c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a Sidney Powell Pleads Guilty to Election Fraud in Georgia
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Sidney Powell Pleads Guilty to Election Fraud in Georgia

Sidney Powell speaking during
a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters in D.C. on Nov. 19, 2020.
(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Sidney Powell, a former Donald Trump attorney, has pleaded guilty in the Georgia election subversion case, in which she is accused of her role in the January 2021 breach of election systems in rural Coffee County, Georgia. The plea came one day before her trial was set to start. With the help of local GOP officials, a group of Trump supporters accessed and copied information from the county’s election systems to somehow prove that the election was rigged against Trump. The incident is part of a sprawling racketeering case, and Powell is the second person in the case to plead guilty. Bail bondsman Scott Hall pleaded guilty last month.


In exchange for Powell's guilty plea, Fulton County prosecutors are recommending a six-year probationary term, along with testifying in future prosecutions, writing an apology letter to the people of Georgia, paying over $9,000 in penalties and reparations, and turning over documents. Trump is a co-defendant in the Fulton County case, but neither Powell's plea papers nor the brief plea hearing addressed him. 

New court filings reveal that Powell acknowledged acting following the 2020 election "with the intention of taking and appropriating information, data, and software, the property of Dominion Voting Systems Corporation" and "for the purpose of willfully tampering with electronic ballot markers and tabulating machines." As per the documents, she also acknowledged employing a data forensics company and dispatching its staff to Coffee County to forcibly gain access to official computers with the aim of "analysing individual voter data, knowing that this kind of investigation was not authorised."

The prosecution's allegation that she planned the Coffee County breach was denied by her lawyers. Pretrial proceedings have heard statements to the effect that the prosecution is "incorrect" and that "the evidence will show that she was not the driving force behind" the incident. Elie Honig, a senior legal analyst for CNN, stated that this is a "huge breakthrough for the prosecutors," emphasising that they would not have reached this agreement with Sidney Powell unless they were completely certain that she was telling the truth and would be able to testify for them with credibility.


Only one other Georgia defendant is mentioned by name in Thursday’s plea documents: Misty Hampton, who was the Coffee County elections supervisor during the 2020 election cycle. Powell admits to entering into a criminal conspiracy with Hampton and would be required to testify against her if she goes to trial. Hampton has pleaded not guilty to seven felonies. After the 2020 election, Powell had peddled conspiracy theories about purported fraud and false claims about millions of votes being flipped in a global scheme against Trump that involved Venezuela and other foreign powers.

In a surprising turn of events, the trial that was scheduled to commence on Friday has taken an unexpected twist. Despite facing repeated denials from Fulton County Judge McAfee, the defendant, Powell, managed to make a last-minute plea that has completely altered the trajectory of the trial. Initially, Powell had sought to have the case dismissed or have some of the serious allegations against her mitigated, including the alleged RICO violation. However, Judge McAfee firmly rejected her arguments, stating that the indictment did not infringe upon her First Amendment rights. Consequently, the trial, which was originally meant to involve both Powell and co-defendant Kenneth Chesebro, will now proceed solely with Chesebro as the defendant. Chesebro, who has pleaded not guilty to seven crimes connected to his involvement in the fake-electors plot, will now face the courtroom showdown independently.

As the Georgia case continues, attorney Sidney Powell faces additional legal challenges on multiple fronts. One of the most significant is her inclusion as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal election subversion case led by special counsel Jack Smith. This investigation has been ongoing for several months and is focused on Powell's actions. Despite not being formally charged, this ongoing investigation remains a significant legal challenge for Powell. Additionally, Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic have both filed defamation lawsuits against Powell, accusing her of spreading false and damaging allegations about the companies' role in manipulating the 2020 election. As these cases proceed through pre-trial discovery, Powell will continue to face significant legal pressure beyond the Georgia case.


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