ATLANTA - Another ally of former President Donald Trump makes a deal with Fulton County prosecutors in the Georgia election-subversion case. Kenneth Chesebro on Friday pleaded guilty to a felony count in the efforts to overturn the result of the presidential election.
This comes just one day Trump lawyer Sidney Powell pleaded guilty to reduced charges. Chesebro is the third codefendant in the sprawling racketeering case to take a plea.
Prosecutors accused Chesebro of coordinating and executing a plan to have 16 Georgia Republicans falsely declare trump won the state in 2020. But, as jury selection began Chesebro’s trial, he admitted to filing false documents in the fake-elector scheme.
Chesebro agreed to truthfully testify against his codefendants, including the former president one day after Powell pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in an unauthorized breach of voting machines in Coffee County.
"It’s a big deal," said Tom Church, a criminal-defense attorney. "These are two major players in this indictment, people who worked with the campaign, who worked directly with Mr. Trump."
Church says Powell’s and Chesebro’s guilty pleas strengthen the prosecution’s case.
"It’s another weapon in the prosecutor’s arsenal," Church said.
Chesebro, Powell and bail bondsman Scott Hall cut deals with Fulton County prosecutors in the massive racketeering case, major wins for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
"This is three out of 19 who all have taken a deal and as part of their deal terms have all agreed to testify against the former president, Mr, Giuliani and the other people involved in the conspiracy," said Kay Levine, a professor and Associate Dean for Research at Emory Law School. All three codefendants to plead guilty avoid lengthy trials. Experts say defense teams for the former president and his former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani could have watched those proceedings and witnesses as potential previews for the cases against them.
"An assessment of their demeanor, how well od they hold up on the witness stand, how clear is their articulation of what they saw?" They don’t have that preview now," Levine said.
Chesebro’s sentence includes five years of probation, a $5,000 and a letter of apology to the state and Georgia residents.