In an apparent setback for President Trump, one of his former attorneys entered a guilty plea this week in the Georgia case, which claimed the former US president had organized a criminal plot to reverse his defeat in the 2020 election.
In August, Sidney Powell, 68, was charged with conspiracy theories about foreigners hacking into voting machines. Powell was a loud backer of Trump and spread these crazy ideas.
Powell and Fulton County prosecutors came to an unexpected plea bargain a few days before Powell’s Atlanta, Georgia, trial was set to start.
Judge Scott McAfee of the Superior Court found her guilty of six misdemeanor counts of plot to obstruct the performance of official tasks during an election. He then put her on probation for six years.
As part of the plea agreement, Powell, who was initially facing charges including criminal racketeering, conspiracy to conduct election fraud, and other felonies carrying a potential jail sentence, consented to testify during the codefendants’ trials.
“You must tell the truth against all individuals involved in this case in any future proceedings,” McAfee instructed.
Powell’s admission of guilt and willingness to work with the prosecution might have “critical implications for Trump,” according to University of Richmond law school professor Carl Tobias.
Trump, who is currently in first place for the Republican presidential candidate in 2024, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he was part of an illegal plot to change the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, which Democrat Biden won by about 12,000 votes.
The former President, who has been removed from office twice, is also being charged by the federal government for trying to change the 2020 election and for his followers’ January 6, 2021, storming of the US Capitol. In March 2024, he will be tried in Washington, D.C., for that case.
Powell, who used to work as a federal lawyer, was given a $6,000 fine, told to pay back $2,700, and told to write a message of apology to the state and people of Georgia.
After the 2020 presidential election in November, Powell spread crazy ideas about voting machine programs that “flipped” Trump ballots to Biden ballots. This software was supposedly made in Venezuela under the leadership of the late Hugo Chavez.
Trump is said to have known that the ideas were “crazy,” but he still pushed them.
A few weeks before his tenure ended, on December 18, 2020, in the White House, Trump met with Powell, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, as well as other individuals, according to the Georgia charges. During the meeting, they spoke about “strategies and ideas aimed to alter the outcome” of the election.
The appointment of Powell to serve as special counsel having “broad authority for investigating claims of fraud in elections held in Georgia and elsewhere” was reportedly one of the actions that had been contemplated but ultimately dropped.
Powell is the second person involved in the huge Georgia crime case to plead guilty.
Earlier this month, bail bondsman Scott Hall admitted to five counts of plotting to get in the way of election tasks.
Powell and Hall were both charged in connection with a scheme to tamper with voting machines in Coffee County, Georgia, following the 2020 election.