A critical component of most RICO prosecutions is getting people lower on the criminal conspiracy theory’s org chart to plead out, and here we go:
Bail bondsman Scott Hall on Friday became the first defendant in the Fulton County election interference case to take a plea agreement with prosecutors, signaling the probe has entered a dynamic new phase.
During an impromptu hearing before Fulton Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, Hall, with his attorney by his side, pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with the performance of election duties.
Hall agreed to testify truthfully when called, five years probation, a $5,000 fine, 200 hours of community service and a ban on polling and election administration-related activities. He also recorded a statement for prosecutors and pledged to pen a letter of apology to Georgia voters.
The agreement is a victory for prosecutors, who are preparing for at least two sets of trials involving what is now 18 defendants. Jury selection for the trial involving the first two defendants, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, is slated to begin on Oct. 20.
The fact that Trump doesn’t have a pardon power to dangle with this particular case may well end up being a particularly serious problem for him. I’m not sure a lot of people facing serious jail time with no hope of reprieve are going to buy into a “never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut” ethos.