Sidney Powell on Thursday morning accepted a plea bargain in Fulton County, pleading guilty to seven counts related to election interference in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
Ms. Powell had been indicted on Aug. 14, along with 18 codefendants including former President Donald Trump.
She was slated to go to trial in a matter of days, on Oct. 23, after demanding a speedy trial that severed her case from all codefendants except attorney Kenneth Chesebro, who also demanded a speedy trial.
The plea came after several attempts to dismiss the charges against her were dismissed by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee.
Now she is the second defendant to have accepted a plea deal under Georgia’s First Defender Act, which allows first-time offenders in Georgia to avoid a conviction in certain circumstances and the court to withhold adjudication.
Scott Hall, a bail bondsman, was the first defendant to accept a plea bargain on Sept. 29.
All defendants were charged with violating the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization’s Act. Ms. Powell’s additional charges had to do with the removal and use of voting machines in Coffee County.
The criminal trespass count was changed in the plea bargain, so Ms. Powell pleaded guilty to six counts of “conspiracy to commit intentional interference with election duties.”
“Are you pleading guilty because you agree there is a sufficient factual basis, that is, there are enough facts that support this plea of guilty?” Judge McAfee asked.
“I do,” Ms. Powell said.
By entering into the guilty plea, Ms. Powell waived any and all defenses, as well as the right to a trial by jury, right to confront witnesses, and right to counsel; she has until 12 months from Oct. 19 to file a habeaus corpus and until Nov. 5 to withdraw her guilty plea.
The state offered 12 months for each of those six additional charges to be served on probation consecutively, as well as a fine of $6,000, $2,700 in restitution to the state of Georgia, an apology letter to the citizens of the state of Georgia, to testify truthfully in all trials for codefendants, and to not communicate with codefendants, witnesses, or media until all cases have been closed.
Ms. Powell already provided the apology letter and a recorded proffer the night before the plea deal hearing in court, and has agreed to turn over additional documents to the prosecutors.
“The only other issue, which I discussed with your honor this morning, is a similar issue that came up with Mr. Hall, which is whether or not these offenses are considered crimes of moral turpitude,” said Brian Rafferty, attorney for Ms. Powell.
Mr. Hall’s attorney has specifically requested they not be documented as such, which would prevent the need for fingerprinting. The judge had noted in both cases that they could make the request on the record, but it was not up to the court to decide.
Ms. Powell then swore under oath to testify truthfully for the case until it has been completed for all defendants.
Ms. Powell was charged with the same counts as two other codefendants, including Mr. Hall who has also accepted a plea bargain.
“Judge, if this state had gone to trial, the state would have shown that between the dates of Dec. 1 of 2020 and Jan. 7 of 2021, the defendant Sidney Powell, along with several coconspirators, entered into a conspiracy to interfere with the performance of election duties of codefendant Misty Hampton,” said Fulton County Executive District Attorney Daysha Young.
Ms. Hampton, the remaining codefendant charged with these counts, was the elections director for Coffee County, Georgia.
Mr. Rafferty had said in a previous court hearing that he had already obtained testimony from Ms. Hampton saying Ms. Powell had nothing to do with the acts she was charged for in the indictment. He also said that Ms. Hampton said she had authorized an investigation, and therefore nothing illegal was done in the acts listed.
Mr. Hall and Ms. Powell will now have to testify that those acts were illegal acts to further a criminal conspiracy, which will impact at least Ms. Hampton’s case if not the rest of the defendants.
“The purpose of the conspiracy was to use Misty Hampton’s position to unlawfully secure election machines in Coffee County, Georgia,” Ms. Young said. “This conspiracy included the following objectives: one, to unlawfully tamper with the electronic ballot markers and tabulating machines.”
“Two: to cause certain members of the conspiracy, who were not officers charged by law with the care of ballots, and who were not persons entrusted by any such officer with the care of ballots for a purpose required by law to possess official ballots outside the polling place.”
“Three: to use a computer with knowledge that such use was without authority, and with the intention of taking and appropriating information, data, and software, the property of Dominion Voting Systems Corporation.”
“Four: to use a computer with knowledge that such use was without authority and with the intention of removing voting data and Dominion Voting Systems Corporation data from said computer.”
“Five: to use a computer with the intention of examining personal voter data with knowledge such examination was without authority. Each of these constitutes an attempt to interfere with, hinder, and delay Misty Hampton in her election duties,” Ms. Young said.
“In furtherance of these conspiracies, the defendant entered into a contract with Sullivans Strickland LLC in Fulton County,” she continued. Ms. Powell had previously argued that she was not the one who contracted the investigation company.