Inside Fulton County Jail with Jenna Ellis





Liz interviews Jenna Ellis, discussing Ellis’ recent arrest and legal situation. Ellis, a former legal advisor to President Trump, faced arrest alongside other co-defendants. The conversation delves into Ellis’ experiences during her time in custody at Fulton County Jail, her intentionally confident and unbothered demeanor during her mugshot, and her disappointment at not receiving financial support from Trump for her legal defense.

Ellis reflects on her Christian faith as a source of strength throughout this challenging period, emphasizing that her trust in God’s promises and her eternal hope keep her resolute. She acknowledges the broad support she has received from various communities, including the Christian, conservative, and legal circles.

The conversation turns to the legal proceedings and potential political implications. Ellis refrains from discussing her stance on the fairness of the 2020 election due to ongoing legal considerations. She outlines her determination to adhere to legal counsel and strategy, mentioning that the legal team is carefully assessing various approaches.

Wheeler and Ellis touch on the issue of financial support for legal defense. Ellis expresses disappointment at not receiving aid from President Trump, citing his past track record with similar situations. This has led her to question the dynamics within the conservative movement and the need for strong leadership moving forward.

Wheeler and Ellis contemplate the potential challenges the defendants might face in maintaining unity and their stances throughout the legal proceedings, given the pressure from authorities and media to recant claims about the 2020 election. Ellis acknowledges the complexity of the situation and underscores her reliance on her legal team’s expertise.

Throughout the interview, Ellis remains composed and steadfast, reinforcing her commitment to her faith and principles amid legal and political challenges. The conversation provides insight into Ellis’ perspective on her arrest, her legal defense, and her broader political concerns, all within the context of her strong Christian faith.

Show Transcript

This transcript was generated automatically and may contain typos, mistakes, and/or incomplete information.

Okay, Liz Wheeler Show episode 416. Jenna Ellis, take one. All right, Jenna Ellis is joining the show today. We’re going to bring up her mugshot in just a second because until Trump’s was released, I would argue that Jenna’s has entered the Hall of fame for iconic mugshots as well. I’m going to get her take on the strategy behind it in just a second. But Jenna, thank you for joining the show. And before we get into the nitty gritty of this crazy clown show that you are experiencing right now, I want to just ask you, how are you doing? How are you handling all this? 

Yeah, thanks so much Liz. And I really appreciate our friendship and your support and everyone from especially the Christian community as well as the broader conservative community and even just the broader legal community. People who have not agreed with me personally, who maybe don’t even like me, but they see that this is fundamentally a threat to the profession and practice of law. It’s a threat to the institutions of government, to the foundations of American institutions and the practice of lawyering. So I am really grateful for everyone’s support and through that I have found encouragement, a lot of support from my own home church. My former client, pastor John MacArthur, his church family, so many people have reached out to me. My radio network, American Family Radio have stood by me, supported me, but truly my Christian faith is what is getting me through this. Because we know, and this isn’t just verses that we can apply to, well, I’m having a bad day or I’m having a bad hair day, and so therefore I, I’m going to do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

Some of these little verses or mantras that we put on bracelets, this is something that is true in the word of God, that the Lord promises that we as Christians will always be intention with the world that wants to persecute us, that wants to promote evil instead of good. And so for my Christian faith, I’ve been a Christian since I can remember actually because I was raised in a Christian home. But my faith has become so much more profound and deepening for me as I have moved into adult life and throughout all of the various trials that I have gone through. And so this is just the next thing that God has for me. And I am determined and resolved to meet this with true faith, which as the scripture says, is trusting in the promises of God, the truth of who God is, and acting on those promises and that I know that God does work all things together for good, for those who love him and are called according to his purpose. That’s true for me. It’s true for everyone regardless of what our circumstances are. It’s been true for all of the Christians who have been persecuted well beyond what I’m going through throughout church history. And so I’m determined to meet this with genuine faith. 

That’s beautiful. It’s one thing I think to hear that on Sunday at church and another thing to live that when you’re going through what you’re going through, and I have so many questions for you today, I want to ask you what it was like in the Fulton County Jail. I want to ask you about your mugshot. I want to ask you about Trump not paying your legal fees, so many things to talk about, but let’s start with a Fulton County jail. So you surrendered yourself. You were arrested at the Fulton County Jail. Can you tell us what that process was like from the moment you walked into that building? What happened? 

Yeah, it’s absolutely ridiculous that any of us, especially President Trump, had to go through that experience. Typically in circumstances like this, I mean, none of us who are the lawyers have that any criminal history. I mean, we’re all members of the bar and I’m in good standing with my bar and my lawyers had negotiated a consent bond, which means that we agreed on the amount and the terms, the judge signed off on it. So the fact that I even had to go in and get arrested in my view was just the Fulton County District Attorney trying on purpose and intimidation and humiliation tactic. And so I was again determined to have resolve and say, I am unbothered by this. You are not going to break me. You are not going to get that humiliation that you want. So I prayed very sincerely before that day and knew that when I went in, whatever I was facing, then I was going to meet that with the resolve that I had anticipated. 

But nothing really prepares you for going in and actually getting arrested. I had been in jails previously for clients when I practiced as a prosecutor and also in criminal law in Colorado. So that in an odd sense was helpful to me because it wasn’t totally unfamiliar territory going in to meet with clients, but it’s very different being in custody and realizing my phone, my Apple watch, everything I had to leave behind. And so walking in the female guard who’s from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, she was very kind and she said, listen, I’m going to stick by you this whole time. Just keep looking ahead and don’t worry about anything. And it was Liz, and this isn’t even hyperbole, it was like a movie where you see these prisoners that walk down a straight hall and there are so many people in cells that are clamoring and jeering at them. 

I mean, I was catcalled and people said all kinds of rude things that I would never even repeat publicly. And then I was brought into a pod that was actually the general population with men that were there just walking around. So of course this feels like a very threatening environment. And when I was getting fingerprinted, a fight actually broke out and I had to stay behind two of the female guards to make sure that everything was okay. And so again, I think that this was just all about intimidation. It was about a foretaste of this is what’s going to happen to you if you are conservative and you’re willing to represent someone named Trump. And so it was wild and I can’t believe that I went through that. And the sheriff, at the very end when she was processing my bond paperwork to leave, she handed me a copy and said, would you like to keep this? And I said, yes. And it’s literally paperwork that says proof of incarceration. And I thought, I can’t imagine that it has come to a day where I now have proof of being a political prisoner, but this is where we’re at in America. 

It almost gives me chills up my spine to think about it. I mean, that’s insane. If they put you in a holding cell with a general population including men, I mean people who you would assume aside from Trump and your co-defendants, I can barely say that with a straight face, these people have committed crimes. That’s why they’re in jail. I mean, right now the Fulton County Jail is under investigation by the Department of Justice for civil rights violation for unsanitary unsafe conditions. They’ve had three inmates die in jail under odd circumstances, we’ll call it just in the month of August alone. Did you see that? Was it dirty? Was it chaos? 

Well, it was a little bit chaotic in that pod of the general population, especially when that fight broke out. And it did feel very overpopulated. I mean the other cells that I walked by that had a lot of people in there, obviously I didn’t stop to actually count the number, but it did seem just in the one area that I was at, it felt dirty in the sense of kind of a normal kind of prison dirty, but at the same time not really kept up. Well, I do think that the sheriff’s officers, at least the ones that I interacted with were very professional. They were very kind in the sense of how they handled me, how they did the mugshot and fingerprinted. So I do give them credit for just doing their job. The one officer who escorted me stuck right by me the entire time, and she said that she’d been there for over 17 years as a sheriff in the Fulton County Jail. 

I cannot imagine that I actually thanked her for her service at the end. I know from, again, just my work as an attorney, that those are often the people who really don’t get a lot of thanks for doing their job. And I really appreciated the fact that she walked me through the entire process that I had to go through. But the fact that we even had to go through that I think is just again, totally absurd. And when I went through that on Wednesday, then Thursday was when President Trump came and it just infuriated me thinking about him as the former sitting president of the United States being subjected to that type of intentional and purposeful humiliation that’s just designed to be politically oppressive. I think that’s shameful. That should never happen in America. And I was just so outraged and saddened watching him having to go into that same jail and then emerge only a few minutes later. So thankfully it didn’t take him that much time, but we should never be doing this at all in America. I mean, this is a Stalinist sort of tactic to try to persecute your political opponents like that. 

It is. And I want to talk about the political, the political implications, but also what we can do to stop this in a minute. But President Trump was in there for about 20 minutes from the time his motorcade pulled up until he was booked, his mugshot fingerprints taken and left. How long were you in there? Was it equally as speedy? 

Mine was a little bit longer. My attorney said it was roughly around 35 minutes or so. It felt like a lot longer frankly to me. But thankfully, the process was, I think as quick paced as it could be, they allowed my attorneys to start processing the bond paperwork as soon as I was taken into custody. And so that was helpful in terms of expediting the process. But again, I mean even 35 minutes having to fly, I don’t live in Georgia and having to show up just for the purpose of getting arrested, the mugshots, the fingerprints, I mean they treat you like a common criminal. I mean they had to ask, normally these things are for identity purposes and there’s no reason at all to assume that any of us are a flight risk or we’re not going to obey court orders or anything. But during the intake process, they ask you frankly invasive questions like, do you have tattoos? Where are they located? All these things that you would think are normal criminal processing and it is just treating you like an average criminal. 

Did any of the other inmates say anything to you when you were in you with the general population? 

Besides some of those cat calls and things that I just ignored, I didn’t interact with anyone. And again, I was very grateful for the sheriff who’s just stayed right by me the whole time so that I didn’t really have to make eye contact or engage with anyone else. 

That’s so frightening. Alright, let’s bring up her mugshot. I think your mugshot is awesome. First of all, you look beautiful in your mugshot, which is not necessarily what one expects when you see a mugshot. I know that you were trying to send a message and I think the message was very effective, but talk to me about the thought process that went into this because I assume that this was not a spur of the moment decision to look the way that you looked or to look the way that you look in this mugshot. Why did you choose this particular stance? 

Well, because I just wanted to show that I am going to remain unbothered by this entire process and that I will continue to have the joy of the Lord in all of my circumstances. Some people have characterized this as being smug or trivializing the process, and that’s not it at all. I just didn’t want to look like I am in any way depressed or scared or intimidated or demoralized by this because that’s what the left wants. And I think that the reaction by some of the left to this smile that is attempting to mischaracterize my motivations is just because they’re so triggered by the fact that they didn’t get to see me cry or look upset. And I absolutely wanted to make sure that I was confident that I was going into this simply saying that I’m going to trust the Lord and why wouldn’t I smile? 

Because whatever befalls any of us through our lives here on this earth, I know that my hope and eternity is secure. And I do have a lot of confidence in my attorneys and I am innocent of these charges. We’re going to mount as great of a defense as possible. I’m going to take advantage of every provision of the law to fight for my innocence. But at the end of the day, I’m not only confident in that defense, but I’m also confident in the security that I have for eternity. And because I knew that this would be a really bizarrely national, if not worldwide platform, I wanted to project that confidence that I have in my eternal hope as well. 

And you know what, this might sound shallow compared to the depth that you’re speaking with, but I really think that the message was hammered home by the fact that you wore bright pink lipstick. That’s the message that I saw. I was like, oh, this girl is going to fight. She is not going to roll over. She is there for the long haul. This is not someone who’s been broken. This is someone who you better watch out for. Jenna. Have you talked to President Trump since these indictments have been announced, since everyone has surrendered and been arrested and booked? Have you had any communication with the former president? 

Well, one of the conditions of bond, I believe for all of us is that we’re not allowed to talk with any of the co-defendants except through counsel. So I have not, and I will abide by the conditions of bond. And also I believe all of us are also on pretrial services, which basically means that we have to be supervised, which is yet another way of treating us like we’re criminals while we still have the presumption of innocence. And so of course I’ll abide by those conditions. But going back to the bright pink lipstick, this was also something that I wanted to have this as. This is just another day. And even though this is of course absolutely ridiculous, it’s absurd. That was another choice that I intentionally made to say I am unbothered by this in the grand scheme of things. And it was actually one of the more lighthearted moments was the first thing that the sheriff who stood by me said to me as we were walking back after she took me into custody, she leaned over and she said, and I have to tell you I absolutely love your makeup. And so we have this little bit of a chat and lighthearted moment with her, and she was just really kind. 

I’m glad to hear that. I suspect, I don’t want to speak for the sheriff or any of the deputies that were in working in the jail, but I suspect that some law enforcement is sympathetic to you even as they execute their duty, which may inform some of their professional behavior. We’ve experienced that before. So your legal defense is not inexpensive. In fact, you told me it could cost up to half a million dollars, which is a whole heck of a lot of money. I think a lot of us from the outside, Jenna expected President Trump, or at least super Pac to pay for the defense of all the co-defendants because they were defending him. This whole thing is a show trial, but because you were on his team, I mean your charges, the charges against you are based off of working with Trump and defending Trump and talking, giving him legal advice after the 2020 election. Were you surprised when he didn’t pay or didn’t offer to pay your legal fees? 

I wasn’t surprised, but frankly disappointed. I mean, this has been unfortunately, president Trump’s track record, even through those who were caught up in the Russia collusion hoax and some of these other things, my good friend Michael Caputo, who a lot of people know was just a witness in a case. His legal fees cost, I think over in excess of $300,000 that he’s still paying off. And President Trump did not take care of that at all for any of his people. And I think what’s so disheartening about that is to see how many people are willing to stand by him, not just because in my instance, it’s the right thing to do As a lawyer, I’ve had clients all across the political spectrum, and every person, whether you’re Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, hunter Biden, Jeffrey Epstein, I mean all. And I’m certainly not comparing any of those, but across the spectrum, I think for those are names that have a visceral reaction to people who probably hate for different reasons. 

All of those people, they all deserve competent counsel in our system. And so for the lawyers in particular, the fact that President Trump has basically just left us on the field, I think speaks to why I do believe that even though this is a weaponization of government and I will defend that, I do think that it shows the basic personnel and policy decision-making that he has lacked and that we as a conservative party need to contemplate where do we go from here? Because I’m very concerned if there are another four years of a President Donald Trump who is going to want to work for him at this point, not just because he is targeted. That shouldn’t deter anyone. It didn’t deter me when there were a lot of people in his administration during those four years and in the aftermath with the election challenges that were either intimidated or for other reasons chose to say, I can’t be part of this team because of the political backlash. 

That’s never a reason to not defend a client. But I think for people seeing how President Trump is reacting and how he’s not willing to step up and say, this is my team, these are my people, of course I’m going to help them and support them as much as I want the American people to support me and help me, I think really indicates that he’s going to have a very difficult time populating his administration with very strong people. And what I’ve noticed as this primary has continued is that anyone that I genuinely respected from the first campaign to the second campaign, 2016 and 2020, not a single person that I genuinely respected that worked for him, not just people who endorsed him but actually worked for him. None of those people have endorsed him in this third time around. And I think that that speaks volumes to how not only they were treated in the administration, but they saw the difficulties in the personnel decisions and the wins that were possible that weren’t accomplished because of some of those decisions. And I think people really need to take a very genuinely hard look at that. And not to say that we don’t support and love President Trump for what he did accomplish, and I think the weaponization of government against him is fundamentally unconstitutional, and I will defend that. But as an American voter, as a conservative looking at the metric of my principles to select the best candidate to move forward and to take our country forward, I genuinely believe that that is Governor Ron DeSantis. 

And you had a really interesting post on X, formerly known as Twitter yesterday that I want to bring up. That’s about the 2024 election. And we’ll get to that in a little bit because it is a very interesting discussion given all the legal stuff and given what I would call boring performance of the first G O P debate. But it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, even from a practical standpoint that President Trump wouldn’t pay for the legal defense of all of you guys because it seems to me that one of the strategies or something that district attorney Fannie Willis is hoping will happen is she’s hoping you guys will turn on each other. She’s hoping you guys will turn on President Trump. And it seems like it would make it more likely that someone would do that to maybe avoid jail time if they’re very fearful of that, if President Trump isn’t paying their legal fees. I could be wrong. Maybe every one of you is totally committed to fighting this to the end, totally committed to the stances that they took. But do you see anyone in this group turning on President Trump in this process in order to avoid jail time? 

Well, I’m not going to speak for the co-defendants. I can only speak for me and my legal team. And I think that once my legal team starts filing, pleading some of these pretrial motions that those are going to speak for themselves. And I can just say that I’m a very principled person, and that is going to be true regardless of whether that’s how I exercise my vote, how I defend my clients, how I practice my profession, but also how I meet any of these types of challenges. 

Interesting. I mean, I personally hope and pray that nobody turns on anyone. I think the other thing that Fannie Willis wants to happen from a political standpoint is she wants people to recant their claims that the 2020 election was stolen or something fishy happened or electioneering tipped the outcome, however you want to phrase it. And let me ask you, do you believe that the 2020 election was a free and fair election or do you believe that it was stolen? 

Well, that’s also something that because it gets to the merits of the indictment, I can’t speak to you right now just because we are putting together a legal defense, and so I don’t want anyone to take that way or another, but those are some of those meritorious assertions that I don’t want to get ahead of and I want to leave to my legal team because as I’ve always advised all of my clients and I want to be a good client now I analogize it to a chess game that the more pieces that the client moves on the board, the less possible defenses and strategies are left to the chessmaster who are the lawyers. And so even though I am a lawyer myself, and of course I’m looking at this through a legal strategy lens, I also have hired very competent counsel that I fully trust and respect. And so I’m going to leave those decisions and those types of responses to their legal pleadings. 

You knew I had to ask. You knew I would throughout the course of this conversation. Let me ask you, what do you anticipate will happen? And I guess I mean both your case and you can tell me what you’re able to about that. The other cases, president Trump’s case and our country, I mean, we were chatting briefly right before we went on air for this discussion. And I was saying one of the things that I found really heartening is every time I’ve looked at your fundraising, your fundraising platform, which by the way guys, can we bring this up on the screen because I’ve donated to Jenna’s defense, you guys should too, if you possibly can. She deserves our defense. Doesn’t matter if you agreed with her legal takes or not. I mean, this is obviously the weaponization of government against an American citizen just for using free speech, which is beyond the paleo. 

So if you can, it’s give send Jenna, we’ll post the link on all the platforms. It’s on X as well, wheeler. You can find it there. But one of the things I’ve noticed when I look at the comments when people are donating is there’s a lot of people who are saying, listen, Jenna, I didn’t agree with your take. I didn’t agree with your support of Trump. I don’t think you’re right about this, but I’m donating anyway because I think that they’re coming after you just for free speech. And Jenna, I got to tell you, I was surprised to see so many people saying that, 

Yeah, I really was too, honestly. And that is very encouraging to the future of our nation. And I’ll tell you on air, Liz, as I told you before the start of the show that I’ve had friends even who are Democrats, I mean people that I definitely would not put in the same corner with me in terms of our policy perspectives, the candidates we support, anything like that. But they are even absolutely appalled by what is going on with the progressive left in saying, this does not reflect my values. It doesn’t reflect the values of our US Constitution and of Americans. And this is very scary. And I’ve also had lawyers across the political spectrum that are saying, this is challenging my profession as well, and I don’t want to have, for example, a defendant who I am championing and I’m saying is innocent, and then ultimately they get convicted or they have a civil suit and we bring those challenges and there’s not a finding in their favor. 

And then somehow just on that basis, then that lawyer gets targeted for disbarment or for other types of proceedings including criminal charges. I mean anyone putting this into any other context would see the absurdity. One of the examples I also like to give is the attorneys who challenged a current sitting congresswoman from Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Green under the theory of a quote insurrection, and that the use of that term within the context of the 14th Amendment, the legal argument was that she, because she had supposedly participated in an insurrection, she was barred from holding federal office. She had to go to Georgia and testify that case did not prevail. No one is suggesting that those lawyers should be disbarred or criminal charges for racketeering should be brought against them because they mounted a legal challenge and in my view, a very tenuous and downright unconstitutional theory that was perverting that particular amendment to the Constitution, they were lawyering. 

And that’s what lawyers do. Even if I ardently disagree with their assertions and with their legal theories, everyone in this country has the right to a defense. They have a right to bring forth claims. They have a right to petition the government for redress on behalf of themselves or their clients. And so the fact that we’ve gotten to the point in this country where political opposition is actually being criminalized, that is Stalinist, it is Maoist, it’s cultural Marxism, it’s actually Marxism that is weaponizing the institutions of government. I mean, these aren’t just talking points. These are things that are actually happening and people need to understand and be aware of what’s happening. And I’m really glad that with this crossing of the Rubicon, which I really genuinely think it is, that even people who are on the total opposite side of the aisle in terms of their political beliefs still at least agree with unanimity as our founders did, that our government is obligated to preserve and protect our rights that come from God. 

Our creator and the government is not designed to weaponize itself against American citizens, especially private citizens like me, that were simply practicing law. And so the fact that even Democrats, libertarians moderates people who love and hate President Trump, people who love and hate Ron DeSantis, it doesn’t matter. All of these people see that this is a threat to the practice of law and to our constitution, and they are willing to stand by me and stand up against this. And I’m very grateful for the people who see this for what it is. This is not about Donald Trump. This isn’t about me. This is about the weaponizing of government and the attempt to tear down our freedom and liberty in this country. We cannot ever have this prevail. And I’m hopeful that we get very good precedent through the court system and that there may be legislative solutions as well coming out of this. And I hope that this genuinely is a wake up call specifically for Republicans who love to just send strongly worded letters, strongly worded tweets, to actually provide some solutions that will safeguard the integrity of this country. 

And by the way, if lawyers who espouse bad legal theories could immediately be criminalized for that, then every liberal Supreme Court justice in the history of our country should be in the Fulton County Jail right now, including all the members, all the liberal members sitting on the bench right now. So there’s been some interesting discussion on X, formerly known as Twitter. I’m sure you’ve seen this among conservatives about how to stop the left from weaponizing government, especially weaponizing the legal system against conservatives. And of course, they’re the normal solutions, I would say they haven’t been executed, but abolishing the administrative state and electing Republicans to Congress and the Senate and the White House, those are kind of the regular solutions holding hearings in Congress, which I’m totally over. I don’t think that our Congress members are doing anything right now, but there’s an interesting suggestion, which I think is a good suggestion, that if conservative das in red states bring lawsuits against Democrats and not frivolous lawsuits, not weaponize government, but bring lawsuits against Hillary Clinton who deserves to be indicted, and Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and James Comey and Jim Clap are people who have demonstrably weaponized government against their political opponents that if at the local level, conservative Dass did kind of the same thing that Fannie Willis is doing or Alvin Bragg, except in this case these are valid, valid indictments, that that would be what would be needed to stop the left from doing this because they realize, oh wow, this is going to happen to us. 

And in our case, we actually did commit crimes. What are your thoughts on this? 

Well, I think that Republicans need to do more than just have strongly worded letters or hearings that ultimately don’t amount to anything. I mean, where is the impeachment of Joe Biden? We don’t need to have months and months of preparation just to start an impeachment inquiry. This is something where Joe Biden has clearly demonstrably violated the Constitution with a sufficient legal basis for the Republican majority to file impeachment papers against him. And this is not a sort of tit for tat. I was not a fan and I openly said so of impeaching Joe Biden day one, right? I don’t want Republicans or conservatives to go along with the default that I’ve called a double bind that I think Democrats are trying to put us into, which is either to just sit down, shut up and take it and take the higher road and turn the other cheek and all of that. 

Well, no, we obviously need to protect this country. But I also don’t think it’s a good response to just say, well, fine, then we’re going to weaponize the government against you. And so I appreciate what you just said, Liz, because I’ve seen some of that on Twitter with people who are rightly outraged about this saying, well then we just need to do to them what they’re doing to us. Well then we would be helping to tear down our systems and our institutions. I’m not going to file for the disbarment of a lawyer who had a legal theory or who represented a client that I don’t personally like any more than I think it’s valid that they’re doing that to me. What we need to do is have a third option. And I do think that we need to have legislative solutions. We need to have a good judicial precedent, and we do need to grow a spine as conservatives and actually use the powers, rightly, legitimately, within the contours of the US Constitution, as I’ve always advocated for, and actually use those powers how they are designed. 

And one of the reasons that I do support Governor DeSantis and I reject this whole notion that Trump is the only one that can go in and drain the swamp. Well, if you actually look and compare the records of what Trump did accomplish but not sufficiently, and you look at what Governor DeSantis has done in the state of Florida, he’s the only one who’s actually used his power to fire two Soros funded das. He’s used his power and the legislative super majority to enact protections for the state of Florida, like saying that under the Uniform commercial code, having this cryptocurrency or this currency that would be a federal fund is not valid in the state of Florida to have transactions. He has completely changed the state of Florida under the Constitution of Florida and under the parameters of the power that he actually has to advance protections, he’s not just in a defensive posture, he has acted with protections and there’s a whole host of accomplishments that he could bring to the federal level. 

And I genuinely want to make America like Florida with those types of provisions and protections. So if we are serious as conservatives, we need to have serious solutions. And again, I love and respect Donald Trump, but I don’t want just somebody who is great on tv, and there are a lot of pitfalls that I do see with the DeSantis campaign that I think they’re missing a lot of opportunities. I’ve said that openly. I’ll continue to tell the truth. I don’t think his campaign is operating on all cylinders how it could, but if conservatives would actually look at the record in Florida that he has been able to accomplish, and they would compare that with what would be frankly a lame duck four years, even if Donald Trump were able to get in office, there is no comparison on any metric. DeSantis is the better conservative choice if we want actual accountability and real solutions. 

And this is largely the content of your post on X, which by the way is going viral. It’s gotten half a million more views since I pulled it up like two hours ago preparing for this interview. And I want to read this because I like the points you make. I feel like we’re very tribalist in the Republican party. Human nature is kind of tribalist to begin with, and our current political environment feeds into that. I myself am a loyalist to no politician. I think they’re all terrible. I invite everyone to join me in this. I actually think it’s a healthy mindset. I’m not just trying to be a cynic. We should always look at every politician through a lens of skepticism, kind of like, I don’t know about you. Let me hold you at arm’s length. Let me make sure you’re doing your job. We should never look at them like they are our champion and our savior, otherwise we’re going to be in for a world of pain. 

But let me read your post that is currently going viral because I like most of it. You say political views I hold without apology. Number one, Ron DeSantis is the best conservative candidate for 2024 by any relevant metric, I will defend that. Number two, Donald Trump is being unjustly and wrongly persecuted by a weaponized government in Georgia. I will defend that. Number three, Ron DeSantis should directly address and condemn the Georgia indictment of Donald Trump, do the right thing regardless of the outcome. Number four, Donald Trump should stop lying about and trashing Ron DeSantis Do the right thing regardless of the outcome. Number five, Ron DeSantis campaign is terrible, and I have no idea what they’re thinking. Number six, Donald Trump’s campaign is terrible, and I have no idea what they’re thinking. Number seven, principles are greater than politics, personalities or candidates. Unity on principles matters to winning. 

If you disagree with me, you write on any one or more of the points above, you’re entitled to the right to disagree and debate is part of what makes this country great. If you disagree with any one or more points above and on that basis, do not support me against unjust persecution from a weaponized government. You’re part of the problem. So I’ve been pretty open on this show that I don’t know who I’m going to vote for in the Republican primary. I’m obviously going to happily vote for whoever secures the Republican nomination. I’m never going to be one of those people that’s so loyal to a primary candidate that I wouldn’t vote for whoever the Republican nominee turns out to be. I think that’s stupid. That’s basically a vote for Joe Biden. I don’t know if I’m going to vote for DeSantis or for Trump or whoever, and I feel no pressure to decide. 

I’ll probably decide next year when the primary rolls around. However, I don’t like the tribalist snipping that’s going back and forth between the surrogates of these two campaigns, especially on X. And both of these campaigns have serious problems. I mean, we see that with the Trump campaign and how they’ve been targeting DeSantis. And then we saw that I think pretty evidently with Rhon DeSantis debate performance where he came off, sure, he said a lot of good things, but he came off as so robotic and just didn’t strike me as, okay, you have the confidence to be this leader at the federal level. What do you think the outcome of this primary is going to be? 

Well, that’s the million dollar question I think. And I do stand by what I said in that post, and the impetus for that was because I was getting so many different comments from a lot of haters, but also a lot of well-meaning people that are like, well, wait a minute, you’re changing your position. Or How can you support DeSantis but also support Trump? And I’m confused and people who expected me because I support Trump against the weaponization of government to then just back off criticizing his campaign or because I’m openly supporting, not endorsing, but supporting Governor DeSantis, I’m never going to criticize his campaign. So I wanted to say, listen, that’s not what I’m about. I don’t work for any campaign. When I worked for Donald Trump and when he was a client of mine and the campaign was a client, that’s a very different posture. 

I’m speaking on behalf of the campaign. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m speaking my open opinions. This is part of the reason, and actually a large reason why I didn’t go back to work for the campaign because I want to say my views not speak on behalf of anyone else. So if we are genuinely looking at the primary, we have to be realistic here. And we also have to point out some things like I agree with your debate performance. I thought that Governor DeSantis the worst possible image was when he looked around the stage and then raised his hand really timidly that does not project confidence and leadership. I was frankly, what is going on with that? And every person who’s a DeSantis supporter that I spoke to also was equally thinking that that was a really bad call on his part. Trump is a media person. 

He was a television host of the most popular reality TV show for years. He knows media, he knows it incredibly well. He taught me a lot about media when I worked for him. No one is going to challenge him on media. And so what I think Governor DeSantis is not doing well is not understanding his opponent and the media that we find ourselves in. There’s a great book that’s called Amusing Ourselves to Death that I would highly recommend. This is well before Twitter, well before X, but the premise of the book is saying that while the medium is the message, we have to understand the medium right now in this political environment. In 2023 heading into 2024, this is not a campaign of the 1980s. We’re dealing with podcasts, social media, with people who are influencers. None of this was relevant or even possible in politics 20 years ago. 

And so what I think Governor DeSantis is not doing well is adapting to the media and recognizing that his political opponent is a master of the media. He should not have read an op-ed as his initial conversation with Elon Musk on the Twitter space. I was really disappointed in that. I thought he would come out with confidence and projecting leadership. And one of the things that he isn’t using to his advantage is how genuinely smart he’s he is one of the wonkiest people I’ve ever seen, and as a constitutional law journey, I love that. And as somebody who loves the constitution, who loves our system of government, I love how he studies these things in depth. He knows every provision. He knows it by heart. He knows how to manipulate and master the powers of government in the same way that Donald Trump knows how to manipulate and master the media. 

So from a conservative perspective, I want as my president, the person who knows how to best master the powers of government much more than I want someone who can master the powers of media because results are not going to be a true social post or a political interview or a mugshot or merchandising true results. And how we have to move forward as a country depends on the person who understands the powers of government and how to use those to our advantage. Obviously, staying within the law and the contours, the Constitution, that’s a given. But someone who actually understands that, and that is Rhon DeSantis, he does not know how to translate that into media. And so I wish that he would have at his side and as part of his team, people who did understand media and people who could give him that boost because that’s just not him. I’m okay with that as a voter, but you’re going to have to convince everybody else that Ron DeSantis knows what he’s doing and that he is the best candidate in an environment where the medium absolutely is in favor of Donald Trump. And that’s going to be the difficulty. 

Well, that’s the catch 22 these days, I suppose it wasn’t like this in the beginning of our country before there was television, let alone social media. But the catch 22 is you have to be good at the campaigning in order to actually convince people that you have the best policy solutions, and then you have to be good at governing, which is applying those policy solutions to an active working government. I think this is why when I look at these candidates, again, I’m not trying to sound cynical, but my answer is both, and neither Ron de Sanders’s position on Ukraine seems like a disqualifier to me, and so does Donald Trump’s position on Covid. So I’m left with, I don’t know. I don’t know. We’ll have to see. Of course, everyone, I want to remind you again, please go to give send, Jenna, and if you can donate to her legal defense, one of the things I think that’s resonating with people when they see Donald Trump’s mugshot or your mugshot is this is almost like 2015 all over again when President Trump was standing in the line of fire on our behalf against the elitist. 

And that’s what his mugshot represents this time around too, that these leftists actually want to stop all of us from being able to express our views and dissent from their ideology. Trump just happens to be the one standing in their way before they get to us. So defending you is defending our nation and all of us and our family and our freedom. So I encourage people, if you can give, I want to do one fun game before we go. There have been a lot of iconic mugshots in the history of our country, and I’m not just talking about, I’m not just talking about political mugshots. So Jenna, I would like you to rate these mugshots on a scale of one to 10 for the most iconic mugshots in our history. And we’re going to start with Bill Gates. Did you know Bill Gates had a mugshot? Look at this. 

Oh my gosh, I didn’t. I 

In Mexico. 


That’s from 1977. 

He’s smiling a little bit, so I’d give him a solid eight for that. I mean, the hair looks a little hippie. I don’t think that it’ll stand the test of time. We can kind of put him in this, I’m sure that’s what, in the seventies or maybe 

Yeah, see, there you go. So I’d give that a solid eight. 

Okay. I would too, except I think I’d agree with you. I don’t know that I would recognize him if I didn’t know who it was. Now that I know who it is, I’m like, oh, yeah, I see that profile, but I don’t know if I would. Okay. Then we have Frank Sinatra’s mugshot, Frank Sinatra’s mugshot we’re all familiar with. This is a pretty iconic one. How would you rate this one? 

Oh, yeah, I would definitely rate that one a nine. I think he could have had a little bit more of the smolder. I actually think that President Trump’s expression of defiance of standing firm was really excellent for him. So I would rate this one though as solid nine. I think it’s genuinely iconic. 

It is. I mean, you still see this on barbershop walls, this one. Then we have Martin Luther King Jr. This is a pretty iconic mugshot. Look at that 

One. I have to give a 10 to, because that one, just the history involved and the letter from a Birmingham jail. I actually thought about this going into Fulton County jail thinking, if I had to write a letter from the Fulton County Jail, would I be nearly as articulate and taking in this moment in history, like those like Martin Luther King Jr. Who stood for principles and ultimately prevailed, and he’s become an icon for civil rights and for civil liberties, and truly making our country a more perfect union, and that’s what we all should strive to be. So that one absolutely gets a 10 in my book. 

Yeah, I have to agree. Those blazing eyes will just give you the chills and rightly. And then we have Pablo Escobar. This one’s iconic in a totally different way. What do you think of this one? What do you write this one? 

Well, I like the smile Again, he kind seems unbothered there, but it’s a little, I don’t know what’s going on with the shirt there. I’m not actually familiar with the story behind that. So just based on literally the mugshot alone, this kind of reminds me of something from Pineapple Express maybe. So I would give this, yes, that’s 

Exactly what I was thinking. That’s exactly what I was thinking. I was thinking it looks like something from a Seth Rogan film, which is the same thing. And then of course we have Donald Trump. Here we go, bring up the mugshot. How would you rate this, Jenna? 

Oh, yeah. For everything that Donald Trump needed to accomplish with this photo, I would also give this one a 10. And with Donald Trump, even though obviously I didn’t talk to him, I didn’t pregame this with him, he has other advisors now that work for him. But you know that he was gaming this out to say, okay, what am I going to wear? How am I going to look? How is my hair going to be styled? Because he’s so visual. So he knew he was going to be the icon for genuinely preserving the integrity of our system in 2023. This is so iconic, and it is now, I think, going to be in the mugshot history for America for all time. So I give him a 10 because I think what he wanted to accomplish, just knowing him, I think he totally pulled it off. I would’ve loved to see him kind of do a smile and a thumbs up, like one of his regular photos. I think that would’ve worked for him as well. But for everything he needed to do in the photo, I think he really accomplished it well. 

Yeah, I have to agree with you. I would rate this one, a 10 of 10, although I have to say, I would also, I’m sure he game planned it. Of course he did. All of us would. I wish that he had taken video of practicing this face in front of the mirror, because that would be the most watched video in the history of the world that would break every social media platform on planet Earth. Jenna Ellis, thank you for coming on the show. Thank you for sharing your experience. I know it’s been a terrible experience, but we support you. We are here behind you. I hope you feel that. And everyone, I know I’ve said this three or four times, I’m going to keep saying it until you put it in your browser. So go to give send,, Jenna and support her. If you possibly can, drop her a note on our Twitter, let her know that you are behind her and we’ll be praying for you. Jenna, we really are behind you. 

Thank you so much, Liz. I know that’s so genuine and I truly have felt the support from across the conservative community and then also the Christian community as well. And this is the time when you really see who your true friends are and who the people are that are willing to stand up in principle. As we’ve talked about, the people who don’t agree with me, but they understand that this is criminalizing the practice of law, so they’re willing to stand with me. I’m so thankful for everyone who has and look forward to defending my innocence and ultimately prevailing. 

Alright guys, thank you for watching today. Thank you for listening. I’m Liz Wheeler. This is the Liz Wheeler Show. 

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