Attorney Sidney Powell pleads guilty in deal with Georgia prosecutors, could testify against Trump

 October 20, 2023

Attorney Sidney Powell, one of several co-defendants alongside former President Donald Trump in the Georgia racketeering case, pleaded guilty on Thursday as part of an agreement with prosecutors, according to The Guardian.

The guilty plea appears to mark an early victory for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in the broad conspiracy she has alleged involving Trump and other associates and actions they took to challenge and reverse the 2020 election results in Georgia.

It also may have Trump and others feeling nervous or pressured to accept plea deals of their own, given that Powell is expected to now be a cooperating witness with prosecutors who may testify against some of the other 18 co-defendants in the racketeering conspiracy alleged by Willis.

Powell accepts plea deal from prosecutors

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Powell's plea deal came just one day prior when jury selection was set to begin in the speedy trial she had requested alongside fellow former Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro.

Though Powell had initially been charged with seven felony counts, she ultimately pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with the performance of election duties.

In addition to becoming a cooperative witness who must testify truthfully against others if called to do so -- she reportedly already recorded a video statement for prosecutors -- Powell faces six years of probation, must pay a $6,000 fine and $2,700 in restitution to the Georgia Secretary of State's office, and must write a public apology letter to the citizens of Georgia.

The outlet noted that Powell's plea agreement likely ratchets up the pressure on Chesebro and others to also reach deals with prosecutors to avoid trial, and may have reduced the risk Powell faced of potentially losing her law license in the state of Texas, given that the misdemeanors she pleaded guilty to are not considered to be "serious crimes" or crimes of "moral turpitude."

The potential impact on others of Powell's plea deal

The obvious question raised by Powell's guilty plea is how it will impact DA Willis' prosecutorial efforts against former President Trump and others, according to CNN and in light of the stipulation that she must now testify truthfully as a cooperating witness against others.

Powell will likely be compelled to testify about her participation in a Dec. 18, 2020, White House meeting with other high-level Trump attorneys and associates in which their plans to challenge and overturn the election results were discussed, purportedly including her being named as a special counsel tasked with investigating election fraud, a declaration of martial law, and using the military to seize control of election equipment and voting machines.

She could also be called to testify about her alleged involvement in a data breach of election equipment in Coffee County by a tech firm searching for evidence of election fraud, though she has always maintained that the probe was not unlawful since it had been authorized by local elections officials.

According to the Associated Press, Powell is alleged to have conspired with others to hire Atlanta-based computer forensics firm SullivanStrickler, which allegedly breached and made copies of all of the data on the county's election equipment and voting machines, with all of that data then being sent back to another associate of Powell and the Trump campaign.

Another member of that alleged conspiracy in Coffee County, a local bail bondsman named Scott Hall, also accepted a deal with prosecutors last month in which he pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts and similarly agreed to testify against others as a cooperating witness.

Powell's testimony could be shared with Special Counsel Smith

Per CNN Powell may also be required to divulge more information about the multitude of lawsuits she filed in various states around the country to challenge the 2020 election results, virtually all of which were summarily dismissed and deemed "frivolous" by judges.

Of particular potential danger to Trump himself, per CNN, is the possibility that whatever information Powell shares with Fulton County prosecutors could be shared with Special Counsel Jack Smith and his similar election-related federal case against Trump, in which Powell is strongly believed to have been an unnamed and unindicted co-conspirator.

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