Richard Fausset reported from Atlanta, and Danny Hakim from New York
Oct. 19, 2023Updated 5:01 p.m. ET
Ms. Powell, a member of the Trump legal team in 2020, will cooperate with prosecutors seeking to convict the former president in an election interference case in Georgia.
Sidney K. Powell, who spun some of the wildest conspiracy theories about ballot fraud as a member of Donald J. Trump’s legal team after he lost the 2020 election, pleaded guilty on Thursday morning to six misdemeanor counts. She is one of 19 people, including Mr. Trump, who were indicted in August for trying to subvert the election results in Georgia, and she has agreed to testify against any of the remaining defendants.
Her guilty plea was a blow to Mr. Trump, who faces the most charges of any defendant other than Rudolph W. Giuliani, his former personal lawyer. Significantly, Ms. Powell is the first of Mr. Trump’s close advisers from the post-election period to flip, which could also help the federal election interference case against him.
Cracking the former president’s inner circle has long been a challenge for prosecutors, as it was for the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots. Ms. Powell, 68, was a frequent visitor to the White House after the election and had direct dealings with the highest-profile defendants in the case, including Mr. Trump, who considered naming her a special counsel to investigate voter fraud.
Appearing Thursday in a downtown Atlanta courtroom, she was sentenced to six years of probation for six counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties. That is a significantly less-severe outcome than she would have faced if found guilty of the seven felonies for which she was originally indicted, which included a violation of the state racketeering law. Her criminal trial was set to begin next week.