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19 Oct, 2023 19:15

Ex-Trump lawyer pleads guilty in Georgia election meddling case

Sidney Powell has agreed to testify against former US President Donald Trump in exchange for a reduced sentence
Ex-Trump lawyer pleads guilty in Georgia election meddling case

Former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell reached a plea deal with Fulton County prosecutors on Thursday in the Georgia state election interference case against former President Donald Trump and 18 political allies.

Powell pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of conspiring to interfere with election duties and accepted a sentence of six years’ probation and a $6,000 fine. She must also write a letter of apology to the state and its residents and testify against her co-defendants, including her former client.

She was initially charged under a racketeering statute normally used to prosecute organized crime, accused of illegally accessing, tampering with and stealing data from voting machines belonging to voting machine maker Dominion Voting Systems in rural Coffee County, Georgia.

In the indictment, filed in August, prosecutors alleged Powell worked with her co-defendant, bail bondsman Scott Graham Hall, and computer forensics company SullivanStrickler to copy data and software from Dominion voting machines in Coffee County and have it sent to another lawyer on the Trump team in order to prove the election had been manipulated in Biden’s favor. Hall last month pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor charges and agreed to testify against his co-defendants.

Jury selection for the trial of Powell and fellow lawyer Kenneth Chesebro was set to begin on Friday ahead of the trial’s start date on Monday. Chesebro is now expected to be tried alone, though prosecutors are reportedly considering offering him a plea deal as well. 

Powell claimed to have proof that widespread fraud took place in order to secure Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election and garnered publicity with her promises to “release the Kraken,” a slew of documents she insisted would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Biden’s victory was illegitimate.

The lawyer claimed Dominion Voting Systems’ machines, used in Georgia and several other states, were compromised by foreign actors who engaged in “computerized ballot-stuffing” to flip those states for Biden. The evidence had been “rendered virtually invisible” due to the nature of the machines, Powell insisted.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis charged Trump and his associates under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act in August, accusing them of conspiring in a “criminal enterprise” to overturn the 2020 election results. It was the fourth set of charges filed against the former president. All 19 defendants initially pleaded not guilty, and Hall and Powell are the only two who have accepted plea deals thus far.