Sidney Powell, a former Donald Trump lawyer, has pleaded guilty in the Georgia election interference case in Fulton county.
Powell was charged alongside Trump and seventeen others for conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results in the state of Georgia.
The others charged in the case include former White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows; Attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, Bob Cheeley, Ray Smith III and Kenneth Chesebro; former assistant U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Clark; former Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer; and current Georgia state Senator Shawn Still.
Powell entered into a plea agreement on Thursday, October 19, 2023, just a day before jury selection was set to start in her trial.
She pleaded guilty to six misdemeanour charges.
She becomes the second defendant to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges and cooperate with prosecutors in the sprawling criminal case.
Last month, Bail bondsman Scott Graham Hall pleaded guilty and agreed to testify at future trials. The other defendants, including Trump, have pleaded not guilty.
According to new court filings, Powell admitted taking actions after the 2020 election “for the purpose of willfully tampering with electronic ballot markers and tabulating machines” and “with the intention of taking and appropriating information, data, and software, the property of Dominion Voting Systems Corporation.”
She is also admitting to hiring a data forensics firm and sending its employees to Coffee County so they could unlawfully access government computers with the purpose of “examining personal voter data, with knowledge that such examination was without authority,” according to the filings.
Powell was sentenced to six years’ probation, a $6,000 fine and $2,700 in restitution to the state of Georgia.
As a condition of her guilty plea, she will also have to write an apology letter to the citizens of Georgia and also testify truthfully at trial.
Trump, a co-defendant in the Fulton County case, does not appear in Powell’s plea documents and was not mentioned at the brief plea hearing Thursday.
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.
A Significant Win For Attorney Fani Willis
John Fishwick, a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, called Powell’s plea a “significant win” for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who brought up the case. He noted that Powell is a very high-profile defendant.
Willis has faced some criticism over her wide-ranging indictment and use of the state’s anti-racketeering law to charge so many defendants. Fishwick said that some people had speculated that, if her case did not go well, it could undermine Smith’s case.
“This certainly shows that at least, as of today, it’s not undermining it. In fact, it’s strengthening his case,” Fishwick said.
Fishwick also said Powell’s plea is also helpful to Jack Smith, the Justice Department’s special counsel.
Powell is an unindicted co-conspirator in the federal election subversion case that special counsel Jack Smith filed against Trump. That investigation has still been ongoing in recent months, and has been continuing to scrutinize Powell.