Ethics and Regulatory Complaints March 8, 2023

Ethics Complaint — Jenna Ellis (CO)

Issue Areas

On May 5, 2022, the States United Democracy Center submitted an ethics complaint against Jenna Ellis, an attorney licensed in Colorado, for assisting in former President Donald Trump’s attempts to discredit and overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

The complaint provides strong support for the Colorado Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel (OARC) to investigate whether Ellis violated her professional and ethical obligations as an attorney by:

  • Knowingly spreading falsehoods about the 2020 election to discredit it as fraudulent;
  • Assisting in Trump’s efforts to persuade then-Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to open and count the lawfully certified electoral votes from six states that Biden won on January 6at the Joint Session of Congress by, among other things, providing misleading legal advice premised on the false claim that there were two lawfully certified slates of electors in those states; and
  • Amplifying false theories of voter fraud and inaccurate information about the operation of state law to persuade state legislators to take action to prevent or reject the certification of the election results.

The complaint’s request that the OARC open an investigation into Ellis’ conduct was supported by more than a dozen bipartisan signatories, including former Republican officials, leading law professors, and the Bush and Obama White House ethics advisors.

Latest Update

On March 8, 2023, the Colorado Supreme Court’s Presiding Disciplinary Judge censured former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis for her role in spreading lies and conspiracies about the 2020 election. As part of this public censure, Jenna Ellis agrees that she knowingly misrepresented the facts at least 10 separate times, including by falsely claiming that Donald Trump was the “true victor” in the 2020 election.

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