‘Kraken’ attorney Sidney Powell struck a surprise deal with Georgia state prosecutors on Thursday and agreed to plea guilty in the sprawling RICO case.
Powell agreed to plead out one day before her trial, alongside Ken Chesebro, was set to begin in Fulton County Superior Court.
Powell agreed at the hearing to plead guilty to six counts of conspiracy to commit interference with the performance of election duties. The penalty includes six years probation, a recorded proffer interview with prosecutors, a commitment to testify about her actions in future trials, and a $6,000 fine.
Prosecutors had initially charged Powell under the state’s RICO statute for her involvement in Trump’s effort to reverse his loss in Georgia. They agreed to drop that charge as part of the agreement, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said at a brief hearing.
Powell has spent the last few years doubling down on increasingly outlandish conspiracy theories, a trend which arguably reached its peak at a November 2020 press conference with Rudy Giuliani. There, Powell pinned Trump’s loss on cyber-fraud perpetrated on the orders of dead Venezuelan premier Hugo Chavez.
But during a subdued Thursday morning plea hearing, Powell quietly admitted to a much more mundane (if not still bizarre) example of wrongdoing. Per the plea agreement, Powell admitted that she conspired to tamper with voting machines in Coffee County, Georgia. That was part of a harebrained attempt to prove, once and for all, that Trump’s defeat could be pinned on voting machines produced by Dominion Voting Systems.
Powell, a former federal prosecutor, is the second defendant in the election conspiracy case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to plead guilty. Last month, Georgia bail bondsman Scott Hall pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiracy to commit election interference for his involvement in the same Coffee County scheme.
The scheme to which both agreed to plead guilty largely played out in rural Georgia, at a county election office around 200 miles southeast of Atlanta. Per the indictment, Trump sent his associates to Coffee County. There, they allegedly seized software and information from election machines and state voting databases.
Powell and others hired a group of computer forensics experts to try to penetrate the deep mystery of how Trump could have lost Georgia in 2020: was it the software?
Predictably, that effort went nowhere. But, prosecutors said in the indictment, Powell began to oversee the scheme after an infamously unhinged Dec. 18 meeting at the White House during which Trump purportedly pondered installing her as a special counsel to investigate election violations. That didn’t happen, but Willis said in the indictment that Trump was particularly interested in having Powell “investigate allegations of voter fraud in Georgia and elsewhere.”
Powell had moved to dismiss the case in the weeks after her indictment. That effort included accusations from Powell of prosecutorial misconduct, and an argument that Willis had applied Georgia’s RICO statute in an unconstitutionally vague manner.
Judge McAfee denied those motions over the past two weeks, including in a final ruling on Wednesday which cleared the path to trial. Jury selection was set to begin in Powell’s case on Friday, before she pleaded out at the last minute.
The plea hearing is ongoing. Watch below: