Third former member of Trump's legal team pleads guilty over attempts to overturn 2020 election

ITV News' US Correspondent Dan Rivers has the latest in a series of further legal woes for the former president

A former member of Donald Trump's legal team and prominent conservative media figure has pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge over efforts to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia.

Jenna Ellis, one of 18 charged alongside the former US President, tearfully told the judge she looks back on that time with “deep remorse," and is now the fourth defendant in the case to enter into a plea deal with prosecutors.

That means three high-profile people responsible for pushing baseless legal challenges to Democrat Joe Biden's 2020 election victory have agreed to accept responsibility for their roles rather than take their chances before a jury.

A lower-profile defendant pleaded guilty last month.

Across the country in another courtroom, Trump's fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen testified on Tuesday that he worked to boost the supposed value of the former president's assets to “whatever number Trump told us to."

Michael Cohen (left) leaves the civil business fraud trial of former President Donald Trump. Credit: AP

He was giving evidence in the civil fraud case against the former US president.

It was a fraught face-to-face encounter between Trump and the now-disbarred lawyer who once pledged to “take a bullet” for him.

Mr Cohen eventually ended up in prison and became a prominent witness against his former boss in venues from courthouses to Congress.

Meanwhile, Ellis pleaded guilty to one felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings.

She had been facing charges of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO, and soliciting the violation of oath by a public officer, both felonies.

Ellis rose to speak after pleading guilty, fighting back tears as she said she would have not have represented Trump after the 2020 election if she knew then what she knows now.

She claimed that she relied on lawyers with much more experience than her and failed to verify the things they told her.

Jenna Ellis reads a statement inside the Atlanta courtroom. Credit: AP

“What I did not do but should have done was to make sure that the facts the other lawyers alleged to be true were in fact true,” 38-year-old Ellis said.

The guilty plea comes just days after two other defendants, fellow attorneys Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, entered guilty pleas.

Responding to a reporter's shouted question in the hallway of a New York City courthouse, where a civil case accusing him of inflating the value of his assets is being held, Trump said he didn't know anything about Ellis' plea deal but called it “too bad” and added he wasn't worried by it.

“Don't know anything, we're totally innocent of everything, that's political persecution is all it is,” he said.

Steve Sadow, Trump's lead attorney in the Georgia case, used Ellis' plea to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the racketeering charges Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis brought against all 19 defendants.

She was sentenced to five years of probation along with $5,000 in restitution, 100 hours of community service, writing an apology letter to the people of Georgia and testifying truthfully in trials related to this case.

The early pleas and the favourable punishment - probation rather than prison - could foreshadow similar outcomes for additional defendants who may see an admission of guilt and cooperation as their best hope for leniency.

Along with Giuliani, Ellis was a leading voice in the Trump campaign's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, appearing frequently on television and conservative media to tell lies about widespread fraud that did not occur and spread misinformation and conspiracy theories.

She was censured in Colorado in March after admitting she made repeated false statements about the 2020 election.

Trump and the other defendants, including his White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, have pleaded not guilty.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...