A new report in The Guardian states that the team of Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is not intending to offer a plea deal to former President Donald Trump and multiple others in the criminal case that Willis brought alleging a criminal conspiracy targeting the state’s 2020 election results. Absent any external intervention, Willis sticking to this path would effectively force Trump and the others — including Rudy Giuliani and Mark Meadows — to stand trial.
Several co-defendants from the broader case have already struck deals with prosecutors, a list including multiple attorneys close to Trump: Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, and Kenneth Chesebro. Plea arrangements with lower-level defendants are generally expected to set up the possibility of testimony by that defendant against remaining figures in the case, like Trump, later on.
“Fulton county prosecutors do not intend to offer plea deals to Donald Trump and at least two high-level co-defendants charged in connection with their efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia, according to two people familiar with the matter, preferring instead to force them to trial,” according to The Guardian. More defendants beyond those who’ve already pleaded guilty could end up with deals though, as the original case included a grand total of actually 19 defendants.
A lawyer for Trump, Steve Sadow, rebuffed the possibility that the ex-president would even be interested in a deal, though the back-and-forth sounds somewhat like a “you can’t fire me, I quit” kind of situation. “Any comment by the Fulton county district attorney’s office offering ‘deals’ to President Trump is laughable because we wouldn’t accept anything except dismissal,” Sadow said. There’s not yet a trial date established for Trump and connected defendants in the case, though prosecutors are targeting August 2024. That point would come months after the March-scheduled trial on Trump’s federal criminal charges that cover somewhat similar ground, meaning his attempts after the last presidential election to undercut its results. Trump is the only defendant in the federal case.