Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Sidney Powell pleads guilty in Georgia Trump case

After losing the 2020 election, Donald J. As a member of Trump’s legal team, Sidney K. has floated some of the scariest conspiracy theories about ballot fraud. Powell pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts Thursday morning. In August, Mr. He is one of 19 people, including Trump, who has agreed to testify against any of the remaining defendants.

His former personal attorney, Rudolph W. Mr. Trump faces more charges than any other defendant except Giuliani. His guilty plea was a blow to Trump. Notably, Mr. Among Trump’s closest advisers since the post-election period, Ms. Powell is flipping first, which could also help the federal election interference case against him.

Jan. Cracking down on the former president’s inner circle has long been a challenge for prosecutors, as has the House committee that investigated the 6 riots. 68 year old Mrs. Powell, a frequent visitor to the White House after the election and with direct ties to the most high-profile defendants in the case, was considering naming him as a special counsel to investigate voter fraud. Including Trump.

Appearing in a downtown Atlanta court on Thursday, he was sentenced to six years of probation for six counts of conspiracy to willfully interfere with the performance of election duties. That’s a far less severe consequence than she would have faced had she been found guilty of the seven counts she was originally charged with, including violating state fraud laws. His criminal trial is scheduled to begin next week.

The charges against Ms. Powell are largely related to helping to tamper with voting equipment in a rural Georgia county in January 2021, as Trump associates fruitlessly searched for evidence of ballot fraud. He was fined $6,000 and agreed to pay $2,700 in restitution to the state of Georgia, as well as return documents related to the case and write a letter of apology to state citizens.

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The second person to take a plea deal in the Georgia case was Ms. Last month, Scott Hall, 59, a Georgia bail bondsman, pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts. He accused Ms. of tampering with voting equipment in Coffee County. Accused with Powell and others.

2020 Joseph R. After losing to Biden Jr., Mr. Few of Trump’s defenders have promoted election fraud theories as strongly as Ms. Powell. Along with other members of Trump’s legal team, in high-profile appearances, he brought up conspiracies involving Venezuela, Cuba, and China, as well as George Soros, Hugo Chavez, and the Clintons; Voting machines cast millions of votes for Mr. From Trump to Mr.

But on Thursday, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to disrupt an election. In Fulton County Superior Court Thursday morning Ms. When Powell appeared, Judge Scott McAfee asked her: “Do you plead guilty today because you agree that there are sufficient facts, sufficient facts, to support this plea of ​​guilty? “

“I do,” she replied.

Under the Georgia First Offender Act Ms. Powell was prosecuted, which allows people with no prior felonies to avoid a conviction on their permanent record if they comply with the terms of their sentence. Tayasha D. Young, Assistant District Attorney, Ms. Powell noted in court that if he successfully completes his sentence, he will “honestly be able to say” that he “has never been convicted of these charges.”

Mrs. Powell gave a taped statement to prosecutors Wednesday as part of his plea deal.

Melissa D., an assistant law professor at the University of Georgia and a former Fulton County prosecutor. “If he’s already given a statement, he’s given some useful information to the prosecutor,” Redmon said.

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Mr. Ms. Redman said it would greatly help the state’s case if Ms. Powell provided evidence that Trump and other high-profile defendants operated a fraudulent voter fraud scheme. In fact there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Steven H. Sato, Mr. Trump’s lead Georgia attorney said in a statement that “any real witness in the Fulton County case” would “advantage my overall defense strategy.” He did not elaborate.

Mrs. Powell was preparing for trial with Kenneth Chesbro, the legal architect of the fraudulent voter scheme. Both had demanded a speedy trial, while Mr. Trump and the other defendants will be tried much later. Mr. Chesebro is now scheduled to conduct a separate investigation.

Mrs. Powell’s attorney, Brian D. Rafferty filed several motions prior to trial seeking to have the charges dismissed, but was unsuccessful. Before his plea agreement, Mr. Rafferty also filed after the election that Ms. Powell “does not represent President Trump or the Trump campaign.”

But those claims are backed up by Ms. Powell’s own past words, and Mr. Undercut by Trump’s words and abundant video evidence of him participating in news conferences with the then-president’s other lawyers.

It was not immediately known what effect the petition would have on Ms. Powell’s law license. A spokeswoman for the Texas Bar Association said it would not affect a disciplinary proceeding already underway, and she was not sure whether the petition would result in a separate disciplinary proceeding.

The current action, which concerns alleged misrepresentations Ms. Powell made in lawsuits filed after the 2020 election, was dismissed by a lower court but appealed by the Bar Association.

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Mrs. Most of the charges against Powell were related Data breach at Coffee District Electoral Office. There, the day after the Jan. 6 riots, Trump associates copied sensitive and proprietary software used in voting machines across the state to hunt for voter fraud.

Mrs. Powell wasn’t there, but he was one of the attorneys who hired consulting firm SullivanStrickler to help with the effort. Miss. for her work in the company. It billed Powell for more than $26,000, and his organization, Defending the Republic, footed the bill.

Brad Raffensberger, Georgia’s secretary of state, later replaced Coffee County’s voting machines, saying “unauthorized access to the devices” violated Georgia law.

Ms. Powell’s restitution is intended to cover the cost of replacing election equipment, prosecutors said.

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