Donald Trump lawyer Sidney Powell pleads guilty in Georgia election
Donald Trump former attorney Sidney Powell has pleaded guilty in a Georgia election tampering case, a day before his trial was set to begin.
As part of her guilty plea, Powell admitted her role in the January 2021 election fraud in rural Coffee County, Georgia. With the help of local GOP officials, a group of Trump supporters accessed and copied information from the county’s election system to somehow prove the election was rigged against Trump.
Prosecutors in Fulton County are urging a six-year probationary term. Powell will also be required to testify at future trials, write an apology to Georgia citizens, pay nearly $9,000 in restitution and fines and turn over documents.
Trump, a co-defendant in the Fulton County case, does not appear in Powell’s plea documents and was not mentioned at a brief plea hearing Thursday.
After the 2020 election, Powell floated conspiracy theories about alleged fraud and false claims that millions of votes were flipped in a global scheme against Trump involving Venezuela and other foreign powers.
He is now the second person in a sprawling racketeering case to plead guilty. Scott Hall, a bail bondsman, entered a guilty plea last month and consented to testify in upcoming proceedings. Trump is one of the other 17 defendants who have entered a not guilty plea.
Powell admitted to taking actions “with intent to intentionally tamper with electronic ballot markers and tabulating machines” and “with intent to take and use property, information, data and software of Dominion Voting Systems Corporation” after the 2020 election. New court filings.
She also admits to hiring a data forensics company and sending its representatives to Coffee County in order to get unauthorized access to government computers and examine voter information, knowing that this examination was unlawful.
Her attorneys vehemently denied prosecutors’ claims that she orchestrated the Coffee County break-in. They have said in a pre-trial hearing that the prosecution is “false” and that “evidence will show that she was not the driving force behind the incident”.
Additionally, it’s crucial to realize that cooperation cannot be offered in half-measures. If you’re the prosecutor, you don’t make this deal with Sidney Powell unless you’re absolutely sure that A, she’s telling the truth, B. It’s your to be able to credibly testify in a way that you can put in front of a jury, and justify and see that she’s not splitting hairs,” added Honig, a former federal prosecutor.
Only one other Georgia defendant is mentioned by name in Thursday’s filing documents: Misty Hampton, who was the Coffee County election supervisor during the 2020 election cycle. Powell admits to criminal conspiracy with Hampton and will be required to testify against her if she goes to trial. Hampton has pleaded not guilty to seven counts.
On Friday, the hearing was supposed to start
Fulton County Judge McAfee repeatedly denied Powell’s motions to toss the case or at least chip away at some of the most serious charges, including the alleged RICO violations.
His most recent ruling came Wednesday night, when he rejected Powell’s arguments that the charge violated his First Amendment rights.
The last-second plea, along with jury selection for Powell and co-defendant Kenneth Chesebrough, dramatically changes the trial set to begin Friday. They both pleaded their rights to a speedy trial and became the first courtroom showdown in the sporadic case – but now it looks like Chesebrough will go his own way.
Chesebrough has pleaded not guilty to seven counts related to his role in the fraudulent voter conspiracy.
Legal risk elsewhere
In addition to the Georgia case, Powell still faces legal headaches.
She is an unindicted co-conspirator in the federal election sabotage case that special counsel Jack Smith filed against Trump. That investigation is still ongoing in recent months, and Powell continues to be investigated.
In addition, Powell is facing a massive defamation lawsuit from two voting technology companies, who sued her for falsely accusing Trump of rigging the 2020 election. Companies such as Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic filed suit in 2021, and the case is still in the pre-trial discovery phase.