Former President Donald Trump‘s co-defendants in Georgia may be scrambling to make plea deals after bail bondsman Scott Hall became the first to strike an agreement with prosecutors.
Hall, 59, is among Trump’s 18 co-defendants in the 2020 presidential election subversion case in Fulton County. He agreed to testify in other proceedings and will receive five years’ probation after pleading guilty to five misdemeanors on Friday, having originally been charged with seven more serious crimes including racketeering and conspiracy to commit election fraud.
Legal experts have suggested that the agreement could prompt an avalanche of other co-defendants rushing to negotiate their own deals before Hall potentially testifies against them. Those accused of participating in the same scheme as Hall, a plot to illegally access voting machines in Coffee County, were viewed as particularly vulnerable.
“You can bet that at least 1/2 the defendants in Fulton County are right this second on the phones to their attorneys trying to suss out Hall’s deal and what they might be able to get if they come in quickly,” former federal prosecutor Harry Litman wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “It’s a particularly ominous situation for Sidney Powell, whose allegations also concern that episode.”
Litman went on to suggest that Hall’s agreement could set off a domino effect of other co-defendants feeling forced to take plea deals.
“Don’t want to get too far out front here, but if Hall can secure conviction of Powell, question becomes whose conviction can Powell secure?” wrote Litman. “And two names that jump to mind: Jenna Ellis and Rudy Giuliani. Again, this for now is just wild speculation.”
Joyce Vance, ex-U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, also suggested that former Trump lawyer Powell could soon feel the heat due to Hall’s agreement.
“A plea to 5 misdemeanors here signals that his cooperation is significant,” Vance posted. “Sidney Powell is one likely upstream defendant he could testify against on the Coffee County charges.”
During a court hearing earlier on Friday, prosecutors indicated that they may be preparing to offer plea agreements to Powell and her fellow former Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro, who’s accused of being the architect of the “fake electors” scheme.
Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner responded to the news by suggesting that testifying against Trump should be a “non-negotiable” condition of any plea agreement offered in the Georgia case.
“Plea offers that will REQUIRE full, accurate & truthful cooperation/testimony regarding their own crimes AND the crimes of others, I assume,” Kirschner posted on X. “Cooperating against Trump re: his democracy-busting crimes should be a non-negotiable condition of ANY plea offer to these defendants.”
Newsweek reached out for comment to Trump’s office via email on Friday.
Legal analyst Lisa Rubin suggested during an MSNBC appearance that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis could soon set her sights on striking a deal with former Trump lawyer Ellis, arguing that she could become a “linchpin” witness for the prosecution.
“She feels abandoned by Trump world and is struggling with her legal bills, turning to a GoFundMe to get her this far to date,” Rubin said. “So, I think Jenna Ellis could be a linchpin here.”
“Certainly her work with, among other people, Rudy Giuliani, and her access to Trump, her proximity to Sidney Powell even, may make her a very attractive target if I were prosecutors,” she added.
Trump is facing 13 felony charges in Georgia, alongside an additional 78 felony counts in three other federal and state criminal indictments. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts, claiming to be the victim of “election interference” and political “persecution.”