Sidney Powell Pleads Guilty to Trying to Overturn Trump’s Georgia Election Loss, Agrees to Testify at Codefendants’ Trials

When you’ve been indicted four separate times in a matter of months, are currently at trial to determine the fate of your eponymous business, and are facing the very real prospect of once again being found liable for defamation, any given day has the potential to bring very bad legal news. And on Thursday, Donald Trump got some of the exceedingly bad variety.

That occurred when attorney Sidney Powell pleaded guilty to attempting to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia. Specifically, Powell pleaded guilty—just one day before jury selection was scheduled to begin in her trial—to six misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties, and in exchange, received six years of probation, a $6,000 fine, and an order to write a letter of apology to Georgia and its residents. Perhaps most significant? That Powell agreed to testify against her codefendants at future trials.

As The Washington Post notes, Powell is the second of Trump’s 18 codefendants in the Fulton County racketeering case to accept a plea deal, the other being bail bondsman Scott Hall. But Powell’s plea seemingly poses a much bigger risk to Trump, given that she is “the first person with direct ties to [the ex-president] and his inner circle to plead guilty in the Georgia case,” a development that “could have far-reaching implications” for the former guy.

Powell was a key adviser to Trump who was briefly in his inner circle of confidants in the chaotic weeks after Election Day 2020 as the former president sought to remain in office. She was present at an infamous Oval Office meeting on Dec. 18, 2020, that featured a shouting match—and near-blows—between a top White House lawyer and Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser who was helping Trump try to reverse his defeat. In that meeting, Trump weighed seizing voting machines from key counties, deploying the National Guard potentially to rerun the election and even appointing Powell as a special counsel to investigate the election. Trump ultimately took none of those steps.

What remains unclear is how high up in the Trump campaign Powell’s actions regarding Coffee County were known and whether she will implicate co-defendants such as former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani or Trump himself when she testifies.

“This is somebody who was at ground zero of these allegations and a lawyer who is pleading guilty,” John Fishwick, a former US attorney for the Western District of Virginia, told the Associated Press. “This is very significant.”

Trump pleaded not guilty to the Fulton County charges in August, shortly after he became the first ex-president in history to have his mug shot taken. 

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