Jenna Ellis, an attorney and conservative media figure, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a reduced charge over efforts to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia, tearfully telling the judge she looks back on that time with “deep remorse,” the Associated Press reports. Ellis, the fourth defendant in the case to enter a plea deal with prosecutors, was a vocal part of Trump’s reelection campaign in the last presidential cycle and was charged alongside the former president and 17 others with violating the state’s anti-racketeering law. Ellis pleaded guilty to a felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings. She had faced charges of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and soliciting the violation of oath by a public officer. After pleading guilty, Ellis, 38, fought back tears as she said she would have not have represented Trump after the election if she knew then what she knows now, saying she relied on experienced lawyers and failed to verify the things they told her.
The guilty plea came days after fellow attorneys Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro entered guilty pleas. Now, three high-profile people responsible for filing baseless legal challenges to Joe Biden's 2020 election victory have agreed to accept responsibility rather than take their chances before a jury. Ellis was sentenced to five years of probation along with $5,000 in restitution, 100 hours of community service, writing an apology letter to Georgia residents and testifying truthfully in trials related to this case. The pleas and the favorable punishment — probation rather than jail — could foreshadow similar outcomes for other defendants who may see an admission of guilt and cooperation as their best hope for leniency. Their value as witnesses against Trump is unclear given that their participation in unfounded schemes will expose them to attacks on their credibility and bruising cross-examinations.