In a significant development, former lawyer for Donald Trump, Sidney Powell, pleaded guilty on Thursday to six counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with the performance of election duties in the state of Georgia. She has also agreed to testify against Trump and the 16 other co-defendants in the case if prosecutors request her testimony.
The case in Georgia is one of four concurrent criminal cases that former President Donald Trump is facing, and it specifically focuses on his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Trump has continued to make baseless claims of election fraud, despite no credible evidence to support these allegations.
Sidney Powell’s guilty plea comes just days before her trial, which was set to begin on Monday and included charges of racketeering and conspiracy to commit election fraud. The plea agreement calls for her to be sentenced to six years of probation.
This development is seen as a significant victory for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, as it secures the cooperation of a lawyer closely connected to Trump’s efforts to challenge the election results.
Sidney Powell was a prominent figure in spreading false claims of election fraud and even famously claimed she would “release the kraken,” a mythical sea monster, in reference to uncovering alleged election fraud.
According to prosecutors, Powell and her co-defendants tampered with electronic ballot markers and accessed data belonging to Dominion Voting Systems, the voting machine company falsely accused of rigging the election against Trump. Powell’s legal team had contested these charges by arguing that their access to voting equipment in Coffee County had been authorized.
Kenneth Chesebro, another lawyer who assisted Trump after the election, was scheduled to be tried alongside Powell. If Chesebro proceeds with his trial, this could provide a strategic advantage for Trump’s own upcoming trial in Georgia, as his attorneys would have insight into much of the case against him.
Trump himself has pleaded not guilty to charges in the Fulton County indictment, which includes violations of Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act related to his election challenge efforts.