Judge Censures Trump Lawyer for False Election Statements

Opinion says Jenna Ellis, who maintained 'Trump won by a landslide,' hurt public faith in the 2020 vote
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2023 6:15 PM CST
Judge Censures Trump Lawyer for False Election Statements
Jenna Ellis, then a member of President Donald Trump's legal team, speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters in November 2020 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Jenna Ellis, a lawyer who helped lead former President Donald Trump's effort to overturn President Biden's 2020 victory at the polls, was publicly censured Thursday after admitting she falsely said the election was stolen from her client. Ellis engaging in conduct "involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation," violating the rules of the Colorado bar, a judge wrote in a six-page opinion. Under the agreement, Ellis admitted to making 10 misrepresentations on television and Twitter, including that "Trump won by a landslide," USA Today reports.

Ellis told Fox Business that "ballots were manipulated"; said on Newsmax's Spicer & Co. that "We know the election was stolen"; and claimed on Fox News that 500,000 votes in Arizona "were cast illegally." Her statements undermined "the American public's confidence in the 2020 presidential election," said Judge Bryon Large, who presided over the ethics complaint, per the Wall Street Journal. Ellis nevertheless issued a statement Thursday saying that she didn't lie. "Lying requires intentionally making a false statement," she said. "I never did that, nor did I stipulate to or admit that." In deciding punishment, Large cited Ellis' lack of previous misconduct as a mitigating factor. On the other hand were aggravating factors, which he said were a "selfish motive" and a pattern of misconduct in the case. (More censure stories.)

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