Former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis faces imminent formal complaint in Colorado

By: - February 22, 2023 7:55 pm

Jenna Ellis, former legal advisor and counsel to former President Donald Trump, speaks during the election night party for Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano at The Orchards on May 17, 2022, in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Colorado attorney Jenna Ellis, one of the central figures in former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election, is the subject of a formal professional misconduct complaint that’s expected to be filed in the coming weeks.

Ellis had been under scrutiny by the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, which investigates allegations of professional misconduct against Colorado attorneys. The office’s Legal Regulation Committee reviews reports from the attorney regulation counsel and determines if reasonable cause exists to seek disciplinary action against attorneys before the presiding disciplinary judge.

The committee has now authorized Jessica Yates, the attorney regulation counsel, to file a formal complaint against Ellis with the presiding disciplinary judge, according to Yates.

Filing of a complaint “typically takes 2-3 weeks after getting authorization,” Yates wrote to Newsline in an email Wednesday evening.


Yates declined to answer questions about the nature of the complaint. But in May, States United Democracy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, asked Yates to investigate Ellis for multiple alleged violations of professional rules and impose possible “substantial professional discipline.” In December, Yates indicated to Newsline that her investigation was related to the States United Democracy Center complaint.

That complaint says Ellis when she represented Trump “made numerous public misrepresentations alleging fraud in the election — even as federal and state election officials repeatedly found that no fraud had occurred that could have altered the outcome and even as Mr. Trump and his allies brought and lost over 60 lawsuits claiming election fraud or illegality.”

It notes that Ellis urged lawmakers in various swing states to certify false electors for Trump, and it says she drafted dishonest memos purporting to give legal rationale for then-Vice President Mike Pence to block the congressional electoral count on Jan. 6, 2021.

Ellis appears among key Trump-aligned figures in the final report of the U.S. House panel that investigated the Jan. 6 insurrection, which concluded that the attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of a Trump-led “multi-part conspiracy to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 Presidential election.”

Another primary figure in the report is John Eastman, author of the notorious “coup memo” blueprint for overturning the 2020 election, who at the time was working as a visiting scholar at the University of Colorado Boulder. Less than a month ago, California officials filed disciplinary charges against Eastman related to his conduct in helping Trump try to reverse his election loss.

Lawyers in Colorado are subject to the state’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Ellis is listed on the Colorado Supreme Court’s online attorney search as Jenna Lynn Rives.

Newsline sent Ellis an email seeking comment. This story will be updated if she responds.


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