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•  Legal Events - Legal News


Attorney and prominent conservative media figure Jenna Ellis pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge over efforts to overturn Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia, tearfully telling the judge she looks back on that time with “deep remorse.”

Ellis, the fourth defendant in the case to enter into a plea deal with prosecutors, was a vocal part of Trump’s reelection campaign in the last presidential cycle and was charged alongside the Republican former president and 17 others with violating the state’s anti-racketeering law.

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.

She rose to speak after pleading guilty, fighting back tears as she said she would not have represented Trump after the 2020 election if she knew then what she knows now, claiming that she relied on lawyers with much more experience than her and failed to verify the things they told her.

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

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

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 said 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.



India’s top court on Monday restored life prison sentences for 11 Hindu men who raped a Muslim woman during deadly religious rioting two decades ago and asked the convicts to surrender to the authorities within two weeks.

The Hindu men were convicted in 2008 of rape and murder. They were released in 2022 after serving 14 years in prison.

The victim, who is now in her 40s, was pregnant when she was brutally gang-raped in 2002 in western Gujarat state during communal rioting that was some of India’s worst religious violence with over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, killed.

Seven members of the woman’s family, including her 3-year-old daughter, were killed during the riots. The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify victims of sexual assault.

The men were eligible for remission of their sentence under a policy that was in place at the time of their convictions. At the time of their release, officials in Gujarat, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party holds power, had said the convicts were granted remission because they had completed over 14 years in jail.

A revised policy adopted in 2014 by the federal government prohibits remission release for those convicted of certain crimes, including rape and murder.

Following the release of the convicts, the victim had filed a petition with the Supreme Court, saying “the en masse premature release of the convicts… has shaken the conscience of the society.”

The 2002 riots have long hounded Modi, who was Gujarat’s top elected official at the time, amid allegations that authorities allowed and even encouraged the bloodshed. Modi has repeatedly denied having any role and the Supreme Court has said it found no evidence to prosecute him.



Pierce Brosnan, whose fictitious movie character James Bond has been in hot water plenty of times, is now facing heat in real life, charged with stepping out of bounds in a thermal area during a recent visit to Yellowstone National Park.

Brosnan walked in an off-limits area at Mammoth Terraces, in the northern part of Yellowstone near the Wyoming-Montana line, on Nov. 1, according to two federal citations issued Tuesday.

Brosnan, 70, is scheduled for a mandatory court appearance on Jan. 23 in the courtroom of the world’s oldest national park. The Associated Press sent a request for comment to his Instagram account Thursday, and email messages to his agent and attorney.

Yellowstone officials declined to comment. Brosnan was in the park on a personal visit and not for film work, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Wyoming said.

Mammoth Terraces is a scenic spot of mineral-encrusted hot springs bubbling from a hillside. They’re just some of the park’s hundreds of thermal features, which range from spouting geysers to gurgling mud pots, with water at or near the boiling point.

Going out-of-bounds in such areas can be dangerous: Some of the millions of people who visit Yellowstone each year get badly burned by ignoring warnings not to stray off the trail.

Getting caught can bring legal peril too, with jail time, hefty fines and bans from the park handed down to trespassers regularly.

In addition to his four James Bond films, Brosnan starred in the 1980s TV series “Remington Steele” and is known for starring roles in the films “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Thomas Crown Affair.”



The actor Jonathan Majors appeared in court in New York on Wednesday for the start of jury selection in a trial in which he is accused of injuring his then-girlfriend during an argument last spring.

The trial could wind up playing a big role in what happens next with Majors, who had emerged as a breakout star with major roles in films including “ Creed III ” and who was being set up as the next great supervillain in the Marvel multiverse.

The 34-year-old actor entered a Manhattan courtroom alongside his current girlfriend, the actress Meagan Good, carrying a Bible and one of his signature coffee cups. He did not speak during the start of the proceeding.

Majors was arrested in March over a confrontation between the actor and Grace Jabbari, his girlfriend at the time, during a car ride in Manhattan. Prosecutors said Jabbari had grabbed a phone out of the actor’s hand after seeing a text, presumably from another woman, saying “Wish I was kissing you right now.” Majors tried to snatch the phone back.

Jabbari said the actor pulled her finger, twisted her arm behind her back and hit her face. After the couple’s driver stopped the car and the pair got out, Jabbari said Majors threw her back into the vehicle. Police said Jabbari was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

Majors’ attorneys have maintained that Jabbari was the aggressor during the fight and had scratched and hit him. They alleged on Wednesday that police who responded to the scene did not interview Majors and that Manhattan prosecutors have refused to review evidence showing he was the victim.

Jabbari was also briefly arrested by New York City police last month after Majors filed a cross complaint against her, but the district attorney’s office dropped all charges against her the next day.

On Wednesday, the judge, Michael Gaffey, described the brief arrest of Jabbari as “very unusual,” suggesting that Majors’ celebrity status may have played a role in the police department’s decision to charge his accuser three months after the incident. Majors is charged with misdemeanors including assault and could be sentenced to up to a year in jail if convicted.



The U.S. Supreme Court issued a code of ethics earlier today following months of financial scandals tied to Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.

The nonbinding code of conduct, undersigned by all nine justices, “represents a codification of principles that we have long regarded as governing our conduct,” according to the Court.

The code outlines five canons that justices should abide by. According to the document released, justices should (1) “uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary,” (2) “avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities,” (3) “perform the duties of office fairly, impartially and diligently,” they (4) “may engage in extrajudicial activities that are consistent with the obligations of the judicial office” and (5) should “refrain from political activity.”

Given the milieu of the Court, the multiple sections guiding financial and fiduciary activities are of particular note. Since the start of the year, public polling has shown falling approval of the Supreme Court amidst repeated controversies surrounding transparency and ethics, including multiple ProPublica reports detailing undisclosed gifts from Republican billionaire Harlan Crow to Thomas and his family, which have spurred calls for change and reform at the nation’s highest court.

However, immediately apparent is the lack of an enforcement mechanism in this new code of conduct. As Take Back the Court’s President Sarah Lipton-Lubet pointed out in a statement, there are “53 uses of the word ‘should’ and only 6 of the word ‘must,’” and emphasized that “the Court cannot police itself.”

Professor Leah Litman, who teaches constitutional law and federal courts at the University of Michigan, criticized the financial guidelines, which allow justices to fundraise for law-related nonprofits, calling it “a hall pass for the Federalist Society galas and Koch Network 501c3 and 501c4 [organizations] ”

At the beginning of the month, 66 organizations led by the Alliance for Justice called for Thomas to resign from the Court immediately, citing the justice’s “egregious” conduct that “undermines the ordinary citizen’s faith in the rule of law, further destabilizing our democracy.”

It remains to be seen if an enforcement mechanism will be rolled out.



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