Former President Donald Trump is facing a mounting legal threat as several of his former allies have decided to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for leniency in the investigations into his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Among the most prominent defectors are Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, two former attorneys who represented Trump in his baseless lawsuits challenging the election outcome in Georgia and other states. They have pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and making false statements in Georgia’s election probe, which is led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
The plea deals include cooperation agreements that require Powell and Wood to provide information and testimony against other co-conspirators, including Trump himself, who is accused of pressuring Georgia officials to overturn the state’s election results in his favor.
“They’re all turning on each other. It’s a bloodbath,” a source close to Trump told Rolling Stone.
Trump has not offered any meaningful help or protection to his former allies, and has tried to distance himself from them and blame them for the legal troubles. In a statement released last week, Trump said he had “nothing to do” with Powell and Wood, and accused them of “making fools” of themselves and him.
“The president threw us under the bus. He abandoned us. He left us for dead,” Powell said in a recorded phone call with Wood that was obtained by prosecutors.
The plea deals pose a grave legal threat to Trump, who is facing multiple investigations and lawsuits for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election results. He is also the subject of a criminal probe by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which is looking into his business dealings and tax affairs.
The plea deals also signal an erosion of loyalty to Trump, who has demanded extreme loyalty from his supporters and associates, but has not reciprocated it. Many of his former aides and allies have felt betrayed or abandoned by him, especially after the January 6 Capitol riot, which he incited but did not take responsibility for.
– Trump’s Demands for Extreme Loyalty Are Starting to Backfire, Rolling Stone, October 31, 2023
– Plea Deals in Georgia Case Signal an Erosion of Loyalty to Trump, U.S. News, October 24, 2023
– Back-to-back plea deals pose grave legal threat to Donald Trump, CNN, October 21, 2023
– Trump’s ex-lawyers plead guilty in Georgia election probe, BBC News, October 20, 2023