Today, former Trump attorney (and at one point, my attorney) Sidney Powell pled guilty to racketeering and other misdemeanor conspiracy charges related to the breach of election equipment in Coffee County. By pleading guilty, Powell will avoid prison time and may allow her to preserve her Texas law license.
Powell had been involved in numerous high profile cases since becoming one of the youngest Federal Prosecutors in history when she joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Texas at the age of 23. Powell served as a defense counsel in the ENRON scandal and published her first book, License to Lie in 2008 about the prosecution of Republican U.S. Senator Ted Stevens. However, Powell really came to national prominence when she filed the so-called “Kraken” cases, lawsuits filed in Georgia and Michigan (as well as other cases in Arizona and Wisconsin) that alleged massive election fraud as the cause of Donald Trump’s 2020 election defeat.
Full of initial mistakes and missteps, including spelling errors throughout the filings (see below), even the Trump campaign moved quickly to disowned her and her lawsuits, claiming in a statement that Powell was “practicing law on her own.”
Powell continued promoting her conspiracy theories in legal filings, in the media, and as part of a December 2, 2020 rally in Alpharetta where she and fellow attorney Lin Wood called on Georgia Republicans to sit out the runoff for the U.S. Senate seats. The close runoff election defeat of Senators Perdue and Loeffler flipped the majority in the U.S. Senate to the Democrats. Wood would have likely been a witness in any trial involving Powell.
By the time the United States Supreme Court declined to hear Powell’s appeals, the Kraken had revealed itself to be only a guppy. By the end of 2021, Powell, Wood, and other attorneys involved in the Kraken case in Michigan were looking at $175,000 in sanctions.
Powell’s guilty plea is the second guilty plea in Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis’s sweeping case alleging a wide conspiracy by former President Donald Trump and his associates to overturn the 2020 Presidential election in Georgia. Like Powell, Scott Hall’s earlier guilty plea involved charges stemming from an alleged breach of voting equipment in Coffee County, the strongest part of Willis’s case.
Powell’s guilty plea not only makes it more difficult for MAGA Republicans to claim seriously the case is only a partisan political witch hunt, but also makes the conviction of Donald Trump more likely should the RICO charge stand, which is certainly not a slam dunk for the prosecution.
Under RICO, if one person charged in a conspiracy is guilty, all co-conspirators are guilty of the crime, including the crimes that Powell and Hall have pled guilty to, even if they did not participate in that particular criminal act. As I noted in my guest appearance of PeachPundit the Podcast, RICO is not a given, but a jury would have to decide if RICO applied (assuming that the charge itself survives appeal).
Additionally, Powell’s plea throws more cold water on the fire that Sen. Colton Moore and Rep. Charlice Byrd have tried to start, and have certainly fundraised off, to remove Fani Willis for abusing her office related to the case. While one may claim that as a bail bondsman, Scott Hall did not have the legal sophistication to defend himself against even frivolous charges, certainly as a former federal prosecutor and one-time criminal defense attorney, Sidney Powell does.
The conditions of Powell’s plea are to testify truthfully in the case, serve six years on probation, and pay a $6,000 fine. She also agreed to pay $2,700 in restitution to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office to replace election equipment in Coffee County. Powell will also have to write a letter of apology to the citizens of Georgia.