The Fulton County DA is discussing plea deals with at least 5 Trump co-defendants

(CNN) – Fulton County prosecutors have discussed possible plea deals with at least six additional co-defendants charged with Donald Trump for trying to sabotage the 2020 presidential election, multiple sources tell CNN.

The strategy for District Attorney Fannie Willis’ office is clear: Get as many co-defendants as possible to flip the former president, leaving Trump and a few close allies in the hot seat.

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Pro-Trump lawyer Robert Seeley was among those offered a plea deal in the Georgia case but turned it down, according to his lawyer.

“To say we’re currently in discussions with the DA’s office would be a misrepresentation of what’s going on. “They made us an offer some time ago and we turned it down,” said Sealy’s attorney, Richard Rice.

Former Coffey County, Georgia, elections supervisor Misty Hampton and former Trump campaign official Mike Roman have also been in contact with the DA’s office about a possible deal, multiple sources said.

CNN has confirmed that the other three defendants have discussed a possible plea deal with Fulton County prosecutors, but agreed not to be named after sources expressed concern about talking about the case at this stage.

A source with knowledge of the Fulton County DA’s strategy tells CNN they are open to discussing plea deals with anyone, but there is not much room for compromise when it comes to the charges against Trump.

To be clear, there is no indication that either prosecutors or Trump’s legal team are interested in discussing a plea deal. Any hypothetical proposal would be on Willis’ terms, requiring him to plead guilty to all charges he faces, effectively taking the possibility of meaningful negotiations off the table, a source familiar with the DA’s strategy told CNN. Trump has pleaded not guilty, denied any wrongdoing and continues to insist he won the election.

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So far, four of the 19 defendants in the Fulton County case, including three lawyers directly involved in Trump’s effort to overturn the election results in Georgia, have already accepted a deal — in some cases pleading guilty to felony charges in exchange for a more lenient one. Sentencing recommendation.

A consistent theme of those agreements is for the defendants to write letters of apology to the citizens of Georgia for their role in efforts to alter the results of the 2020 election, but the content of those letters has expressed varying degrees of remorse.

Former Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis offered a tearful apology during a plea hearing on Tuesday, reading in open court a letter denying Trump’s attempts to loudly inflate the results of the 2020 election.

Jenna Ellis cries in court 10 24 2023

Hear what Jenna Ellis said in a tearful courtroom speech

That’s in stark contrast to the written apology submitted by former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell, whose letter consisted of just one sentence, a source who has seen the document said, which has not been made public.

To date, prosecutors have not extended a plea deal to Rudy Giuliani, the main co-defendant in the case and one of Trump’s most outspoken advocates in 2020, according to the first source about the prosecution’s tactics. At this point, lawyers are unlikely to do so. Giuliani has long been considered the top tier of Trump co-defendants because of his alleged role in orchestrating a broader conspiracy to rig the 2020 election results in Georgia and beyond.

Giuliani recently lost two lawyers from Georgia. CNN reached out to the New York attorney who is still representing him.

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As of now, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has also not been offered a plea deal in the Georgia case, a separate source familiar with his specific case in Georgia told CNN.

Meadows testified to the grand jury and spoke to investigators in the federal investigation through special counsel Jack Smith. He is trying to move his state charges in Georgia to federal court.

John Eastman, considered one of Trump’s highest-profile co-defendants, was also not offered a plea deal, his lawyer told CNN. Eastman urged Georgia state lawmakers to appoint a panel of replacement GOP electors to replace the statutory slate of Democratic electors.

Willis’ strategy is to focus on the co-defendants listed at the top of the indictment and seek cooperation from those considered less important in the broader case, as he did when he successfully convicted significant participants in the Atlanta Public Schools fraud in the 2014 RICO case. scandal, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Former DeKalb County, Georgia, district attorney Robert James, who closely followed the 2020 election fraud case, says this could be the start of prosecutions in Fulton County as prosecutors aim to keep defendants on board as witnesses. Enemies.”

“It makes the prosecutors’ case stronger because you have witnesses and direct evidence, but it also gives co-defendants certainty and a certain level of security knowing they’re not going to go to jail,” James said.

A source familiar with the strategy said it can be summed up by an adage used by prosecutors in Fulton County RICO cases:

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“The first to scream gets the deal.”

CNN’s Katelyn Polantz, Paula Reid and Evan Perez contributed to this report.

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