Fulton County prosecutors are engaged in discussions regarding potential plea deals with at least six more co-defendants in the indictment related to former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to CNN. District Attorney Fani Willis aims to persuade as many co-defendants as possible to cooperate against Trump in order to convict the most serious offenders, legal experts say.
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani stated that Willis’ strategy has always been to secure guilty pleas from 18 defendants and proceed with a trial against Donald Trump. While one pro-Trump lawyer, Robert Cheeley, declined a plea agreement, at least five other co-defendants, including Misty Hampton and Mike Roman, have been engaged in discussions about potential plea deals with the D.A.’s office.
Four individuals, including three attorneys who played direct roles in Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results in Georgia, have already agreed to plea deals. These plea deals often involve pleading guilty to felony charges in exchange for a more lenient sentencing recommendation.
Legal experts believe that securing guilty pleas from lower-level co-defendants is a significant win for the prosecution in a large conspiracy case. It allows them to obtain information and testimony against higher-level defendants, such as Trump and his closest advisors. The state’s case is expected to strengthen with each person who accepts a plea deal and cooperates with the state.
The indictment, filed in August, charges Trump and 18 co-defendants with engaging in a “vast racketeering enterprise.” Willis may be attempting to isolate Trump and others at the top of the criminal enterprise by getting as many co-defendants as possible to cooperate against him.
While Trump and the other defendants can still attack each person as an admitted wrongdoer, legal experts believe that the cooperation of insiders can paint a compelling picture of the depth of the conspiracy. The state’s evidence is expected to grow stronger with each passing plea.