Ex-Trump attorney turned far-right radio host Jenna Ellis has raised over $100,000 for her legal defense. Her top donors include fellow election-denying talk show hosts as well as other MAGA Republicans.
Charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy related to attempting to overturn the 2020 election, Ellis is facing a hefty legal bill. She’s publicly lamenting the fact that former President Trump won’t cover her defense costs. From Mar-A-Lago’s perspective, however, Ellis committed two other transgressions that justify cutting her off: she formally admitted to lying about election fraud, and she endorsed Ron DeSantis.
Without access to Trump’s cash, Ellis, who still serves as an advisory fellow at Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute despite moving to Florida earlier this year, has turned to GiveSendGo, a far-right Christian crowdfunding site favored by white nationalists and violent extremists. She needs the money to pay her own attorney, Michael Melito, a former organized crime prosecutor who touts his experience with “racketeering and the criminal law,” which should come in handy.
Dinesh D’Souza tops Ellis’ list with a $10,000 gift to his fellow election denier earlier today. Best known for producing the debunked election fraud conspiracy film 2000 Mules, D’Souza served eight months in a halfway house and spent five years on probation following his felony conviction for campaign finance fraud. He was later pardoned by Trump. D’Souza also produced conservative history cartoons on the founding fathers for Prager U, which were funded in part by another Colorado figure, former state senate candidate Tim Walsh.
Another Prager U figure donated today as well, Jeremy Boreing who also co-founded the Daily Wire with Ben Shapiro, gave $1,000 while praising Ellis on Twitter. Boreing prefers to parse his election skepticism, while nevertheless casting doubt on the legitimacy of the American electoral process. He doesn’t say it was stolen, but rather “rigged by the legacy media for Democrats,” via “absentee ballots, vote-by-mail criteria, third-party vote harvesting, vote technology” and other potentially underhanded but perhaps legal means. Following the 2020 election, fact-checkers debunked Daily Wire election fraud stories that similarly cast doubt on the results.
Conservative pundit Dan Bongino, an early adopter of the stolen election conspiracy who launched his own show in April after a decade at Fox, gave Ellis $250 and encouraged his Twitter followers to donate to her cause.
Steve Deace is a Blaze TV host and former NeverTrumper turned election denier who called Trump’s Jan. 6 indictment an “assassination.” He, who like Ellis has endorsed Desantis, chipped in $500 and urged his 224k+ followers to give as well.
The largest identifiable Colorado donor is Mike Davis, a former Colorado Special Assistant Attorney General who is best known as the GOP point man for shepherding Trump’s judges through the confirmation process, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He also made headlines for tweeting a gruesome image of Mitch McConnell holding Judge Merrick Garland’s severed head.
Ellis isn’t the first Colorado attorney Davis has helped; he represented former Secretary of State Scott Gessler in his lengthy and ultimately failed defense against ethics violations for misappropriation of public funds.
Other high-dollar donors include Emil Lotyanu, a Russian lawyer living in Beverly Hills who has given over $200,000 to the RNC, Trump, and other GOP candidates over the past decade. His recent FEC donor forms list his occupation as either self-employed or retired. Lotyanu, whose Facebook page is filled with election denialism, “deep state did Jan6,” and other conspiracies, gave Ellis $1000.
Ellis is of course one of two Colorado-linked attorneys indicted for criminal conspiracy in Georgia this week. And while her charging sheet is a lot shorter than John Eastman’s, unlike her co-conspirator she doesn’t have a six-figure legal gig with the Colorado Republican Party.
She also didn’t have nearly as much money coming into her online fundraising account as Eastman, who has raised a half million dollars for his own legal defense fund. This recent burst of publicity from D’Souza and other far-right media may change that.
Attempts to reach Ellis were unsuccessful. Via Facebook, the Colorado Times Recorder asked Ellis if she has any concerns about accepting so much money from unapologetic election deniers like D’Souza and Peace and Bongino after being censured by the Colorado Bar Association for spreading misinformation about the election. This article will be updated with any response received.