Saturday, September 30, 2023

Trump Co-Defendant Pleads Guilty In Georgia RICO Case


Former Federal prosecutor Joyce Vance discusses the significance of the plea agreement made by one of the Malignant Loser's co- defendants in the Georgia election RICO case:

The standard practice for prosecutors who are trying to hold the leaders of a group of criminals accountable is to “go up the chain.” In a drug trafficking case, that means you start with lower level defendants, perhaps people engaged in hand-to-hand drug buys that are readily provable. Then the prosecutor “flips” that defendant to help prosecutors make a case on his supplier. They continue up the chain as far as they can, reaching larger and larger dealers, regional suppliers, and hopefully, depending on the type of case, they end up able to prosecute the leaders of the drug trafficking organization.  [snip]

That brings us to today and Scott Hall, an Atlanta-area bail bondsman who was facing seven charges in the Fulton County case, including a RICO violation and conspiring to steal sensitive election data in Coffee County. This afternoon, with little advance notice, Hall pled guilty to five misdemeanors, will serve five years of probation, pay a $5,000 fine, and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. It’s the sort of deal that is so beneficial to a defendant that it suggests prosecutors believe his cooperation is valuable enough to merit the bargain.

So what might Hall be able to do? It’s not clear how important of a role he played in the overall scheme, and who he might have had direct communications with. But Hall was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell when she went to Coffee County, Georgia on January 7, the day after the insurrection, to carry out her scheme to illegally access voting machines. Hall’s cooperation is a bad sign for Powell. And Powell, in turn, had conversations about pursuing the Big Lie with others in the group and was in the room with Trump during some of the key conversations.

Sidney Powell isn't the only Trump co-defendant who should be concerned by Hall’s plea deal. Hall reportedly had an hour long call with Jeff Clark on January 2nd. That’s a long time for the Georgia bail bondsman to have been on the line with the Attorney General-wannabe who wanted to push states Biden won to call those results into question based on untrue allegations of fraud to try and swing the electoral vote call to Trump. It’s unlikely the call was just an hour of pleasantries. Precisely what was said and how good Hall’s recollection is—and whether or not he has contemporaneous notes or other verification of what took place during the call—remains to be seen...

Hall is unlikely to be the only co-defendant to accept a plea agreement in exchange for testimony. As the smaller fish look around and see others taking the off ramp while their personal resources dry up and blow away and prison terms loom, the compulsion to protect the Malignant Loser will fade quickly.  That's the beauty and brilliance of Fani Willis' bringing a racketeering case against this collection of seditionist misfits.  One by one, the misfits cut deals and the case gets stronger.

(Photo:  Hall / Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

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