Six more of Trump’s Georgia co-defendants may be looking at plea deals

Prosecutors are attempting to have defendants ‘as witnesses as opposed to adversaries,’ former DA says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Friday 27 October 2023 15:15 BST
Related video: Michael Cohen seeks ‘accountability’ with testimony in Trump’s fraud trial

Another six Trump co-defendants in the Georgia election subversion case have reportedly discussed plea deals with Fulton County prosecutors following the guilty pleas of former Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis.

The aim of the office of District Attorney Fani Willis is seemingly to try to get as many co-defendants as possible to flip on former President Donald Trump.

Robert Cheeley, a pro-Trump lawyer, was offered a plea deal, but his lawyer told CNN he chose to decline it.

Attorney Richard Rice told the network, “To say that we are currently in discussions with the DA’s office would be an inaccurate representation of what is going on. They made us an offer some time ago and we declined it”.

Misty Hampton, a former elections supervisor in Coffee County, Georgia, and Mike Roman, a former Trump campaign official, have also spoken to prosecutors about possible plea deals, according to CNN.

Another three unnamed defendants have also taken part in plea deal discussions, the network reported.

There are no signs that Mr Trump’s legal team and the prosecutors’ office are set to discuss a plea deal, as it would mean that the ex-president would have to plead guilty to all charges, CNN noted.

Mr Trump has entered a not-guilty plea in the case and still falsely claims that he won the 2020 election.

Out of 19 defendants in the case, four have agreed to deals, with some pleading guilty to felonies to get a more favourable sentencing recommendation.

The defendants have had to write letters of apology to Georgians as part of those deals for their attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in the state, but the defendants haven’t all been equally remorseful.

During a plea hearing on Tuesday, former Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis cried as she read her note, distancing herself from Mr Trump’s attempts to remain in power despite losing the 2020 election.

Meanwhile, former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell submitted a letter, which has not been made public, that was just one sentence long, according to CNN.

Prosecutors haven’t offered a plea deal to former Trump lawyer and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and they’re unlikely to do so, the network reported.

Mr Meadows spoke to investigators and testified to the grand jury in the federal probe headed by Special Counsel Jack Smith. The former North Carolina representative has been attempting to get his case moved to federal court.

John Eastman, the law professor who laid out the theory for how Mr Trump could remain in the White House, has also not been offered a plea deal, according to the network. Mr Eastman pushed a number of Georgia state legislators to appoint alternate electors after Mr Biden won the state, the first Democrat to do so since President Bill Clinton in 1992.

Former Dekalb County District Attorney Robert James told CNN that prosecutors are attempting to have defendants “as witnesses as opposed to adversaries”.

“It makes the prosecutors’ case stronger because you have witnesses and direct evidence, but it also gives co-defendants certainty and a certain level of safety knowing that they aren’t going to prison,” he added.

“The first to squeal gets the deal,” a source told the network, referencing a saying used by Fulton County prosecutors working on cases using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

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