Jenna Ellis Plea Deal Sparks Calls for Return of $216,000 Raised in Legal Defense Funds

Jenna Ellis speaks with her attorney Franklin Hogue after Ellis plead guilty to a felony c
AP Photo/John Bazemore, Pool

Former Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis pled guilty to a felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings in connection to the Trump campaign’s 2020 election challenge after hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised for her legal defense fund. 

Fulton County Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis initially charged Ellis with two counts, one of which was under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization’s Act (RICO), and the other was Solicitation of Violation of Oath Office, as Breitbart News noted. 

Her legal team at Melito Law LLC established a legal defense fund for Ellis through GiveSendGo, which had raised $216,431 as of Tuesday morning.

Jenna Ellis reads a statement after she plead guilty to a felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings, inside Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee’s Fulton County Courtroom, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, in Atlanta. Ellis, an attorney and prominent conservative media figure, reached a deal with prosecutors Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, and pleaded guilty to a reduced charge over efforts to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, Pool)

Ellis did not immediately respond to a comment request from Breitbart News asking if she planned to return the funds as she is not going to trial and accepted the plea deal. 

As of this writing, there is still an option to donate to the fund, though some on social media are calling for her to return the money.

Just days ago, Ellis posted the link to her defense fund on Twitter. 

On Saturday, Never Trumper and former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) trolled Ellis in a post on X, suggesting she “might want to plea out now” while highlighting her Twitter profile, stating she is “A servant to Jesus.”

“Are you familiar with the ‘trial’ and execution of Jesus, Adam?” She responded. “You might want to actually read the Gospel and understand the history here before making frivolous claims about Christ to score twitter points. “

“And thanks for highlighting my legal defense fund!” She wrote in a follow-up post. 

Ellis cried while she addressed the court and invoked her religion at the beginning of the statement. 

“As an attorney who is also a Christian, I take my responsibilities as a lawyer very seriously, and I endeavor to be a person of sound moral and ethical character in all of my dealings,” she said, fighting through tears. 

“In the wake of the 2020 presidential election, I believed that challenging the results on behalf of President Trump should be pursued in a just and legal way,” she added. 

Ellis said she was relying on more senior lawyers working on the challenge “to provide [her] with true and reliable information, especially since [her] role involved speaking to the media and to legislators in various states.” 

Ellis said she did not corroborate the information she received from these attorneys. 

“In the frenetic place of attempting to raise challenges to the election in several states, including Georgia, I failed to do my due diligence,” she said, noting she would not have represented Trump “if I knew then what I know now.”

This booking photo provided by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office shows Jenna Ellis on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, in Atlanta, after she surrendered and was booked. (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

 According to Politico, she will “cooperate with prosecutors in future proceedings, serve five years of probation, pay $5,000 in restitution and write a letter of apology.”

After the indictment came down in August against Ellis, Trump, and 16 other co-defendents, Ellis joined Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Sunday to criticize the indictment.

“This is criminalizing the practice of law, and this is something that every American, regardless of whether you are pro-Trump, against Trump, love him, hate him, Democrat, Republican, anything – this is all about standing firm for not only the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental right in America to petition the government for redress,” she said. 


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