Sidney Powell Takes a Plea, Must Apologize to Georgians

She gets 6 years of probation, must testify in the election interference case
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 19, 2023 9:51 AM CDT
Sidney Powell Pleads Guilty in Trump's Georgia Case
Attorney Sidney Powell speaks in Alpharetta, Georgia, on Dec. 2, 2020.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Lawyer Sidney Powell pleaded guilty to reduced charges Thursday over efforts to overturn former President Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 election in Georgia, becoming the second defendant in the sprawling case to reach a deal with prosecutors. Powell, who was charged alongside Trump and 17 others with violating the state's anti-racketeering law, entered the plea just a day before jury selection was set to start in her trial, per the AP. A judge agreed that she'll serve about six years of probation—she faced a long prison term if convicted at trial—as well as pay $2,700 in restitution and have to testify truthfully against her co-defendants. Powell also must write a letter of apology "to the citizens of the state of Georgia," per the New York Times. She pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of "conspiracy to commit intentional interference of election duties," the Times notes.

Powell was initially charged with racketeering and six other counts as part of a wide-ranging scheme to keep Trump in power after he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden. Prosecutors say she also participated in an unauthorized breach of elections equipment in a rural Georgia county elections office. The acceptance of a plea deal is a remarkable about-face for a lawyer who, perhaps more than anyone else, strenuously pushed conspiracy theories about a stolen election. If prosecutors compel her to testify, she could provide insight on a news conference she participated in on behalf of Trump and his campaign shortly after the election and on a White House meeting she attended in mid-December of that year during which strategies and theories to influence the outcome of the election were discussed.

Powell was scheduled to go on trial on Monday with lawyer Kenneth Chesebro after each filed a demand for a speedy trial. Jury selection was set to start Friday. The development means that Chesebro will go on trial by himself, though prosecutors said earlier that they also planned to look into the possibility of offering him a plea deal. A lower-profile defendant in the case, bail bondsman Scott Graham Hall, last month pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor charges. He was sentenced to five years of probation and agreed to testify in further proceedings.

(More Sidney Powell stories.)

Get breaking news in your inbox.
What you need to know, as soon as we know it.
Sign up
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.