Georgia Prosecutors in Election Interference Case Won’t Consider Plea Deals for Trump, Meadows, Giuliani

Former President Donald Trump at a sporting event in South Carolina, Saturday. (David Yeazell/USA Today-Sports)

(Daily News/TNS) — Georgia prosecutors in former President Donald Trump’s election interference racketeering case reportedly say they will not consider plea deals for Trump or codefendants Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has decided to proceed to try Trump and his two top lieutenants as the alleged ringleaders of his plot to steal the 2020 election in the Peach State and elsewhere, the Guardian reported Tuesday.

Willis has named Trump the leader of the multipronged conspiracy to overturn his loss to Joe Biden.

But the decision to bar a deal appears to dramatically raise the stakes for Meadows and Giuliani.

The former White House chief of staff may have hoped to wriggle off the hook in the Georgia case and has so far unsuccessfully sought to have his case moved to federal court.

He offered some cooperation to special counsel Jack Smith in exchange for testimony to the federal grand jury investigating the election interference case but has apparently not made any formal cooperation deal.

Giuliani faces a plethora of legal woes in Georgia and elsewhere, including a defeat in a defamation case filed by Atlanta election workers whom he falsely accused of rigging votes for Biden. The judgment could bankrupt him.

The ex-mayor is also named as an unindicted coconspirator in the federal election interference case led by Smith. He submitted to questioning by Smith’s team in what legal analysts called an effort to win a deal to avoid prosecution, but there is no sign that he was successful.

Aside from signaling danger to Meadows and Giuliani, the reported decision by Willis could serve as a flashing invitation to the other dozen or so remaining codefendants to step up talks for plea agreements in the sprawling case.

The most prominent name that was left off of Willis’ must-face-trial list is pro-Trump law professor John Eastman. He is considered the architect of Trump’s alleged scheme to convince Republican lawmakers in Georgia and other battleground states to create alternate slates of pro-Trump electors to muddy the waters of Biden’s victory.

That is one of several intertwined plots laid out in the RICO indictment, along with an effort to bully officials into investigating bogus claims of widespread voter fraud and a bizarre plan to hack into voting machines in a rural pro-Trump Georgia county.

So far, three other Trump lawyers have already pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Trump and the others, along with a Trump campaign activist who allegedly aided the Coffee County voting machine effort.

That leaves 14 codefendants still facing the prospect of going on trial alongside Trump. Several of them are relatively low-level participants in the plot or alternate electors who legal analysts say should have a strong incentive to plead guilty and put the case behind them.

Georgia’s RICO law carries sentences of up to 20 years in prison and would not be subject to pardons. The statute is considered a particularly powerful weapon for prosecutors, and Willis has proven her effectiveness at using it to jail crooked mobsters, drug dealers and even cheating teachers.

Willis has asked Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee to set a date of Aug. 5 for the trial, which is expected to last several months. lf that schedule holds, Trump would face the daunting prospect of being on trial in an Atlanta courtroom during the last months of the 2024 presidential campaign.

Trump faces a March 4 trial in Washington, D.C., in the federal election interference case presided over by District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan.

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