Now, they won’t have to and instead will be aided by promises of cooperation from Chesebro and Powell. No trial date has been set yet for Trump and 16 other defendants in the sprawling racketeering case.
Chesebro’s plea deal is the first admission by any of the attorneys involved in the false elector effort that the plan veered into criminality. Prosecutors say that effort was part of a “multistate conspiracy” to subvert the 2020 election by violating federal election laws and stoking improper challenges to Joe Biden’s victory.
Chesebro wrote a series of memos in November and December 2020 that described the push to send pro-Trump electors to Congress — even in states won by Biden — as a way to preserve Trump’s chances to prevail in post-election legal battles. But as Jan. 6 approached, Chesebro also noted that the existence of the false electors could be used to provoke challenges to the outcome by pro-Trump members of Congress and potentially flip the outcome even without a legal victory.
Under the deal, Chesebro, 62, will avoid jail time and instead serve a sentence of five years probation, pay $5,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service. He will also be required to testify against co-defendants at any future trial, and he has written a letter of apology to the people of Georgia, Judge Scott McAfee said at a brief hearing just after noon Friday in Fulton County Superior Court.
If Chesebro successfully complies with the sentence, the case will be officially sealed, leaving him without a criminal record, the judge added.