Third co-defendant in Trump election case in Georgia pleads guilty

A third co-defendant has now pleaded guilty in the election manipulation trial against former US President Donald Trump in the state of Georgia – and could therefore testify against the Republican. Former Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro admitted to one count of conspiracy to file false documents during a live court session in Atlanta on Friday.

As part of an agreement with prosecutors, six other charges against the 62-year-old lawyer were dropped. Chesebro was sentenced to a five-year suspended prison sentence, a $5,000 fine and 100 hours of community service. He must also apologize in a letter to the citizens of Georgia and testify in future trials against other defendants in the case. He could therefore become an important witness against Trump.

Chesebro is considered the architect of the plan to send the names of false voters from Georgia and other states to the US Congress after the 2020 presidential election. This was intended to prevent certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory. The lawyer’s guilty plea came shortly after jury selection began in a trial planned against him that will now not take place.

The day before, another co-defendant, former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, pleaded guilty in the proceedings. The first co-defendant, Scott Hall, pleaded guilty at the end of September. The three guilty pleas that have now been made are important successes for prosecutor Fani Willis. In doing so, she secures the cooperation of those accused in Trump’s environment.

The ex-president was indicted on 13 counts in Atlanta in mid-August for his attempts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and thus stay in power. Along with Trump, 18 other suspects were charged.

The indictment is based, among other things, on a law designed to combat organized crime: the defendants formed a “conspiracy” “to unlawfully change the outcome of an election in Trump’s favor,” the indictment says.

Trump has already been charged in four criminal cases this year, two of which concern his actions after the 2020 presidential election. The 77-year-old right-wing populist wants to run again in the presidential election in November 2024 and is currently the overwhelming favorite in the race for candidacy the Republican. He has denied all allegations against him and speaks of politically motivated investigations intended to torpedo his candidacy.