Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro May Still See Prison: Kirschner

Recent plea deals by Trump allies Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro in the election interference case in Fulton County, Georgia, may not have eliminated their chances of getting a prison sentence, according to legal analyst Glenn Kirschner.

Powell, a lawyer who was instrumental in supporting former President Donald Trump’s various efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election, and Chesebro, a lawyer seen by some as the architect of Trump’s “stolen voter” plot are the latest co-conspirators to accept plea offers from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and follow up on an offer from Atlanta-based bail bondsman Scott Hall. Under the agreement, the pair will avoid prison time in this case and agree to testify truthfully in future trials, making them valuable assets to prosecutors seeking information about Trump and the other co-conspirators.

Trump himself was indicted by a grand jury last month on charges of conspiracy to commit forgery, inciting a public official to violate his oath and violating Georgia’s anti-crime law. He has since pleaded not guilty. The indictment also named a total of 18 other co-conspirators, including Powell, Chesebro and Hall, as well as other prominent Trump allies such as Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman.

In an opinion column for MSNBC on Saturday, Kirschner, a veteran federal prosecutor turned legal analyst for various networks, noted that their recent plea deals would not exempt Powell or Chesebro from possible prison time by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Special Counsel Jack Smith’s federal election fraud case. So far, Trump is the only defendant named in the case, but legal experts suspect more will be added in the future.

Glenn Kirshcner Fulton County plea offers
Former Trump lawyer Kenneth Chesebro is seen. Legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said Saturday that Chesebro and Sidney Powell could still face prison time in the future despite their recent plea agreements.
Alyssa Pointer/Getty Images

“Neither Powell nor Chesebro’s plea deal ends the possibility of incarceration,” wrote Kirschner, a staunch Trump critic. “As noted, they are still being prosecuted in the federal case. Georgia prosecutors might have been willing to grant Powell and Chesebro a probation-only plea deal. However, I doubt that the federal government will be quite as generous.”

In the event that either of them cooperates with federal investigators at some point, Kirschner added that there is still an argument for them to still serve some prison time.

“In the event that either pleads guilty and cooperates in the federal prosecution of Trump, there are compelling societal interests that argue for a period of incarceration for crimes that, in a very real and direct sense, are aimed at putting an end to them “Our great American experiment,” he wrote. “Crimes like this deserve more than mere probation. Not if we are serious about stopping Trump and other would-be dictators from trying again.”

Newsweek I emailed legal experts for further comment.