First co-defendant pleads guilty in Trump’s election subversion case in Georgia

A bail bondsman charged alongside Donald Trump and 17 others in a sprawling election interference case in Georgia has pleaded guilty.

Scott Graham Hall, among a group of Trump loyalists charged with breaching voting machines in the state, agreed to a plea deal on 29 September that includes a sentence of five years of probation, a $5,000 fine and 200 hours of community service.

Hall was the first among the former president’s co-defendants to turn himself into Fulton County jail last month after a grand jury indictment charged Mr Trump and others under the state’s anti-racketeering statute, alleging a criminal enterprise to unlawfully overturn Mr Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election

He was initially charged under Georgia’s RICO Act and faced two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy and conspiracy to defraud the state.

A plea arrangement before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee included guilty pleas for five counts of “conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties,” a misdemeanor.

Hall was charged in connection with a conspiracy theory-driven effort to access ballot information from vote-counting machines at the Coffee County election office on 7 January, 2021.

A charging document filed in connection with the plea arrangement includes his admission that he “aided, abetted and encouraged” employees of a firm hired by election conspiracy theorist and Trump-linked lawyer Sidney Powell in “willfully tampering with electronic ballot markers and tabulating machines” in Coffee County.

The trial for Ms Powell, who has pleaded not guilty and will be tried separately from the other defendants in the case, is scheduled to begin in October.

A sweeping criminal indictment targeting the former president and 18 of his co-defendants – including members of his former legal team, his White House chief of staff and government officials – also lists 30 unnamed co-conspirators who are accused of supporting the former president’s alleged criminal enterprise to overturn election results in the state.

That investigation is separate from but parallel to a federal investigation into Mr Trump’s alleged multi-state scheme to subvert election outcomes, culminating in a mob of his supporters breaching the US Capitol.

Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty in all cases against him as he faces four seperate criminal indictments totalling 91 felonies while seeking the 2024 Republican nomination for president.