Jenna Ellis mug shot Georgia indictment with pink background

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Right-wing pundits rally behind indicted former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis and fundraise for her legal fees

Across right-wing media, Ellis has claimed that Trump should pay her legal fees and promoted herself as “a political prisoner”

After being indicted for her role in attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election, former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis is touring right-wing media and using her own radio program to claim the former president should pay her legal fees and to solicit donations for her legal defense fund. In her pitch to prospective donors, Ellis has positioned herself as a “political prisoner” and victim of political persecution by the Biden “regime,” claiming that she is part of “the great Christian history and tradition of being political prisoners of regimes.”

Right-wing media figures, such as Fox News host Mark Levin and Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro, have rushed to publicly support Ellis and urged their audiences to donate to her legal defense fund — with Salem Media Group’s Dinesh D’Souza even pledging to give $10,000. So far, Ellis has raised more than $185,000 using right-wing Christian fundraising site GiveSendGo.

  • Ellis was among 18 individuals indicted with Donald Trump for their alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 Georgia election

    • Ellis was charged along with former President Donald Trump on August 14 in Fulton County, Georgia, in a sweeping indictment for efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. She is accused of racketeering and asking a public official to violate their oath as part of a conspiracy to convince Georgia officials to appoint new electors for Trump. [Axios, 8/15/23]
    • Ellis was intimately involved in Trump’s public and private acts to reverse his 2020 election loss. Acting as Trump’s attorney in the post-election period, Ellis appeared at public hearings and spoke with lawmakers in Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, urging them to reject the popular vote results in each of their states. She also authored a memo in December 2020 that outlined a multi-step strategy to overturn the election on January 6, 2021, that included urging then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes for Joe Biden. [The Washington Post, 8/24/23]
    • In a Colorado disciplinary court hearing earlier this year, Ellis admitted to knowingly misrepresenting facts about the results of the 2020 election while representing Trump, including in Georgia. The disciplinary judge issued a public censure and wrote in his six-page order that Ellis had made “these misrepresentations on Twitter and on various television programs, including Fox Business, MSNBC, Fox News, and Newsmax.” While representing Trump, Ellis also spread false claims that the Denver-based company Dominion Voting Systems had flipped votes in favor of Biden. [The New York Times, 3/9/23; 9 News Denver, 8/24/23; Business Insider, 5/9/23]
    • Since it was reported that Trump’s campaign would not pay for her legal defense, Ellis has used the right-wing Christian crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo to fund her legal expenses. Ellis has raised over $185,000 on GiveSendGo, a platform that is also popular with neo-Nazis. [NPR, 8/16/23; Rolling Stone, 8/22/23; GiveSendGo, accessed 8/30/23]
    • Ellis hosts programs for American Family Radio and Salem Media Group, and has received public support from the outlets since the indictment. Ellis launched shows on Salem Media and American Family Radio in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Salem has shown its support by launching a line of “Free Jenna” merchandise on its website. An article on the American Family News website detailed AFR host Abraham Hamilton III declaring his and the outlet’s support for her. (American Family Radio is run by the extreme anti-LGBTQ group American Family Association.) [Salem Media event store, accessed 8/25/23; American Family News, 8/16/23]
  • Ellis has claimed on social media that Trump should pay her legal bills

    • Ellis said that Trump should pay all his team’s legal fees: “Not just mine, but all his lawyers.” Ellis also questioned, “Why isn’t MAGA, Inc. funding everyone’s defense?” [Twitter/X, 8/18/23, 8/18/23]
    • Ellis reposted a user who said Trump “SHOULD be paying the bills of everyone that is being targeted. Why is this even a question?” [Twitter/X, 8/22/23]
    • Ellis responded to a complaint on Twitter/X that Trump had not given “a dime of his money to fund” Ellis’ defense. In the post, anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson accused Trump of doing “nothing to defend these people who worked so hard for him” and argued that the former president had “thrown all of them under the bus to prop himself up.” Then Johnson urged her followers to contribute to Ellis’ legal defense fund, to which Ellis replied: “Thank you for your prayers and support.” [Twitter/X, 8/23/23]
    • Ellis questioned why Trump is reportedly paying for Stephen Miller’s legal fees for a case unrelated to his work for the campaign, “but won’t help any of the lawyers whose charges are only because we represented Trump and did our jobs.” Ellis posted: “I’d love to know why Trump is paying for Miller’s personal family law issues totally unrelated to his campaign role, but won’t help any of the lawyers whose charges are only because we represented Trump and did our jobs.” [Twitter/X, 8/29/23]
  • Ellis has repeatedly used her American Family Radio program to promote her GiveSendGo fundraiser to listeners, referring to herself as a “political prisoner”

    • Ellis promoted her legal defense fund and referred to herself as a “political prisoner.” Ellis discussed how she has leaned on her faith and said: “I've … never been indicted before. I've never been a political prisoner before. But, you know, so there's a first time for that.” [American Family Radio, Jenna Ellis in the Morning, 8/18/23, 8/18/23]
    • Ellis promoted her legal defense fund, thanked American Family Radio listeners for their support, and claimed the indictment “is criminalizing the practice of law.” Ellis also claimed that the indictment is “attempting to criminalize petitioning the government for redress.” [American Family Radio, Jenna Ellis in the Morning, 8/22/23, 8/22/23]
    • Ellis announced that her lawyers had negotiated a $100,000 bond agreement and directed viewers to her GiveSendGo page, saying, “I'm not independently wealthy and I'm very grateful for your support in any way that you can help.” Ellis again characterized her indictment as “an attempt to criminalize the practice of law.” [American Family Radio, Jenna Ellis in the Morning, 8/23/23]
    • Ellis announced that she was “out of the slammer,” thanked “the AFR family” as well as several conservative media figures for their support, and again plugged her GiveSendGo fundraiser. Ellis noted that figures had “rallied in support of my defense," including her “friends from Daily Wire, Dan Bongino, Mark Levin, Dinesh D'Souza.” Ellis also said that the indictment is part of “the left” attempting “to tear down our freedom and liberty so that they can push in a socialist communist regime.” [American Family Radio, Jenna Ellis in the Morning, 8/28/23, 8/28/23]
  • Ellis’ right-wing media blitz to promote her legal defense fund

    • Ellis appeared on Andrew Klavan’s Daily Wire streaming show, where she promoted her legal fund and said that she was indicted for “being a zealous advocate.” Klavan, who introduced Ellis as a “friend,” argued that she had essentially been indicted for “attending press conferences, doing what lawyers do, going before public meetings.” Ellis declared that she is being “politically persecuted.” [The Daily Wire, The Andrew Klavan Show, 8/18/23]
  • Video file

    Citation From the August 18, 2023, edition of The Daily Wire's The Andrew Klavan Show

    • Ellis promoted her legal defense fund during an “exclusive interview” on Breitbart radio. Ellis again claimed that the indictment is “criminalizing the practice of law.” [Breitbart, 8/22/23]
    • During an interview with Ellis, election denier Dinesh D’Souza announced he would contribute $10,000 to Ellis’ fund and encouraged his listeners to do the same. D’Souza said that, “It doesn't really matter whether Jenna is a Trumpster right now, or whether she's a DeSantis person, she's on our side on this issue and we are all in the crosshairs of the left.” [Twitter/X, 8/22/23]
    • Right-wing pundit Steve Deace congratulated Ellis on her indictment, claiming that she had joined “luminaries and influential people, including our own Lord,” who “spent some time either under the threat of incarceration, or actually being incarcerated.” Deace proclaimed that charging Ellis and others amounted to “stuff of intifadas and inquisitions,” and said, “We are in a state of cold civil war and I don't see a way to end it” unless we “get our people now to go after your people.” Ellis also promoted her GiveSendGo page and complained about being forced to “surrender to Fulton County Jail and literally become a political prisoner, and get arrested, because I dared to stand up for a client, and because I dared to speak truth.” [BlazeTV, The Steve Deace Show, 8/22/23]
  • Video file

    Citation From the August 22, 2023, edition of BlazeTV's The Steve Deace Show

    • Ellis appeared on Tomi Lahren’s OutKick show to promote her legal defense fund and reiterated that she has not received financial support from Trump. Ellis also claimed during the interview that the indictment was part of a larger “weaponization of government” by the Biden administration against “conservatives across the country.” [Outkick, Tomi Lahren Is Fearless, 8/22/23]
    • The day after her arrest, Ellis promoted her defense fund on Michael Knowles’ Daily Wire show and said the message of the indictment was if you “give legal advice and provide assistance of counsel to the leader of the political opposition, then you too will become a political prisoner and you will be targeted.” “You're a political prisoner, simple as that,” Knowles told Ellis. “Which nation is going to have more political prisoners by the end of 2024 — Communist China, Communist North Korea, Putin's Russia, or good old U.S. of A.?” Ellis also evoked images of religious martyrdom while making the case of her persecution. “I will face this with the joy that I have in the Lord, in my faith, and with the great Christian history and tradition of being political prisoners of regimes.” [The Daily Wire, The Michael Knowles Show, 8/24/23]
  • Video file

    Citation From the August 24, 2023, edition of The Daily Wire's The Michael Knowles Show

  • Right-wing media figures have rallied around Ellis, urging their audiences to fund her legal defense

    • Fox’s Mark Levin called on his radio listeners to give money to Ellis’ legal fund and promised to personally make “a significant donation.” The day before, Levin posted a link to her GiveSendGo fundraiser on social media, adding that: “Our friend Jenna Ellis has been wrongly indicted in Georgia by the radical Democrat DA and doesn’t have the funds needed to vigorously defend herself. Please join me in helping her and use this link to give what you can. This is a sickening abomination.” [Westwood One, The Mark Levin Show, 8/17/23; Twitter/X, 8/16/23]
    • Turning Point USA contributor Jack Posobiec promoted Ellis’ GiveSendGo page to his more than 2 million followers on Twitter/X and argued that she “is being persecuted for defending Trump.” Posobiec, who has collaborated with neo-Nazis, added that the charges against Ellis are “wrong and a complete disgrace.” [Twitter/X, 8/17/23]
    • On his show, Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro urged viewers to donate to Ellis’ defense fund. Shapiro also condemned Trump for using campaign money to fund his own legal bills. [The Daily Wire, The Ben Shapiro Show, 8/18/23]
    • Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton shared Ellis’ GiveSendGo page and said that she is “being victimized by Fulton County prosecutors.” Fitton is reportedly one of dozens of unindicted co-conspirators mentioned in the Georgia indictment. [Twitter/X, 8/20/23]
    • Conservative influencer Will Chamberlain promoted Ellis’ fund on social media and said, “I donated, you should too.” [Twitter/X, 8/15/23]
    • Right-wing pundits Dan Bongino and Steve Deace contributed $250 and $500, respectively, to Ellis’ defense fund. Both also encouraged their social media followers to donate to Ellis’ GiveSendGo fundraiser. [Colorado Times Recorder, 8/22/23]
    • Disgraced right-wing media figure James O’Keefe urged his social media followers to donate to Ellis’ GiveSendGo fundraiser. O’Keefe was forced out of his far-right organization Project Veritas in April over allegations of financial mismanagement and an abusive workplace. [Twitter/X, 8/20/23]
    • American Family Radio host and general counsel Abraham Hamilton III declared his support for Ellis and argued that “she didn’t do anything wrong.” During his show, Hamilton dismissed the notion that Ellis authoring a legal memo was evidence of conspiring to commit a crime, saying, “She prepared a memorandum … that’s an 'overt act and furtherance of the criminal conspiracy.' What?!” [American Family News, 8/16/23]
    • Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon posted Ellis’ GiveSendGo page on social media and asked his followers to “please join me and the hundreds of other people who are donating to her legal defense fund.” [Twitter/X, 8/25/23]
    • Right-wing host Liz Wheeler posted a photo of Ellis’ mug shot and said, “If you’re looking at ⁦@JennaEllisEsq⁩’s mugshot, please donate her to legal fund.” Wheeler added, “We MUST enable her to defend herself against this brutal, tyrannical govt abuse against her as a private citizen.” [Twitter/X, 8/23/23]