Former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell pleads guilty in the Georgia election subversion case

Former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell pleads guilty in the Georgia election subversion case

Prominent right-wing attorney Sidney Powell entered a guilty plea on Thursday for criminal charges related to the Georgia election interference case involving former President Donald Trump and more than a dozen co-defendants.

This plea agreement with prosecutors occurred just one day prior to the commencement of jury selection for her trial. Powell, aged 68, pleaded guilty in Fulton County Superior Court to six misdemeanor counts, which included conspiracy to commit intentional interference with the performance of election duties.

Initially, Powell was facing seven felony charges, which encompassed offenses like racketeering and conspiracy to commit election fraud. These charges were part of an indictment that alleged a comprehensive effort to overturn Donald Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden in Georgia’s 2020 election.

As part of the negotiated agreement with prosecutors, Powell has been sentenced to six years of probation, a $6,000 fine, and ordered to pay $2,700 in restitution to the state of Georgia. Furthermore, she is obliged to write an apology letter to the state of Georgia and its citizens.

Powell is now the second among the 19 co-defendants in this case to enter a guilty plea. The first, Scott Hall, a bail bondsman, pleaded guilty in September to five misdemeanor conspiracy charges.

Both Powell and Hall have agreed to provide truthful testimony in upcoming trials involving the other co-defendants in the case, which includes former President Trump.

Few defenders of Donald J. Trump have vigorously promoted election fraud theories following his defeat in the 2020 election as Sidney K. Powell did. She made high-profile appearances, often alongside other members of the Trump legal team, where she propagated various conspiracies involving countries like Venezuela, Cuba, and China, as well as individuals like George Soros, Hugo Chávez, and the Clintons. Powell baselessly claimed that voting machines had manipulated millions of votes.

Former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell pleads guilty

However, as her trial in the Georgia racketeering case against Mr. Trump and 17 of his allies approaches, Powell’s attorney is asserting that she did not, in fact, represent President Trump or the Trump campaign after the election.

This assertion contradicts Powell’s own prior statements, as well as statements from Mr. Trump himself. There is abundant video evidence showing Powell participating in news conferences, including one where Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, introduced her as one of the “senior lawyers” representing Mr. Trump and his campaign.

The majority of the charges against Powell in Georgia are connected to her involvement in a data breach at an elections office in rural Coffee County, Georgia. On the day following the January 6th riots, Trump allies copied sensitive and proprietary software used in voting machines across the state in a futile attempt to find evidence of ballot fraud.

During a recent court hearing, Sidney K. Powell’s attorney, Brian T. Rafferty, claimed that his client had no involvement with Coffee County. However, several documents and a 392-page file compiled by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation suggest otherwise. This file is a result of the agency’s investigation into the data breach and has been handed over to Georgia’s attorney general, Chris Carr, who is a Republican.

It remains uncertain whether Mr. Carr will take any action, especially considering that Fulton County’s district attorney, Fani T. Willis, has already filed racketeering charges against Sidney K. Powell, Donald Trump, and 17 others. The Fulton indictment alleges their involvement in a “criminal organization” with the objective of undermining Georgia’s election results.

Jury selection for Sidney K. Powell’s trial, along with that of Kenneth Chesebro, a key figure in the plan to use fake electors for Donald Trump in Georgia and other swing states, is scheduled to begin on Monday. Ms. Powell and Mr. Chesebro invoked their right to a speedy trial, as permitted under Georgia law, while Mr. Trump and most of the other defendants are expected to be tried at a later date.

Sidney K. Powell’s widely-publicized declaration on Fox Business Network in 2020 that she would “release the kraken,” referring to a supposed treasure trove of evidence supporting Donald Trump’s victory, gained significant attention after the election. However, the promised evidence never materialized. In the following year, when Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against her and several others, Ms. Powell’s legal team argued that “no reasonable person would conclude” that some of her more extravagant claims “were truly statements of fact.”

Former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell pleads guilty

And Now Fulton County prosecutors are recommending a six-year probation sentence for Sidney Powell. As part of her guilty plea, she acknowledges her involvement in the January 2021 breach of election systems in Coffee County, Georgia. With the assistance of local GOP officials, a group of Trump supporters gained access to and copied information from the county’s election systems in an attempt to substantiate allegations of election rigging against Trump.

Powell’s defense team had vigorously disputed the prosecutors’ claims that she orchestrated the Coffee County breach, maintaining that the evidence would demonstrate that she was not the driving force behind the incident.

Powell is now the second person in the extensive racketeering case to plead guilty. Bail bondsman Scott Hall pleaded guilty last month and agreed to testify at future trials. The other 17 defendants, including Trump, have pleaded not guilty. The trial of pro-Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro is scheduled to commence with jury selection on Friday.

 

 

 

 

( More Details: NYTimes )