Former Trump lawyers’ guilty pleas deal blow to right-wing media that amplified election lies

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Jenna Ellis reacts after reading a statement after Ellis pleaded guilty to one felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings, inside Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee’s Fulton County courtroom at the courthouse. Fulton County on October 24, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Declarations of “guilt” are raining down on Trump world.

Jenna Ellis, the Salem Media host who served as one of the lawyers for Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, pleaded guilty Tuesday on a felony count of aiding and abetting false statements in the Georgia election subversion case. His plea deal, his third in the past week, followed those of notorious election conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell and fake voter artist Kenneth Chesebro.

The rapid succession of guilty pleas is not only a serious blow to Trump, but also to the right-wing media apparatus that defended and spread his electoral lies to the masses. After the 2020 election, both Ellis and Powell toured MAGA Media and became heroes to Trump fans while sowing doubt about the legitimacy of the election.

Now they are confessing to the public that they were wrong all along. In a tearful statement read aloud in court Tuesday, Ellis admitted that he didn’t really understand the facts of the 2020 election and said he looked back on his actions in challenging the results “with deep remorse.”

“If I had known then what I know now, I would have refused to represent Donald Trump in these post-election challenges,” Ellis said, shedding tears.

If only such a damning admission received more coverage in the media spaces in which he had spread his corrosive lies. Matt Gertz of the progressive watchdog Media Matters he pointed that Ellis’ plea deal received just three minutes of coverage on Fox News until 3 pm ET on Tuesday. Fox News, which repeatedly hosted Ellis after the 2020 election, suddenly lost interest in Trump’s former lawyer.

The result is that a good portion of the channel’s audience, made up of legions of viewers who willingly seclude themselves in the safe spaces of right-wing media, will likely miss important news. Instead, they will only remember the lies she helped insert into the collective consciousness of the Republican Party. It is a pity.

However, Trump’s allies are learning that the fact-free alternative universe of the right-wing media in which they rose to stardom contrasts sharply with the fact-only world of the legal system.

Fox News paid a historic settlement of 787 million dollars to Dominion Voting Systems earlier this year for airing and repeating some of the same corrosive lies that are now prompting guilty pleas in a Fulton County court. Despite being very vocal about their legal prospects outside of court, Fox’s lawyers struggled to get their case before a judge and Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch ultimately decided to settle the successful defamation suit at the last minute to avoid an embarrassing and potentially even more expensive. – rehearsal.

In resolving the case, the right-wing network said in a public statement that it “recognizes[s] Court rulings deeming certain claims about Dominion to be false,” effectively admitting that he conveyed blatantly false claims about the election.

Unfortunately, in the post-fact world where lies and outlandish conspiracy theories are spewed into media echo chambers, the courts have become the only institution where misleading claims finally meet the truth. On Tuesday, Ellis ran straight into that wall, marking another Trump ally who has succumbed to the rigid nature of the law.

The question is: how long can Trump himself escape the truth?

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