Kenneth Chesebro, an architect of the fake electors plot Donald Trump used to try to steal the 2020 election, pleaded guilty in Fulton Country, Georgia, Friday to a felony count of conspiracy to file false documents. He has agreed to testify in the upcoming trials of other defendants, including Trump.
The plea follows a deal struck yesterday by former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, who likewise agreed to testify in upcoming proceedings, though Powell pleaded only to misdemeanors.
The plea deals likely strengthen Fulton County DA Fani Willis’ case against Trump and add pressure on more than a dozen other alleged conspirators charged alongside the former president to cut deals of their own. Powell and Chesebro had exercised their right to demand a speedy trial, which was scheduled to start on October 23. That proceeding would have offered lawyers for Trump and others a preview of Willis’ case. That sneak peek now won’t happen.
Powell and Chesebro’s plea deals could also affect the federal election subversion case brought by special counsel Jack Smith against Trump. Both are unindicted co-conspirators in that case. And the fake electors plot Chesebro was involved in is central to Smith’s case. But it is not immediately clear if federal prosecutors will use information provided by those defendants in Georgia.
In an agreed on delineation of facts supporting Chesebro’s plea, a Fulton County prosecutor said in court Friday that if Chesebro had gone to trial, evidence would have show that he, Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and others had “entered into a criminal conspiracy to cause certain other conspirators to falsely hold themselves out as the duly elected and qualified electors” for the state of Georgia .
Chesebro’s deal will allow him to avoid prison. He will receive five years probation and pay a $5,000 fine to the state. He has also submitted to the court a letter of apology to Georgia’s citizens.