Former Trump lawyer censured by Colorado judge for falsehoods about election

Jenna Ellis
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Jenna Ellis, a former member of then-President Donald Trump’s legal team, speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington.

By Nicholas Riccardi/AP

Jenna Ellis, a former attorney for Donald Trump's reelection campaign and a prominent conservative media figure, has been censured by Colorado legal officials after admitting she made repeated false statements about the 2020 presidential election.

Ellis acknowledged making 10 “misrepresentations” on television and Twitter during Trump's fight to stay in power after losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden, according to the censure from the office of attorney regulation counsel in Colorado, where Ellis is from. The statements include claiming on Jeanine Pirro's Fox News show on Dec. 5, 2020 that “we have over 500,000 votes (in Arizona) that were cast illegally” and telling the conservative network Newsmax on Dec. 15 that Trump was “the true and proper victor.”

On November 20, 2020, Ellis appeared on the Newsmax show of former Trump spokesman Sean Spicer and said: “with all those states (Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia) combined we know that the election was stolen from President Trump and we can prove that.”

Ellis was one of several prominent conservative voices who, in the final weeks of 2020, echoed Trump's lies that the election was stolen from him. Those falsehoods helped fuel the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“Respondent, through her conduct, undermined the American public’s confidence in the presidential election, violating her duty of candor to the public,” wrote Bryon M. Large, the disciplinary judge in the case.

Ellis becomes the latest pro-Trump attorney penalized for their attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Nine lawyers in Michigan in 2021 were ordered to pay $175,000 in sanctions for a sham suit seeking to overturn the election in that swing state. The District of Columbia's bar association disciplinary counsel in December called for the suspension of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's law license for pursuing a baseless lawsuit challenging Biden's win in Pennsylvania.

Ellis is based in Washington, DC, but is from Colorado and has also practiced in the state. She served as a deputy district attorney for Weld County from 2012 to 2013, when she was fired from the position.

Through her attorney, Michael Melito, Ellis stipulated to both the findings that she'd made misrepresentations and the censure. Melito did not immediately respond to a request for comment.