Trump’s New Risk as Lawyer Pleads Guilty in 2020 Election Case
Donald Trump’s top election lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro, has taken a plea deal in a 2020 election case, admitting the effort to create fake slates of electors was fraudulent, potentially implicating Trump. The admission could be used as evidence in the federal 2020 election subversion case. Chesebro’s plea deal involved him testifying truthfully against other defendants, and it’s suggested he could potentially incriminate Trump in Georgia and in a federal criminal case in Washington.
Trump’s Conviction Chances Increase as Election Lawyer Pleads Guilty
Donald Trump’s conviction odds in the 2020 election subversion case may rise after his chief election lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro, accepted a plea deal and admitted to a felony, acknowledging the fraudulent nature of the effort to create fake slates of electors.
Kenneth Chesebro’s plea deal might implicate the former president in Georgia because one of the conditions of his plea agreement was to testify truthfully against other defendants. Furthermore, Chesebro could possibly incriminate Trump in the federal criminal case in Washington if special counsel Jack Smith uses his admission as evidence that Trump conspired to defraud the United States in trying to overturn the 2020 election results.
Sidney Powell, another former Trump attorney, also reached a plea deal last week, highlighting the succession of wins for Fulton county district attorney Fani Willis, who has consistently defeated attempts by several Trump allies to transfer their criminal cases to federal court.
Chesebro’s plea deal might carry more legal implications due to his role in the fake electors scheme, a central strategy pursued by Trump to delay or prevent the January 6 congressional certification of the election results.
The agreement required Chesebro to admit guilt in count 15 of the indictment, affirming that the fake electors were fraudulent. Chesebro’s plea deal could also potentially serve as a significant evidence in the prosecution’s case against other defendants as he was granted an arrangement avoiding imprisonment.
If Chesebro’s statements to Fulton county prosecutors were shared with the special counsel, federal prosecutors in Washington could use it to solidify their conspiracy case against Trump, irrespective of if and when Chesebro testifies in Georgia.
In the 45-page federal 2020 election indictment, the conspiracy to defraud the United States was defined as the use of dishonesty, fraud, and deceit to impair the counting and certification of the election results. Chesebro’s admission regarding the fraudulent slates could strengthen the charge that Trump and his allies used deceit to prevent Congress from certifying the election results.
After the plea deal, Trump’s lead attorney stated that Chesebro’s “truthful testimony” would benefit the former president. Despite this, the implications for Chesebro are that he may have no choice but to testify against Trump in the federal case, as he was identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the federal indictment, and could be pressured with charges due to his guilty plea.
Whether Chesebro’s plea is viewed favorably by the special counsel is unclear. However, the statement Chesebro provided as part of his plea agreement, as well as any testimony in upcoming trials against other defendants in Georgia, would be available for use by special counsel prosecutors.
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