Jenna Ellis is the latest Trump lawyer to plead guilty to charges of trying to overturn the election in Georgia

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ATLANTA (AP) — Attorney and prominent conservative media figure Jenna Ellis pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge for efforts to overturn Donald Trump's 2020 election loss in Georgia, tearfully telling the judge that she looks back on that time with “deep remorse.”

Ellis, the fourth defendant in the case who struck a deal with prosecutors, was a vocal participant in Trump's re-election campaign during the last presidential campaign and was indicted along with the Republican former president and 17 others on charges of violating state anti-crime law.

Ellis pleaded guilty to one felony: aiding and abetting false statements and writings. She was charged with violating Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO, and soliciting a public officer to violate his oath, both felonies.

She rose to speak after pleading guilty and fought back tears as she said she would not have represented Trump after the 2020 election if she had known then what she knows now, claiming she relied on lawyers with much more experience than her and failed to verify the things they told her.

“What I didn't do, but should have done, your honor, was make sure that the facts that the other lawyers thought were true were actually true,” Ellis, 38, said.

Ellis' guilty plea comes just days after two other defendants, fellow attorneys Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, entered guilty pleas. That means three high-profile people responsible for baselessly legally challenging Democrat Joe Biden's 2020 election victory have agreed to accept responsibility for their roles rather than take their chances in front of a jury. A lesser-known defendant pleaded guilty last month.

In response to a reporter's shouted question in the hallway of a New York courthouse where a civil case is underway accusing him of inflating the value of his assets, Trump said he knew nothing about Ellis' plea deal but called it ” It’s a shame” and said he wasn’t worried about it.

“I don’t know anything, we are completely innocent of everything, this is just political persecution,” he said.

Steve Sadow, Trump's lead lawyer in the Georgia case, used Ellis' plea to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the racketeering charges filed by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis against all 19 defendants.

“For the fourth time, Fani Willis and her law enforcement team have dismissed the RICO charges against a parole application,” he said. “This shows that this so-called RICO case is nothing more than a bargaining chip for Attorney General Willis.”

He also noted that Ellis pleaded guilty to a charge that was not included in the original indictment and did not involve Trump.

She was sentenced to five years probation, as well as $5,000 in restitution, 100 hours of community service, writing a letter of apology to the people of Georgia, and providing truthful testimony in court proceedings related to the case.

The early pleas and favorable sentence — probation rather than prison — could mean a similar outcome for other defendants who might see an admission of guilt and cooperation as their best hope for leniency. Still, their value as witnesses against Trump is unclear, as their direct involvement in baseless schemes will undoubtedly expose them to attacks on their credibility and painful cross-examinations should they testify.

The indictment in the wide-ranging case details a series of allegations against Ellis, including that she helped draft plans to disrupt and delay the House on January 6, 2021, the day a mob of Trump supporters finally overran the House Confirmation of the 2020 election results by Congress at the US Capitol.

Ellis is also accused of urging state lawmakers to appoint a number of Trump-loyal presidential electors at a hearing in Pennsylvania. She later appeared with some of those lawmakers and Trump at a meeting on the issue at the White House. The indictment goes on to say that she similarly pressured state lawmakers to support fake, pro-Trump voters in Georgia as well as Arizona and Michigan.

Prosecutor Daysha Young said in court Tuesday that Ellis attended a meeting of Georgia state senators in December 2020 with Trump lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Georgia-based attorney Ray Smith. Ellis “intentionally aided and abetted” the other two when they made false statements to lawmakers, including that more than 2,500 people were convicted of crimes, more than 66,000 people under the age of 18 and more than 10,000 dead in the 2020 election Georgia voted, Young said.

Before her plea, Ellis, who lives in Florida, was defiant, posting in August on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter: “The Democrats and the Fulton County District Attorney are criminalizing the practice of law.” I I am determined to trust the Lord.”

However, she has since become more critical of Trump, saying on conservative radio in September that she would not vote for him again, citing his “malignant, narcissistic tendency to simply say he's never done anything wrong.”

Along with Giuliani, Ellis was a leading voice in the Trump campaign's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, appearing frequently on television and in conservative media outlets to spread lies about widespread fraud that did not occur and misinformation and spreading conspiracy theories.

She was reprimanded in Colorado in March after admitting to repeatedly making false statements about the 2020 election.

This punishment was due in part to a November 20, 2020 appearance on Newsmax in which she said, “With all of these states (Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Georgia) combined, we know that the election was stolen from President Trump. “, and we can prove that.”

Powell pleaded guilty to six misdemeanors and was sentenced to six years probation and a $6,000 fine. Chesebro pleaded guilty to a felony and was sentenced to five years probation, $5,000 in restitution and 100 hours of community service. Bail bondsman Scott Graham Hall pleaded guilty to five misdemeanors and received five years probation. All were ordered to write letters of apology to the people of Georgia and to testify truthfully in any other proceedings in the case.

Ellis and the other three pleaded guilty under Georgia's first-offender law. This means that if they complete their probation without violating the conditions or committing another crime, their record will be expunged.

Trump and the other defendants, including his White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, have pleaded not guilty.

Will Weissert and Kate Brumback report for The Associated Press.

Weissert reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.