”
“It appears that Ms. Ellis is continuing in her pattern of knowing misrepresentations and falsehoods,” Michael Teter, the managing director of the 65 Project, said on Thursday. “If she continues down this path, it will not be long before she is subject to further disciplinary action.”
Colorado Newsline’s Quentin Young broke the major news just after 5:00pm yesterday that former couptorney for ex-President Donald Trump, Jenna Ellis, has been formally censured by the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel for her many false statements about the 2020 presidential election leading up to the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021:
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.”
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…
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.
Ernest Luning of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog:
Ellis acknowledged in the agreement released on Wednesday that she violated a professional rule that prohibits attorneys from making “reckless, knowing, or intentional misrepresentations.” Large wrote in his opinion that she did so “with a mental state that was ‘at least reckless,'” describing a legal standard for assessing disciplinary options.
A longtime luminary in Colorado’s conservative political circles, Ellis shot to national prominence as part of the team of Trump’s lawyers and legal advisors who attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, including by filing dozens of failed lawsuits alleging election fraud.
Ellis taught classes for several years at Lakewood-based Colorado Christian University and is currently a fellow in constitutional law and policy at the school’s Centennial Institute.
Here is the heart of the censure agreement between the state and Ellis. The precise language is important:
Respondent and the People agree that Respondent made ten misrepresentations on Twitter and to nationally televised audiences in her capacity as personal counsel to the then-President of the United States and as counsel for his reelection campaign. The parties agree that Respondent made these statements, which violated Colo. RPC 8.4(c), with at least a reckless state of mind. [Pols emphasis] The parties agree that Respondent was not counsel of record in any lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results. The parties agree 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 [Pols emphasis]—while one factor, her lack of prior discipline, mitigates her misconduct.
Make no mistake, this is a major development: one of Trump’s closest attorneys admitted in court documents that Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud in 2020 were false. That’s at least as significant as the recent revelations stemming from court filings in the libel suit from Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems that the prime-time hosts at FOX News were all aware that Trump’s election fraud claims were garbage–yet continued to push them for political and financial motives. When you consider how pervasive and widespread the “Big Lie” has become, with a majority of Republicans still convinced two years later that Donald Trump should be President, these admissions that everybody involved either knew or should have known it was a lie are incredibly damning.
After a disgrace of this magnitude, most people would take a step back and re-evaluate their life choices. But in a defiant extended Twitter screed early this morning, Jenna Ellis made it clear that she is…well, not most people:
The politically-motivated Left failed miserably in their attempt to destroy me. They’re now trying to falsely discredit me by saying I admitted I lied.
That is FALSE. I would NEVER lie. Lying requires INTENTIONALLY making a false statement.
I never did that, nor did I stipulate to or admit that…
Ellis goes on to make a load-bearing distinction between “deceit” and “misrepresentation.”
As has become sadly typical, the opposition-controlled media is intentionally twisting the truth, conflating the full RPC standard with the actual stipulation. The standard reads, “dishonesty, fraud, deceit, OR misrepresentation.”
Now for starters, just like Rupert Murdoch in the FOX News defamation trial we’re way past arguing over whether the 2020 presidential election was actually stolen from Donald Trump. All parties concede it was not. What we’re arguing about apparently is whether Ellis knowingly made the numerous false statements attributed to her while she was working for Trump. The language of this censure was negotiated between regulators and Ellis’ attorneys, and it looks like the kindest interpretation Ellis could get the court to agree to was “at least a reckless state of mind.”
It’s just gobsmacking to us that after conceding that the entire basis of her campaign of
lies “misrepresentations” was false, Ellis still thinks there’s value in arguing whether her actions were intentional or merely “at least reckless.” After admitting that the 2020 presidential election was not stolen from Donald Trump, and that her repeated claims to the contrary amounted to a “pattern of misconduct,” nobody cares whether Ellis “intentionally” lied or not. Ellis has no credibility either way. Ellis was a bit player in a much larger conspiracy to undermine American democracy, and that’s the only reason we’re talking about her at all.
All the same, let the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel know that Ellis isn’t exactly repentant.