Sidney Powell’s Surprising Plea Deal
In a surprising turn of events, former Donald Trump attorney Sidney Powell entered a guilty plea just a day before jury selection was set to begin in her Fulton County, Georgia trial. Powell pleaded guilty to six counts of misdemeanor “conspiracy to commit interference with performance of election duties.” The repercussions for her actions will include six years of probation, a $6,000 fine, and a mandatory apology letter to the voters of Georgia for her role in attempting to undermine the 2020 election.
Lenient Consequences Raise Eyebrows
Many are raising eyebrows at the seemingly lenient punishment given Powell’s actions in Georgia. Notably, her plea deal does not include pleading guilty to the first charge in the indictment, a state-level racketeering charge that would have mandated a prison sentence. This case, involving 18 defendants, employs a common legal strategy of charging a large number of co-defendants under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) to gain the cooperation of lower-level participants who can provide insider testimony against others in the conspiracy. It appears that Powell has taken this route.
The Kraken Unleashed
While the Coast Guard hasn’t issued any warnings, it’s clear that Powell’s co-defendants in the Fulton County case should tread carefully. The “kraken,” once an ally of Trump, has turned on them all.
Powell’s Track Record of False Claims
Powell’s involvement in Georgia is characterized by staggering levels of dishonesty and fanciful narratives. She made baseless claims of votes being handed to Trump, bizarre promises to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” lawsuit, and a series of dismissed legal filings. Notably, she referenced a mythical Norwegian sea monster, drawing attention to unfounded conspiracy theories.
Outlandish Claims and Conspiracy Theories
Powell’s guilty plea, however, does not stem from her outlandish statements or failed lawsuits but rather her involvement in attempts to tamper with voting machines in Coffee County, Georgia. This was part of her broader effort to find evidence supporting her claims about voting machine manipulation. Her knowledge of these actions will likely be crucial in prosecuting others involved in this scheme.
A Bigger Role for Powell
Powell’s value in this case likely extends beyond her knowledge of machine tampering in Coffee County. Her plea deal indicates that she may possess information that could be damaging to two prominent figures at the top of the indictment: Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani. Both are facing multiple charges, including the RICO charge. Powell’s relatively light sentence suggests that her testimony could be of great significance in their cases.
Navigating Attorney-Client Privilege
Powell’s statement that she “did not represent President Trump or the Trump campaign” is a strategic move to address potential attempts to suppress her testimony on attorney-client privilege grounds. While Trump’s attorneys may make such a claim, the prosecutor, Fani Willis, seems confident that Powell’s testimony will be valuable in the cases involving Trump, Giuliani, or both.
Powell’s “Kraken” Not a Legal Threat
Powell’s infamous “kraken” lawsuit was never a significant legal threat. However, her inside knowledge could pose a significant threat to her former associates and partners.
Kenneth Chesebro’s Trial
Kenneth Chesebro, another former Trump attorney, is set to begin jury selection in his trial. He faces seven counts unrelated to Powell’s actions in Coffee County. Chesebro rejected a plea deal that would have required him to plead guilty to a single felony count of racketeering. Both Powell and Chesebro were scheduled to be tried together due to their decision to exercise Georgia’s “speedy trial” option. It remains to be seen if Powell’s testimony will have any relevance to Chesebro’s charges, which are mainly related to efforts to seat a false slate of electors.