In her increasingly frivolous prosecution of Donald Trump and his alleged compatriots in her sweeping 2020 election fraud case, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has secured her fourth guilty plea as Jenna Ellis has pled guilty to one count of “knowingly, willingly, and unlawfully” making false statements about election fraud.
Ellis becomes the second defendant and third attorney to plead guilty as part of a plea deal.
Ellis was originally indicted on one felony count of Violation of Oath by the grand jury, however, the guilty plea will change the charge to felony False Statements and Writings (O.C.G.A. 16-10-20).
The act involved Ellis’s testimony to a special Georgia State Senate Committee investigating the 2020 elections in which, according to the indictment, Ellis, along with Rudy Giuliani, encouraged the State Senate to appoint new Presidential Electors who would vote for Donald Trump.
The law states, “A person who knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; makes a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or makes or uses any false writing or document, knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of state government or of the government of any county, city, or other political subdivision of this state shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, or both” <emphasis added>.
In her plea, Ellis admits to knowing that several of her claims, including claims that tens of thousands of fraudulent absentee ballots were cast and counted in the 2020 election, were false.
For those who may think the law must surely be a violation of Ellis’s free speech right, the statute has been upheld as constitutional as, according to the opinion of the Georgia Supreme Court, the law requires more than the speech, it, “requires a defendant to know and intend, that is, to contemplate or expect, that his or her false statement will come to the attention of a state or local department or agency with the authority to act on the statement,” <emphasis added> (Haley v. State, 289 Ga. 515, 712 S.E.2d 838 (2011), cert. denied, U.S. , 133 S. Ct. 60, 183 L. Ed. 2d 711 (2012)).
Ellis, who has already been censured by the Colorado Bar, will have to serve five years probation, complete 100 hours of community service, and pay $5,000 in restitution to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.