Ex-Trump Attorney Jenna Ellis Pleads Not Guilty In Arizona Election Conspiracy Case

Jenna Ellis, a suspended lawyer who represented former President Donald Trump, pleaded not guilty in Phoenix on Tuesday to nine charges relating to an alleged conspiracy to rig Arizona’s 2020 presidential election results for Trump.

Boris Epshteyn, a lawyer and adviser to Trump, also entered a plea of not guilty on the same nine criminal counts.

The two are among 18 people Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes charged in April with meddling in the state’s election.

Ellis unsuccessfully backed Trump’s efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 election. Epshteyn has been a close adviser to Trump for years, and frequently showed up in court during the former president’s New York criminal trial to lend his support.

Although Trump himself has not been charged in the Arizona case, several people close to him were. Aside from Ellis and Epshteyn, that group includes adviser and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. All of the defendants have pleaded not guilty, according to NBC News.

According to court documents, the group “raised false claims of widespread election fraud in Arizona to pressure election officials to change the outcome” of the 2020 election.

When that did not work, prosecutors say the group assembled a slate of “fake electors” — people who agreed to vote for Trump in the Electoral College on behalf of the state of Arizona, even though the popular vote had gone to President Joe Biden. As in most states, all of Arizona’s Electoral College votes are supposed to be awarded to the candidate who won the popular vote.

The endgame, prosecutors say, was to convince Vice President Mike Pence to intervene on behalf of Trump as he presided over the formal tally of Electoral College votes in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021. Pence did no such thing.

A similar alleged scheme in Georgia also led to criminal charges against Ellis — along with 18 others, including Trump and Giuliani. Ellis pleaded guilty in that case, which is currently stalled.

She has faced professional repercussions for her actions. Ellis agreed to a three-year suspension of her law license in her home state of Colorado for her misconduct in Georgia; she received a censure from the Colorado state supreme court last year for various misleading statements about the 2020 election.