Jenna Ellis, a lawyer on President Donald Trump‘s ‘elite strike force team,’ worked in traffic court before being fired as a prosecutor and hasn’t paid bar fees, a series of profiles revealed about her.
Ellis, 36, found fame on Fox News defending the president before joining his legal team’s effort to overturn the election.
She was subject to profiles in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, who questioned her billing herself as a ‘constitutional lawyer’ and traces her rapid rise from the Colorado legal system to the president’s defender.
The pieces question her credentials to be an election lawyer as Trump and his team claim voter fraud, which they have yet to show proof for, and try to overturn the results.
Jenna Ellis, a lawyer on President Donald Trump’s ‘elite strike force team,’ was subject to profiles in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal about her rapid rise
Jenna Ellis went from Colorado prosecutor to Trump legal team, standing at Rudy Giuliani’s side during a press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters last month
President Donald Trump called into a hearing-style event in Pennsylvania last month where lawyer Rudy Giuliani leveled charges of voter fraud and Jenna Ellis held her cell phone to the microphone so Trump could address the panel
Ellis hasn’t appeared in any court rooms for President Trump, who has lost most of his legal battles, but she was at the side of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, at the now infamous press conference at the Republican National Committee when what appeared to be hair dye ran down his cheeks. The team billed themselves as ‘elite strike force team.’
At that press conference, Ellis bristled at the demand for actual evidence of voter fraud, saying: ‘Your question is fundamentally flawed when you’re asking where is the evidence.’
She was also present at a hearing-style event in Pennsylvania last month, where President Trump called her cell phone so he could speak to the panel as she held it up to a microphone.
She was paid nearly $140,000 from the Trump campaign in October for what was described as legal consulting, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Four years ago, Ellis was a young Colorado attorney practicing in county courts and teaching legal classes at Colorado Christian University, a local Christian university that doesn’t have a law school.
‘I’m the Cinderella story of the legal world,’ she told the Journal.
But she appeared not to be happy with the profile after it ran, tweeting: ‘[email protected] purposefully left out key details about my work experience and accolades from colleagues to try to pretend I went directly from low-level ‘traffic court’ to being the President’s lawyer. I have a pretty cool story and God is good, but THAT would have been amazing!’
President Donald Trump noticed Jenna Ellis when she appeared on Fox News defending him and told his campaign to hire her
In her online bios, Ellis calls herself ‘an experienced defense attorney who was formerly an attorney for the U.S. Department of State and a Colorado prosecutor’ and billed herself as a constitutional law expert in a series of opinion pieces she wrote for the conservative news outlet The Washington Examiner.
Her instagram account is filled with cheerful selfies of her TV appearances, her trips on Air Force One, and her visits to the White House.
A review of her pieces for the Examiner shows she was an ardent defender of Trump’s during the impeachment process, writing how ‘Democrats haven’t delivered the goods’ and arguing impeachment didn’t mean the president is guilty.
She is described as a ‘constitutional law attorney’ in her op-ed pieces and TV appearances, but the Journal’s search of the federal courts database PACER doesn’t show her as an attorney in any federal case.
And Ellis can’t practice law in federal court in Colorado because she didn’t pay a fee the court assesses to lawyers practicing there.
She only worked as a prosecutor in Weld County, Colorado, for six months in 2012 where she handled traffic cases and other misdemeanors, according to the Weld County District Attorney’s office.
She was fired from that job and then worked as a criminal-defense attorney in Colorado in several small local practices.
‘I was just as surprised as most people to see her standing next to Trump and Rudy Giuliani,’ Chad Zito, an attorney who worked with her on several cases in the state, told The Journal. ‘She’s had a rapid rise, that’s for sure.’
Ellis built her national profile through conservative Christian legal circles. She is the author of a book: ‘The Legal Basis for a Moral Constitution: A Guide for Christians to Understand America’s Constitutional Crisis.’
She worked for James Dobson, the evangelical leader, and appeared on Denver radio as a legal commentator. She parlayed her work with Dobson, her book and her local appearances to the national scene.
The president noticed her when he caught her appearances on Fox News defending him.
Ellis told The Journal that in the fall of 2019, she got a phone call from a Washington, D.C., area code, which she let go to voice mail.
It was the White House. She then spoke to President Trump for an hour.
‘He invited me to the White House and said, ‘I think you’re a brilliant lawyer and I want to meet with you,’ she said.
Trump told his campaign to hire her.
Her title was ‘senior legal adviser’ but there were reports she clashed with the president’s core campaign team.
She and Giuliani were part of an internal campaign ‘coup’ to take control after Trump refused to concede the election even as Joe Biden won the electoral college. Both lawyers have been public in their belief the results can be overturned in the president’s favor.
But recounts have confirmed Biden’s victory and most states have certified their election results as the electoral college prepares to meet on December 14 to certify the election.
Jenna Ellis’ instagram is filled with photos of herself at the White House
She also posts about her TV appearances
The New York Times reported that there is nothing in Ellis’ record since she graduated law school at the University of Richmond in 2011 that shows any time spent litigating election law cases.
White House aides have expressed concern about Ellis.
She was viewed as an uncontrollable figure inside the campaign who often provided President Trump with questionable information about alleged voter fraud.
And she appeared on television without asking for approval from campaign officials, aides told The Washington Post.
She dubbed herself ‘President-Elect Jenna Ellis’ on Twitter.
And she has not always been an ardent Trump supporter.
During the 2016 Republican presidential primary, she called Trump an ‘idiot,’ a ‘bully’ and agreed that he was someone intent to ‘destroy American democracy.’