In a dramatic turn of events, Kenneth Chesebro, an attorney who played a significant role in former President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign, has pleaded guilty in a Georgia courtroom.
Prosecutors had labeled him the "architect" behind a scheme aimed at overturning the Republican's defeat in the 2020 presidential election, as the New York Post reported.
Chesebro's plea came as jury selection for his case was about to begin, making him the second lawyer connected to Trump to plead guilty in as many days.
On Thursday, attorney Sidney Powell admitted to six misdemeanor counts in the same expansive case.
Chesebro, who faced a total of seven counts in his indictment, including charges of violating Georgia's anti-racketeering law, conspiracy to commit forgery, and conspiracy to impersonate a public officer, chose to admit to a single count of felony conspiracy to commit filing false documents.
During his appearance in Fulton County Superior Court, Judge Scott McAfee sentenced Chesebro to five years of probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $5,000 restitution payment.
Additionally, he was ordered to write an apology letter to the residents of Georgia and to testify at any potential future trials related to the case, which could include testimony against Donald Trump himself.
Chesebro's central role in the scheme revolved around orchestrating the certification of electors in Georgia. He allegedly coordinated with 16 Georgia Republicans, who declared Trump the victor and proclaimed themselves the state's "duly elected and qualified" electors.
Furthermore, prosecutors claimed that Chesebro collaborated with Trump campaign attorneys and Republican leaders in other swing states that had been won by President Joe Biden.
Their goal was to persuade those states to submit alternate elector slates, mimicking the efforts in Georgia.
A memo authored by Chesebro in December 2020, which surfaced in August, outlined their strategy. It referred to their approach as a "bold, controversial" move that they believed the U.S. Supreme Court would "likely" reject.
The memo argued that they could manipulate the vote count in a way that Trump would appear to be in the lead in the electoral vote count until Biden could secure a favorable decision from the Supreme Court or gain recognition of Congress' power to count the votes.
Chesebro also communicated with Rudy Giuliani, then Trump's attorney, discussing strategies to disrupt and delay the joint session of Congress scheduled for Jan. 6, 2021, when electoral votes were to be counted. He believed these strategies were preferable to allowing the Electoral Count Act to operate as intended.
The joint session was infamously disrupted when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, leading to a temporary halt in proceedings.
Three of the 19 defendants in the Georgia case, including Chesebro and Powell, have pleaded guilty and agreed to testify. The remaining 16, which includes Trump, Giuliani, and Mark Meadows, have pleaded not guilty, with no trial dates set as of yet.