Former President Trump’s co-defendants in Georgia have taken a turn in the legal battle against their charges. Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, two high-profile lawyers who were part of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, have agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the case.
The Fulton County District Attorney, Fani Willis, secured plea deals from Powell and Chesebro just days before their trial was set to begin. With their cooperation, they have agreed to testify truthfully against their co-defendants, including Trump himself.
Legal experts say this is a significant development in the case, as it increases the pressure for other defendants to consider taking plea deals as well. Chris Mattei, a former federal prosecutor, says that this plea deal sends a clear signal to other defendants that their time to cooperate is running out.
The plea deals come after Scott Hall, a former bail bondsman, agreed to a similar deal weeks earlier. However, Powell’s and Chesebro’s roles in Trump’s inner circle give their cooperation even more weight. Powell has been a key member of Trump’s legal team and has promoted conspiracy theories about foreign interference in the election. She even attended a now-infamous press conference alongside Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, both of whom are also charged in the Georgia case.
Powell and Chesebro were originally charged in connection with an election office breach in Coffee County, Georgia. However, their involvement in Trump’s post-election efforts, including a meeting at the White House to discuss seizing voting equipment, made them valuable witnesses in the case against Trump and other defendants.
Gwen Keyes Fleming, a former district attorney, says that their cooperation could spell trouble for Trump and Giuliani, who are both listed as unindicted co-conspirators in the Georgia case. However, Trump’s lead counsel in the case, Steve Sadow, downplayed the significance of Chesebro’s plea, stating that the charges were dismissed and that the guilty plea was a result of pressure from prosecutors.
The trial date for Trump and the other 15 defendants is not yet set, as it is not expected to take place until next year. However, legal experts say that these plea deals could potentially weaken the defense strategy for Trump and the others accused. Anna Cominsky, director of New York Law School’s Criminal Defense Clinic, says that the lack of a trial for Powell and Chesebro leaves Trump’s attorneys without a valuable opportunity to gather impeaching material against the prosecution’s case.
Despite the plea deals, it is not expected that Trump or Giuliani will plead guilty anytime soon. Cominsky believes that both men will take their cases to trial, as they are currently frontrunners in the Republican presidential primary. Both Powell and Chesebro still face legal jeopardy in pending defamation lawsuits from Dominion and Smartmatic, as well.
As the legal proceedings continue, all eyes will be on the Georgia case and the potential impact of Powell’s and Chesebro’s cooperation. With the pressure mounting and time running out, there may be more plea deals on the horizon, further complicating the case against Trump and his co-defendants.