Over the last two weeks, Fake News Media relentlessly pounded the American public with news about plea agreements four of the individuals indicted as alleged co-conspirators entered in the case. The vast majority of these reports provided half-truths or misinformation about the plea agreements. This article will elaborate on what actually happened and what it may mean for the rest of the case.
What the Fake News Media is not telling you is none of the four people who entered into plea agreements made traditional guilty pleas. All four entered “conditional pleas” which do not result in an “adjudication of guilt” and do not constitute “convictions” if they successfully complete their probation. Two of the individuals entered “conditional pleas” to misdemeanor charges that were NOT brought in the original indictment. One pleaded to a new felony NOT made in the original indictment. Only one pleaded to a charge in the indictment. Finally, two of the individuals entered misdemeanor pleas for allegedly conspiring to hinder the performance of an elections worker who is named a Defendant in the original indictment.
These plea agreements result in no jail time. If the Defendants complete their probation successfully, the plea agreements do not result in convictions. In fact, if the Defendants successfully complete their probation the applicable Georgia law, §42-8-60, provides each one shall be “exonerated of guilt.” These were incredibly good “deals” for these Defendants and serve to underscore the fact this entire indictment is political showmanship. The Fulton County DA undoubtedly knew the Fake News Media would hyperventilate spreading misinformation about the plea agreements. That is the true value of these plea agreements. Let us take a closer look.
The four individuals who made plea agreements in the case are Sidney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro, Scott Hall and Jenna Ellis. The Fake News Media gleefully reported these plea agreements accompanied with the usual claims about the “walls closing in” on former President Trump. Most readers will know two of those who made deals with prosecutors, namely, Sidney Powell, the former attorney of Lt. General Michael Flynn, who threatened to release the Kraken with her 2020 election lawsuits and Jenna Ellis, one of the attorneys who represented President Trump after the 2020 election. Scott Hall and Kenneth Chesebro, on the other hand, are more obscure figures known mostly to those who followed the Georgia election aftermath closely.
What the Fake News Media is Not Telling You
- None of the four indicted people entered traditional guilty pleas, they entered “conditional” pleas. Each and every one of them entered pleas under the Georgia First Offender Act. Under this Act if a person successfully completes the terms of his or her probation he or she is “exonerated of guilt.” Georgia case law holds such a plea does not constitute a conviction within the meaning of Georgia’s criminal code;
- Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis and Scott Hall entered pleas to charges that were not made in the original indictment;
- Sidney Powell and Scott Hall entered pleas to misdemeanor charges;
- The new charges to which Sidney Powell and Scott Hall entered Conditional Pleas are for Conspiring to Commit Intentional Interference with Performance of Elections Duties by supposedly attempting to interfere with the duties of Misty Hampton a/k/a Emily Misty Hayes, the Coffee County Georgia Elections Director at the time. Interestingly, Misty Hampton is an alleged co-conspirator who was indicted along with both Sidney Powell and Scott Hall in the original indictment;
- The new charge to which Jenna Ellis entered a plea is one felony count of Aiding and Abetting False Statements and Writings pertaining to statements made by others in a Georgia Senate hearing about the election;
- All of the charges brought in the original indictment against Sidney Powell, Scott Hall and Jenna Ellis were dismissed;
- Kenneth Chesebro pleaded to one felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Filing False Documents pertaining to the slate of Alternate Electors, the rest of the charges against him in the indictment were dismissed;
- The only person who pleaded to a charge made in the original indictment was Kenneth Chesebro.
The judgments entered on each and every one of the pleas includes the following language:
The Defendant consenting hereto, it is the judgment of the Court that no judgment of guilt be imposed at this time but that further proceedings are deferred . . .
Upon fulfillment of the terms of this sentence, or upon release of the Defendant by the Court prior to the termination of this sentence, the Defendant shall stand discharged of said offense without court adjudication of guilt and shall be completely exonerated of guilt of said offense charged.
(This language is directly from the judgment entered on Sidney Powell’s case. Each Defendant’s judgment contains identical language.)
Sidney Powell and Scott Hall
Sidney Powell and Scott Hall were charged in the original indictment with the same seven counts. They were both charged with Count 1 (the RICO Count), Count 32 (Conspiracy to Commit Election Fraud), Count 33 (Conspiracy to Commit Election Fraud), Count 34 (Conspiracy to Commit Computer Theft), Count 35 (Conspiracy to Commit Computer Trespass), Count 36 (Conspiracy to Commit Computer Invasion of Privacy) and Count 37 (Conspiracy to Defraud the State). All, or virtually all, of these charges pertain to efforts to have a private contractor to gain access to voting systems in Coffee County, Georgia. (Read here for more on the issues with the 2020 election in Coffee County, while this news report covers some of the efforts to access Coffee County voting systems).
The conditional guilty pleas entered by both Sidney Powell and Scott Hall were to different charges altogether, namely, misdemeanor charges of “Conspiracy to Commit Intentional Interference with Performance of Election Duties,” GA §21-2-597. This provision states, “Any person who intentionally interferes with, hinders, or delays or attempts to interfere with, hinder or delay any other person in the performance of any act or duty authorized or imposed by this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Notice that Sidney Powell, Scott Hall and Misty Hampton allegedly conspired together (with another person, Cathleen Alston Latham) to commit “computer trespass.” (These three, Sidney Powell, Scott Hall and Misty Hampton are all charged as co-conspirators on the charges in Counts 32-37 dealing with the Coffee County, Georgia voting system access issues.)
Yet, in the new misdemeanor charges against Sidney Powell (to which she entered the Conditional plea) she is charged with hindering or delaying Misty Hampton in her job duties. Here is a screenshot from one of the new charges:
The same is true with regard to the identical new charges brought against Scott Hall (to which he entered the Conditional plea).
Therefore, Sidney Powell and Scott Hall entered their conditional guilty pleas to misdemeanor charges that they hindered or delayed the efforts of a person who is an indicted co-conspirator in the original indictment, namely, Misty Hampton, in the performance of her duties. Misty Hampton, the Coffee County Elections Director in 2020, is the one who granted the contractors hired by Sidney Powell access to the voting machines. In the original indictment, all three are allegedly working together. In the new charges against Powell and Hall, they are hindering Hampton’s efforts to do her job. This does not make much sense.
Jenna Ellis was charged in the original indictment with Count 1 (the RICO count) and Count 2 (Solicitation of Violation of Oath by Public Officer). Count 2 pertained to the efforts to get the Georgia Senate to appoint an alternate slate of electors.
Jenna Ellis pleaded guilty to a single felony count of Aiding and Abetting False Statements and Writings pertaining to statements made by others, namely Rudy Guiliani and Ray Stallings Smith III, to the Georgia Senate Committee. The new charges outline multiple statements made to the Georgia Senate that the Fulton County DA claims were false (which Jenna Ellis now apparently agrees were false by virtue of her plea agreement):
96,600 mail-in ballots were counted in the election despite no record of the ballots being returned to a county elections office
2,506 felons voted in the Georgia 2020 Presidential Election
66,248 underage people illegally registered to vote before their 17th birthday
2,423 people voted in the election who were not listed as registered to vote
1,043 people voted who illegally registered using a post office box
10,315 dead people voted
Fulton County election workers at the State Farm arena ordered poll watchers and media to leave the night of the election, but continued to operate.
Ironically, some of these statements are true, while cumulatively these statements do not even cover much of the irregularities with the Georgia 2020 election. For instance, over 1,400 people voted in the 2020 election in Georgia despite registering to vote using a PO Box as their address, even more than the amount 1,043 stated to the Georgia Senate. The Georgia Senate Committee’s report from the hearing into the 2020 election outlined surveillance video and witness testimony indicating Fulton County election workers telling poll watchers and media to leave the State Farm Arena at 10 p.m. on election night. Furthermore, as I covered previously, extensive irregularities occurred in the 2020 election in Georgia vastly exceeding the razor thin margin of Joe Biden’s “victory.”
Kenneth Chesebro is another attorney charged in the original indictment with Count 1 (the RICO count), Count 9 (Conspiracy to Commit Impersonating a Public Officer), Count 11 (Conspiracy to Commit Forgery in the First Degree), Count 13 (Conspiracy to Commit False Statements and Writings), Count 15 (Conspiracy to Commit Filing False Documents), Count 17 (Conspiracy to Commit Forgery in the First Degree) and Count 19 (Conspiracy to Commit False Statements and Writings). The charges against Chesebro pertain to the Alternate Electors put forth by Republicans for the State of Georgia. (Read here for more on the Alternate Electors issues.)
Chesebro is the only one of the four who entered a plea on charges listed in the indictment. Specifically, he entered a Conditional Plea on Count 15, the Conspiracy to Commit Filing False Documents count pertaining to the actual slate of Alternate Electors itself. This is a felony charge. Again, however, his plea is without an adjudication of guilt and he “shall be completely exonerated of guilt of said offense” once he completes his probation.
Incredibly Good Deals
These plea agreements were simply too good for these Defendants to pass up. Remember, this is a sprawling case involving well over two dozen Defendants and unindicted co-conspirators. The trial of the case will last weeks at a minimum. The attorney fees and costs for the individuals indicted will be massive. Additionally, the venue is Fulton County where the jury pool will be overwhelmingly Democrats. A person charged in this case may very well feel overwhelmed.
Keep in mind, innocent people plead guilty to crimes all of the time. As the linked report highlights, the long, difficult, costly, disruptive nature of the charges and trial process, along with the uncertainty surrounding the outcome often leads innocent people to plead guilty. Why else would Jenna Ellis agree the statement that 1,043 who illegally registered to vote using a Post Office Box was not true, when actually as many as 1,400 such illegal votes were cast in the 2020 election? The deal was just too good to pass up.
The plea agreements do require truthful testimony and cooperation, but also recognize testimony and documents “subject to any lawful privileges asserted in good faith” remain protected. This is important, since three of the Defendants, namely, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis and Kenneth Chesebro are attorneys and may have attorney-client and work product privileges their clients retain the right to assert. This particular case does not involve any actual criminal misconduct, unlike the usual RICO indictment (which is ordinarily used for the mafia or drug distribution rings), so the value of the “cooperation” remains to be seen.
What Legitimate Reporting Would Look Like
If the Fake News Media were not in the tank for the Democrat Party and its weaponization of the American legal system, the reports on these plea agreements would look very different. The reports would highlight the Defendants will serve no jail time, that the end result would be complete “exoneration” of guilt for the offense, that three of the Defendants pleaded to crimes which were not even charged in the original indictment and that only one Defendant (Kenneth Chesebro) pleaded to one single count in the indictment. Legitimate reporting on these plea agreements would castigate the Fulton County DA for letting all of these supposedly dastardly “criminals” off so light.
Then again, if the media were not actively, endlessly, relentlessly working to further the Democrat Party agenda, there would be no Georgia indictment at all. If we had legitimate media, such a blatant, wanton weaponization of law enforcement would result in far too much bad press. Nevertheless, at least now you know the truth about the latest plea deals. Keep all of this mind as the case moves forward.
Daniel R. Street is an attorney with over 27 years of litigation experience. He is the author of the Fake News Exposed about Trump book series. Check out his website at danielrstreet.com.
© Daniel R. Street, 2023