One defendant has taken a plea deal, and others have been contacted with offers.
Nineteen individuals were charged in the massive RICO case out of Fulton County, Georgia, a number that included former president Donald Trump. Now, those on the lower tiers of the charges are getting their opportunity to plead out, settle for lower charges and, in return, ‘fess up.
The sticky part is that those confessions will likely be expected to include information about others involved, particularly the defendants near the top of the ladder — Trump, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Sidney Powell, and Mark Meadows, for instance.
These are some of the highest-profile folks allegedly involved in the scheme to overthrow the 2020 election.
On the other hand, Scott Hall, who stands accused of helping breach voting machines, is not an attorney and has been able to plead down under a law catering to first-time offenders, turning his 7 total counts (including conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, and conspiracy to defraud the state, among others) into five misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties, according to CBS.
In return, he agreed to testify at trials of his co-defendants if called to do so, gave a recorded statement to prosecutors, and must write an apology letter to the citizens of his state.
But Hall is just the first to turn — others have been invited.
Michael Roman, whose seven felony charges include conspiracy to impersonate an officer, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, and conspiracy to commit filing false documents, rejected an offer that was extended to him, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Others have also been contacted, some of whom say they were not offered concrete deals quite yet, and Kenneth Chesebro and the aforementioned Powell — both of whom head to a shared trial in just over two weeks — are expected to receive offers, if they haven’t already.
However, experts warn, plea deals could be in limited supply — once the first few defendants decide they’re willing to spill in exchange for a reduction of charges, prosecutors may conclude they have all the information they need, and choose not to make deals with others.
As for Donald Trump, he’s big on loyalty — but are his alleged co-conspirators really willing to go to the notorious Fulton County jail to protect him, if given another choice?