Sidney Powell pleads guilty in Georgia in election interference case

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Attorney Sidney Powell has taken a plea deal in Fulton County, Ga., one day before jury selection was set to begin for her election interference case alongside lawyer Ken Chesebro.

Powell is the highest profile person charged in connection with efforts to keep former President Trump in power after the 2020 election to accept a plea deal, one that requires that she hand over any requested documents or evidence in the case.

Powell received six years probation, a $6,000 fine, $2,700 restitution and agreed to write an apology letter to the citizens of Georgia and to “testify truthfully about any co-defendants.” She pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties.

“Are you pleading guilty today because you agree that there is a sufficient factual basis, that there are enough facts that support this plea of guilty?” Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee asked Powell.

“I do,” she replied.

Prosecutors said the apology letter had already been submitted and Powell has already recorded an initial offer of proof as part of the plea. She was also ordered not to speak with the other defendants, witnesses or the media until the other trials in the case are resolved.

Powell was indicted along with 18 others, including Trump, as part of a wide-ranging scheme to keep the Republican president in office after he lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden. The racketeering case was brought by Fulton County Dist. Atty. Fani Willis. Powell and Chesebro moved for a speedy trial, and were able to separate their portion of the case. Jury selection was scheduled to begin Friday.

Powell was a key player in the alleged efforts to overturn the election results and keep Trump in office and her plea deal could have significant ramifications for the other defendants in the case.

Though the original seven felony charges against Powell focused only on her role in a breach of election equipment in a Coffee County, Ga., elections office that occurred on Jan. 7, 2021, the terms of Powell’s plea require her to turn over any evidence or documents requested by the district attorney’s investigators and to testify truthfully at any related trials in the broader racketeering case.

In the weeks after the November 2020 election, Powell worked with Trump’s legal team to file lawsuits across the country challenging results and organized a nationwide effort to collect claims of election fraud. She was one of the Trump allies at a Dec. 18, 2020, Oval Office meeting who allegedly encouraged Trump to sign an executive order that would allow government officials to seize and inspect voting machines from multiple states.

Trump also considered naming Powell as an emergency special counsel to oversee the inspection of those machines.

Powell is the second defendant to plead guilty. Bail bondsman Scott Hall pleaded guilty last month to five counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties, all misdemeanors. Prosecutors accused him of participating in the breach of election equipment in rural Coffee County.

Powell’s restitution will go toward reimbursing the Georgia secretary of state for the costs of replacing the equipment.

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