Another Trump Lawyer Pleads Guilty in the Georgia Election Case, Agrees to Testify Against Codefendants (Like Trump)
Approximately 24 hours ago, Donald Trump got the no-good, very bad news that his former attorney Sidney Powell had pleaded guilty to attempting to overturn his election loss in Georgia and had agreed to testify against her codefendants, one of whom happens to be the ex-president. Now, just one day later, a second lawyer who participated in the plot has also pleaded guilty, creating a trend that, by all accounts, does not appear to bode well for the former guy!
On Friday, Kenneth Chesebro, a former lawyer for Trump’s 2020 campaign, pleaded guilty to conspiring to overturn Trump’s loss to Joe Biden in Georgia; specifically, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit filing false documents, which is a felony. He also admitted to helping come up with the plan to convene a slate of fake electors in Georgia. In exchange, Chesebro was sentenced to five years’ probation—though it could eventually be decreased to three years—and ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution and perform community service; crucially, he also committed to testifying truthfully against any of his codefendants who go to trial. As The Washington Post notes, Chesebro signed an amended indictment that was read in open court; in it, prosecutors alleged that Trump, four other lawyers, and a campaign operative were part of the “conspiracy to file false documents declaring Trump won the election.”
Obviously, none of this is good news for the former president, who, in addition to the Fulton County case, is facing three other criminal indictments. Presumably, the Georgia charges are especially worrisome to him given that 1) he can’t simply pardon himself if he becomes president again, as the case is state and not federal, and 2) the racketeering charge alone carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison, with a maximum of 20. (Some of the other 12 counts he was charged with would of course also come with prison time; a conspiracy conviction, for example, would result in a minimum of a year in prison.)
In addition to Powell and Chesebro, a third codefendant, bail bondsman Scott Hall, pleaded guilty in the case late last month.
Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse on Friday, Chesebro’s attorney, Scott Grubman, was asked if Trump should be worried, to which the lawyer responded: “I don’t think so. [My client] didn’t snitch against anyone. He went in there, he accepted responsibility.” Still, as the Post notes, “The potential for incriminating testimony from three of Trump’s codefendants could have a far-reaching impact on the former president’s legal fortunes.”