Georgia Prosecutors Oppose Plea Deals for Trump, Meadows and Giuliani

Georgia Prosecutors Oppose Plea Deals for Trump, Meadows and Giuliani – Fulton County prosecutors plan to refrain from proposing plea deals to Donald Trump, along with at least two prominent co-defendants—Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani—accused in connection with their attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. Instead, their preference is to proceed directly to trial.

Apart from the mentioned trio, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has initiated discussions about plea deals or has kept the option open for potential talks with the other co-defendants. The aim is that they may ultimately choose to become cooperating witnesses against the former president, as indicated by the sources.

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The undisclosed decision, not officially conveyed, remains subject to potential changes, especially if there’s a shift in prosecutors’ strategies. However, it reveals the primary targets perceived by prosecutors and their intent to leverage Georgia’s racketeering statute strategically. In August, Trump and 18 co-defendants initially pleaded not guilty to a broad indictment accusing them of violating the Rico statute in their efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. 

This included promoting false Trump electors and tampering with voting machines. Subsequently, prosecutors swiftly secured plea deals with former Trump lawyers Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, and Kenneth Chesebro, as well as local bail bondsman Scott Hall. These agreements align with Willis’s strategy of offering deals to lower-level defendants who plead guilty to key crimes and implicate higher-level figures in the conspiracy pyramid.

While Trump, as the alleged conspiracy’s top figure, was unlikely to receive a deal, the inclusion of Meadows and Giuliani on that list outlines the clearest trial strategy to date. The district attorney’s office aims to flip as many Trump co-defendants as possible, with a plea deal deadline requested by prosecutors to be set as late as June 2024, according to one source.

If unsuccessful in their pre-trial efforts to distance themselves from Trump—such as seeking federal court transfers or outright dismissal of charges—some of the remaining co-defendants are likely to consider plea deals. The Trump case prosecutors seem confident about securing more cooperating witnesses, prompting a recent private suggestion to the judge to delay setting a trial date, anticipating potential pleas from co-defendants.

Former Trump lawyer and co-defendant John Eastman has formally requested a separate trial from the ex-president and an earlier trial date than the proposed August 2024. This move underscores the apparent unease among a growing number of Trump allies in Fulton County, facing the prospect of standing trial alongside Trump as a prominent Rico ringleader—a scenario perceived as unfavorable for anyone other than Trump.

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In a statement, Trump’s lawyer Steve Sadow suggested the former president was uninterested in reaching a deal. “Any comment by the Fulton county district attorney’s office offering ‘deals’ to President Trump is laughable because we wouldn’t accept anything except dismissal,” Sadow said. The absence of a plea deal would be a setback for Meadows, who has reportedly been actively seeking one in Georgia.

The reasons for prosecutors’ reluctance to negotiate with Meadows are unclear. However, the fact that he testified in Washington under court order implies he might be a reluctant witness. On the other hand, Giuliani’s legal team has consistently indicated that they never anticipated a plea deal offer. Giuliani’s associates have also suggested his desire to remain loyal to Trump, who is set to host a fundraising dinner at Mar-a-Lago in December to alleviate his mounting legal debts.

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