In a written statement responding to questions about her record, Ms. Ellis described herself as “a highly experienced and highly qualified attorney and expert in my field.” Any assertions to the contrary “cast me in a false light,” she said. The Trump campaign provided the name of one federal case in which it said Ms. Ellis had participated, in 2012, when she was a year out of law school. But her name is not among the lawyers listed in the decision, and the case was not heard in a regular federal court, but rather in an administrative tribunal.
It has been a month since Election Day. In the weeks since, as Mr. Trump has refused to bow to the reality of his defeat, his fruitless attempts to persuade federal judges and state officials to undo the results have introduced the nation to a once-obscure cast of lawyers, legislators and local elections commissioners. Ms. Ellis is a natural in her newly prominent role.
She has been front and center at several public sessions with Mr. Giuliani over the past week. Convened by pro-Trump Republican lawmakers, they serve no legal purpose and are essentially scaled-down political rallies for the president to vent his frustrations. At one last week in Pennsylvania and another on Monday in Arizona, the president called Ms. Ellis’s cellphone and she held it near a microphone so the crowd could hear him speak.
“I find it astonishing that she’s gotten to this point,” said Stephanie Stout, a lawyer in private practice in Greeley, Colo., who worked with Ms. Ellis a few years ago defending a man who was accused of attempted murder. The partnership was short-lived, Ms. Stout said, because their client fired Ms. Ellis, deeming her not up to the job.
“She just didn’t have the legal chops,” added Ms. Stout, who ultimately won the case on her own. “After that, Jenna decided that I had stolen the case from her.”
The president’s legal efforts to overturn the election have slowly petered out. Mr. Trump and his Republican supporters have already lost or withdrawn from nearly 40 lawsuits, leaving only a handful of cases still alive in courts across the country — and, of course, the very unlikely scenario that the Supreme Court will step in to save him.