Donald Trump Georgia RICO co-defendant pleads guilty at ‘impromptu’ court hearing


Left: FILE – This booking photo provided by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office shows Scott Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File). Right: FILE – Former President Donald Trump steps off his plane as he arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File). Inset: Scott Hall, left, accompanied by his lawyer Jeffrey Weiner, is sworn in shortly before pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges in the Georgia RICO case against Donald Trump for alleged interference with the 2020 presidential election (screengrab of Zoom hearing via Fulton County (Ga.) Superior Court).

A Georgia bail bondsman is the first to plead guilty in the state’s criminal conspiracy case against former President Donald Trump and more than a dozen co-defendants.

Scott Graham Hall, 59, was accused in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis‘ sweeping indictment of Trump and 18 others of plotting to subvert the 2020 election results in the Peach State. Hall was specifically alleged to have committed multiple felonies, including travelling to Coffee County, Georgia, “for the purpose of assisting with the unlawful breach of election equipment.” He was also accused of tampering with electronic ballot makers and voting machines and illegally stealing voter data.

On Friday afternoon he pleaded guilty to five misdemeanors.

“How do you plead to the five counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties?” a court official asked as Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee oversaw the proceedings.

“Guilty,” Hall replied.

As part of his plea agreement, Hall agreed that he will “testify truthfully at any other further court proceedings” in the case, including trials.

He will also have to pay a $5,000 fine, write a letter of apology to the people of the state of Georgia, and perform 200 hours of community service at a non-profit organization that benefits women, children, or elderly people.

According to a court filing, Graham “aided, abetted, and encouraged employees of SullivanStrickler LLC in willfully tampering with electronic ballot markers and tabulating machines while inside the Coffee County Elections & Registration Office.”

Hall is also accused of aiding and abetting the unauthorized removal of voter data from Dominion Voting Systems machines. Dominion was a target of multiple post-election conspiracy theories that accused the technology company of manipulating votes in favor of President Joe Biden, and earlier this year settled a defamation case against Fox News about those claims for nearly $780 million.

Co-defendant and so-called “Kraken” lawyer Sidney Powell allegedly contracted with SullivanStrickler, a forensic data firm located in Fulton County, for “the performance of computer forensic collections and analytics on Dominion Voting Systems equipment in Michigan and elsewhere,” according to the indictment. Powell, who is currently defending herself against a raft of charges in other jurisdictions related to alleged 2020 election interference, is also named in the RICO indictment.

According to the judge, Friday’s plea hearing was a last-minute addition to his hearing calendar that day.

“This is not a matter that had been scheduled today buy I was informed by both parties that they would like to have an impromptu court hearing and I understand that this is a change of plea and that there is a negotiated resolution in this case,” McAfee said at the start of the hearing.

Hall was not among the more well-known of the RICO defendants in the case, which include Powell, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, “coup memo” co-authors Kenneth Chesebro and John Eastman, former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, and former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows.

The Georgia case is one of four criminal indictments the former president is facing. He has been charged in New York with falsifying business records related to alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, in federal court in Florida with storing classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort and residence, and in Washington, D.C., with trying to overturn the election results.

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