The Weekend Wrap: October 22, 2023
Big guilty pleas in Georgia, and D.C. Circuit upholds key obstruction law
Greetings from an undisclosed location somewhere in the Caribbean! If you find any mistakes in this week’s Wrap, we’ll blame it on the rum.
Here are last week’s white collar highlights:
Georgia State Case - January 6 Allegations
The big news in Georgia last week was the guilty pleas by Sidney Powell and Ken Chesebro.
The Kraken Cracks: Powell is an attorney who was a high-profile player in Trump’s post-election claims of election fraud. She was known for promoting many of the more far-out conspiracy theories about the election, including claims that voting machines had been rigged by Hugo Chavez or George Soros and had “flipped” millions of votes from Trump to Biden. Her threat to “release the Kraken” to hunt down imaginary voter fraud inspired many an Internet meme. Even Trump allegedly said at some point that he thought Powell was nuts.
In the Georgia indictment the allegations against Powell focused on tampering with the voting machines in Coffee County. The indictment charged that she was part of a group of defendants who sought to improperly download data from the machines in an effort to prove unfounded theories about voter fraud.
Powell pleaded guilty on Thursday to six counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties, a misdemeanor. The agreed sentence was 6 years probation, a $6,000 fine, and $2,700 in restitution (to pay for damage to the machines). She must write a letter of apology and have no media contact regarding the case or contact with other defendants. She also agreed to testify in any other related proceedings and to turn over any documents she has related to the case.
Normally a guilty plea from a defendant like Powell would be a huge development because of her potential to testify against those further up the ladder, including Trump himself. Powell was in the room during some of the key events in the efforts to overturn the election. She is assumed to be the unidentified Co-Conspirator #3 in Trump’s D.C. indictment. In this case, however, the significance of her cooperation has to be tempered by the fact that she’s so certifiably loopy her value as a witness might be limited. Still, if things she says can be corroborated by other witnesses or documents, her testimony could be very valuable.
Chesebro Takes a Felony Plea: The bigger news came on Friday, with the guilty plea by Ken Chesebro. After Powell’s plea, Chesebro was the only defendant scheduled to go to trial next week. Potential jurors had already been summoned to the courthouse to fill out a questionnaire. But on Friday Chesebro agreed to plead guilty to count 15 of the indictment: conspiracy to file false documents.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Sidebars to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.