Ms. Ellis, 38, pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding and abetting false statements and writings, a felony. She is the fourth defendant to plead guilty in the Georgia case, which charged Mr. Trump and 18 others with conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Mr. Trump’s favor.
Ms. Ellis agreed to be sentenced to five years of probation, pay $5,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service. She has already written an apology letter to the citizens of Georgia, and she agreed to cooperate fully with prosecutors as the case progresses.
Ms. Ellis, unlike the other defendants who have pleaded guilty, asked the court to let her give a statement. She cried as she rose from the defense table and said, “As an attorney who is also a Christian, I take my responsibilities as a lawyer very seriously.”
She said that after Mr. Trump’s defeat in 2020, she believed that challenging the election results on his behalf should have been pursued in a “just and legal way.” But she said that she had relied on information provided by other lawyers, including some “with many more years of experience than I,” and failed to do her “due diligence” in checking the veracity of their claims.
“If I knew then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these postelection challenges,” Ms. Ellis told Judge Scott McAfee of Fulton County Superior Court. “I look back on this experience with deep remorse. For those failures of mine, your honor, I’ve taken responsibility already before the Colorado bar, who censured me, and I now take responsibility before this court and apologize to the people of Georgia.”
In March, Ms. Ellis admitted in a sworn statement in Colorado, her home state, that she had knowingly misrepresented the facts in several public claims that widespread voting fraud had occurred and had led to Mr. Trump’s defeat. Those admissions were part of an agreement Ms. Ellis made to accept public censure and settle disciplinary measures brought against her by state bar officials in Colorado.
Though she is still able to practice law in Colorado, the group that brought the original complaint against her, leading to the censure, said on Tuesday that new action would be coming.
“We do plan to file a new complaint in Colorado based on the guilty plea, so that the bar can assess the matter in light of her criminal conduct,” said Michael Teter, managing director of the 65 Project, a bipartisan legal watchdog group.
So she’s not quite getting her stories straight.
In other news that is a surprise to me, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) won the nomination for speaker today. Emmer is one of the small minority of candidates who voted to certify the 2020 election, which probably means the Freedom Caucus crew won’t vote for him. Emmer got 117 votes in the Republican caucus. Coming in second with 95 votes was Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana, who did not vote to certify the 2020 election. Then the House Republicans had an internal roll call to see if Emmer could get to 217. But he fell more than 20 votes short. It’s not clear to me what’s going to happen next.
Michael Cohen testified today in Trump’s New York civil fraud trial. Trump was in the courtroom, I believe. I’m sure there will be more commentary on this soon.
Former president Donald Trump launched a multipronged legal attack late Monday on his federal prosecution for allegedly subverting the results of the 2020 election, saying his actions were protected by the First Amendment as political speech and arguing that he cannot be tried in criminal court for attempting to block Joe Biden’s victory, because he was already impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate.
I’m not sure the fake electors scheme, among other things, qualifies as “political speech.” And I’ve heard all over the place that an impeachment trial in the Senate can’t count as “double jeopardy” because it is outside the judicial system, and a conviction would not have resulted in any sort of criminal or civil charges, just removal from office. What this tells me is that Trump’s lawyers just file whatever he tells them to file and do their best to make it look less ridiculous than it is.
Another flip? Mark Meadows has been granted immunity by Jack Smith’s team, I believe in the J6 case.
Meadows informed Smith’s team that he repeatedly told Trump in the weeks after the 2020 presidential election that the allegations of significant voting fraud coming to them were baseless, a striking break from Trump’s prolific rhetoric regarding the election.
According to the sources, Meadows also told the federal investigators Trump was being “dishonest” with the public when he first claimed to have won the election only hours after polls closed on Nov. 3, 2020, before final results were in.
Update: Meadows is throwing cold water on this story, which was reported by ABC News. See Emptywheel for details.
Emmer Dropped Out. So what if the House Dems recruited Liz Cheney and got some Republican to nominate her? She’d need, what, five or six Republican votes? At least she’d not work with Trump and would bring aid to Israel and Ukraine to a vote.