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Former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis censured by Colorado judge for false statements

Ellis acknowledged in state disciplinary proceedings she made false statements about the 2020 election to mislead the public

Jenna Ellis speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington on Nov. 19, 2020. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
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A Colorado judge has censured Jenna Ellis, a former senior legal adviser to Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign who admitted in state disciplinary proceedings that she made at least 10 false statements about the 2020 election as part of an effort to mislead the public, according to court documents.

Bryon M. Large, Colorado’s presiding disciplinary judge, wrote in a six-page opinion signed Wednesday that Ellis had “repeatedly made misrepresentations on national television and on Twitter, undermining the American public’s confidence in the 2020 presidential election.”

Ellis signed a legal acknowledgment that “she made a number of public statements about the November 2020 presidential election that were false” and did so with a “reckless state of mind” and with “a selfish motive,” according to documents released by Colorado’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.

Many of those statements were made in interviews on Fox News. Ellis claimed in one appearance “that there was widespread fraud in this election” and that “we know that President Trump won in a landslide.” The cable news channel is now facing its own lawsuit over whether its executives, producers and on-air hosts knew the statements being made on their platform were false.

Ellis and her attorney deemed the outcome a success, noting that she did not lose her law license in Colorado. She is required to pay $224 as part of the stipulation.

“This was politically motivated from the start from Democrats and Never Trumpers,” Ellis said in a statement to The Washington Post on Thursday. “They ultimately failed to destroy me and failed in their attempt to deprive me of my bar license. I’m glad to have this behind me and remain in good standing in the State of Colorado.”

Ellis had been under investigation by Colorado Attorney Regulation Counsel Jessica Yates, who handles accusations of lawyer wrongdoing.

“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’s office said in a statement.

Ellis is the latest of Trump’s legal aides to draw scrutiny for their conduct in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Former Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jeffrey Clark are facing challenges for the revocation of law licenses and ethics charges, respectively, in D.C. John Eastman is preparing for similar action in California.

Ellis is the first of the cohort to acknowledge in public that comments she made surrounding the 2020 election were false. Others who espoused baseless accusations about the 2022 midterms, including Arizona’s Mark Finchem, have had sanctions ordered against them. The media outlet Newsmax was required to issue retractions and an apology for false comments that it aired about the 2020 election as part of a settlement with voting systems company Dominion.

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