Former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell pleads guilty in Georgia election interference case

As part of a plea deal, she must testify about any co-defendants in the case.

October 22, 2023, 1:02 PM

Sidney Powell, one of 18 co-defendants in former President Donald Trump's election interference case in Georgia, has taken a plea deal in which she has agreed to testify in the case.

She is pleading guilty to six misdemeanor charges, according to the agreement read in court Thursday. She will get 12 months of probation for each count as well as a $6,000 fine.

As part of the agreement, Powell must "testify truthfully about any co-defendants" involved in the case and "provide all documents to the district attorney's office" relevant to their case against the other co-defendants, according to Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee.

Steve Sadow, Trump's lead counsel in the Georgia case, responded to Powell's plea deal by telling ABC News in a statement, "Assuming truthful testimony in the Fulton County case, it will be favorable to my overall defense strategy."

In a social media post on Sunday, Trump sought to distance himself from Powell, claiming she was "not my attorney, and never was."

However, on numerous occasions Trump previously referred to her as being part of his legal team. For example, he tweeted on Nov. 14, 2020, that Powell was "added to our other wonderful lawyers and representatives," and she appeared alongside Trump campaign lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis at a Nov. 19, 2020, press conference about alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election, where Giuliani called them "representatives" of Trump and the Trump campaign's legal team.

Trump's lawyers distanced themselves from Powell shortly after, on Nov. 22, 2020, arguing she was practicing on her own even though she continued to join in on meetings in the Oval Office.

According to financial disclosure filings, the Trump campaign, his allied political action committee and the Republican National Committee don't appear to have paid any legal expenses to Powell.

Powell's plea came a day before she was scheduled to go on trial along with co-defendant Kenneth Chesebro.

PHOTO: Sidney Powell, attorney for President Donald Trump, conducts a news conference at the Republican National Committee on lawsuits regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, Nov. 19, 2020.
Sidney Powell, attorney for President Donald Trump, conducts a news conference at the Republican National Committee on lawsuits regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, Nov. 19, 2020.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Chesebro, according to sources, last month rejected a similar plea deal with the state, ABC News was first to report on Wednesday.

On Friday, however, ABC News reported that Chesebro decided to plead guilty to a single felony charge of conspiracy to commit filing of false documents and will receive five years' probation and a $5,000 fine, in exchange for agreeing to testify and provide documents and evidence.

Prosecutors had accused Powell, a former Trump campaign attorney, of helping tamper with voting machines in Coffee County as part of efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

She is not to "have any communication" with any of the co-defendants in the case or members of the media, per the terms of her agreement.

She will also have to write an apology letter to the people of the state of Georgia, "which you have already satisfied," McAfee said during Thursday's court proceeding.

Powell, Chesebro, Trump and 16 others initially pleaded not guilty in August to all charges in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state of Georgia.

Powell was the second defendant in the case to strike a plea agreement after Georgia bail bondsman Scott Hall last month took a deal in which he pleaded guilty to tampering with voting machine equipment and received probation in exchange for agreeing to testify at the trial of other co-defendants.

Chesebro, an attorney, was facing seven counts after prosecutors said he drafted a strategy to use so-called "alternate electors" to prevent Joe Biden from receiving 270 electoral votes in the 2020 election, according to the indictment.

Jury selection in his case had been scheduled to get underway Friday.

ABC News' Lalee Ibssa and Soo Rin Kim contributed to this report.