Trump co-defendant pleads guilty in Georgia election case

Former President Donald J. One of the 19 defendants in a Georgia fraud case against Trump and his associates pleaded guilty Friday to five counts of embezzlement.

Scott Hall, 59, a Georgia bail bondsman, Fulton County District Attorney Fannie D. It was a significant victory for Willis, who was called to testify against the other defendants. He received the contract from Hall. No other defendants took pleas; Two of those lawyers, Kenneth Chesbro and Sidney Powell, are to be tried together starting next month after requesting speedy trials.

In January 2021, Mr. Trump was charged with helping to tamper with voting equipment and data at a rural election office in Coffee County after local pro-Trump officials allowed it. Hall was charged with fraud and six other felonies. In the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, Mr. After Trump’s defeat, he and other Trump allies searched for evidence of ballot fraud.

In more detail, the indictment handed down in August accused Mr. It accuses Trump and other defendants of a criminal conspiracy to try in several ways to sway the state’s election results.

Appearing before Judge Scott McAfee Friday afternoon in Fulton County Court, Mr. Hall, dressed in a black suit and open-necked shirt, pleaded guilty to five counts of willfully interfering with election operations.

According to the terms of the agreement, Mr. Hall must pay a $5,000 fine, surrender his firearms license, perform 200 hours of community service and write a letter of apology to the people of Georgia. He agreed not to take part in any proceedings related to election administration and to testify truthfully against the other co-defendants if called upon to do so.

The development may have dealt a particular blow to Ms Powell, just weeks before her trial date. In January 2021, he and Mr. Hall also participated.

In a separate hearing Friday morning, Judge McAfee said Ms. Powell and Mr. Chesebro announced that 450 potential jurors would be called to court on Oct. 20 to fill out a questionnaire ahead of their trial. To recruit a group of fake pro-Trump voters.

This year Mr. The trial, the first related to the four criminal cases in which Trump has been charged, will be closely watched by prosecutors for the former president and other defendants whose trials have yet to be scheduled.

Melissa D. Redmon, an assistant law professor at the University of Georgia and a former Fulton County prosecutor, said Friday that Mr. Hall’s plea agreement, Mr. Sesepro said the advance showed “the government is working to raise their resources”. Mrs. Powell’s trial. He said the deal was “a good decision for the government to have somebody in that conspiracy.”

Mr. Hall’s cooperation could spell trouble for some of his co-defendants, including two others accused of the data breach: Misty Hampton, the former Coffey County elections supervisor, and Kathy Latham, the former chairman of the county’s Republican Party.

Mr. Hall can provide. The indictment alleges that a day after Ms. Kutty met Ms. Freeman in suburban Atlanta, Mr. Hall engaged in a phone call with a co-defendant, Trevian Kutty.

Mr. Trump on Mr. The impact of Hall’s cooperation was limited. But eliciting testimony from any defendant in a fraud case can strengthen prosecutors’ ability to convince jurors of the existence of the “criminal organization” they allege in the indictment.

Mr. Hall is the brother-in-law of David Posey, a prominent early Trump supporter and longtime conservative activist. Mr. The August indictment against Trump and his associates included David Shaffer, chairman of the Georgia Republican Party in time for the 2020 election, Mr. Refers to an email addressed to Hal. “Observing the election on behalf of the President at the request of David Bossi.”

Mr. Shaffer is also a defendant in the case.

A group of Trump associates visited Coffey County, about 200 miles southeast of Atlanta, on January 7, 2021. “We scanned every fraudulent ballot,” said Mr. Hall recalled. Recorded telephone conversation At the time, he said his team “scanned all the equipment” used on Election Day and “captured all the hard drives.”

Brad Raffensberger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, called the replacement of the voting machines “unauthorized access to the equipment that former Coffee County election officials allowed in violation of Georgia law.”

Mr. Another defendant in the Georgia case, who was Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Ms. Powell became well known after the 2020 election with Giuliani. The two lawyers floated several conspiracy theories about the election.

But the case against Ms. Powell in Georgia centers on her activities in Coffee County. Mrs. Powell’s latest legal filing says she did not “plan or orchestrate” the data breach, but Ms. Emails between Powell and SullivanStrickler show that he was the one a company hired to help do the day’s work. He was kept informed of what was going on and that his non-profit, Revolting the Republic, gave the company money.

Other co-defendants in the case suffered significant setbacks on Friday. US District Court Judge Steve C. Jones said on Friday that Mr. Shaffer, state Sen. Shawn Still and former top Justice Department official Jeffrey Clarke have all denied efforts to move their cases to federal court, where a jury would be part of the process. Mr. Very favorable to Trump.

The defendant in this case Mr. Judge Jones had already rejected a removal bid by Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff. Mr. Meadows has appealed that decision.

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