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Trump ally pleads guilty in Georgia case about 2020 election, agrees to testify

Lawyer Sidney Powell had been subpoenaed by the now-disbanded House select committee on the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol

Sidney Powell appears on a screen during a July 2022 hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.
Sidney Powell appears on a screen during a July 2022 hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A central lawyer in Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse his loss in the 2020 presidential election pleaded guilty Thursday in a Georgia courtroom and agreed to turn over documents and testify truthfully in the sweeping state criminal case against the former president.

Information from lawyer Sidney Powell could give prosecutors a stronger case against Trump and reveal what went on behind closed doors at the White House in the push to overturn election results in Georgia and other battleground states.

Powell, Trump and 17 other defendants were charged earlier this year in a 41-count indictment in Fulton County, Ga., that accused them of operating as a “criminal organization.”

Powell was charged with seven crimes, including under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law, known as RICO. She was scheduled to go to trial this month, along with another defendant in the case.

But on Thursday, she pleaded guilty to six charges of “conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties.”

Judge Scott McAfee accepted the plea and said the agreement would mean that Powell would serve six years of probation, pay a $6,000 fine and testify truthfully against all co-defendants in the case at any upcoming proceedings. The judge also said Powell would have to turn over all documents to the district attorney’s office as requested and relevant to the case and pay $2,700 in restitution.

“Are you pleading guilty today because you agree that there is a sufficient factual basis — that there are enough facts that support this plea of guilty?” McAfee asked Powell on Thursday.

“I do,” she responded.

The August indictment accused Powell of entering into an agreement with a forensic data firm for computer forensic “collections and analytics” on voting systems equipment. There was an “unlawful breach” of election equipment in Coffee County, Ga., which was performed under the agreement, according to the indictment. Prosecutors also said she made false statements about fraud in the 2020 presidential election while appearing at a news conference days after Election Day.

The Georgia case is one of four criminal cases facing Trump, who remains the front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary. It’s also one of two criminal cases connected to his efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.

The Georgia indictment alleges that Trump and a cohort of allies, including lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, and his White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, operated as an organization that engaged in activities such as making false statements, forgery and influencing witnesses.

Powell, a Trump campaign lawyer, also was subpoenaed by the now-disbanded House select committee examining the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Powell pushed lies about the election being stolen and worked to promote those election fraud claims through lawsuits and public appearances, according to the now-disbanded panel.

The committee sought evidence that Powell used to make those false allegations and noted that a federal court imposed monetary sanctions against her and referred her to the State Bar of Texas for possible disbarment related to her election fraud claims.

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