Republican poll watcher Scott Hall is shown in a police booking mugshot released by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, after a grand jury brought back indictments against former U.S. President Donald Trump and 18 of his allies in their attempt to overturn the state’s 2020 election results in Atlanta, Georgia, August 22, 2023.
Fulton County Sheriff’s Office | via Reuters
Scott Hall, one of the 18 co-defendants of former President Donald Trump in his Georgia election interference case, pleaded guilty Friday in Atlanta to five misdemeanor conspiracy charges.
Hall is the first person charged with Trump to plead guilty in the case, which alleges a widespread racketeering conspiracy to overturn Trump’s 2020 electoral loss to President Joe Biden.
At a hearing in Fulton County Superior Court, Hall confirmed to Judge Scott McAfee that his plea deal requires him to testify in future proceedings in the case, including trials of his co-defendants, including Trump.
The 59-year-old bail bondsman will serve five years of probation, pay a $5,000 fine, and perform 200 hours of community service as part of that deal.
McAfee also ordered Hall to write a letter of apology to the state of Georgia for his crimes and to have no involvement in the administration of elections.
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Hall was accused in the indictment issued last month of willfully tampering with electronic voting machines in Coffee County, Georgia, and of working with several other co-defendants, including the pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, in that effort.
He originally was charged with seven criminal counts.
But that was reduced Friday to the five misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with the performance of an election that he pleaded guilty to.
A spokesman for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is prosecuting the Trump defendants, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Hall’s plea.
The guilty pleas came as a federal court judge in Georgia denied efforts by several co-defendants in the case, Jeffrey Clark, Cathy Latham, David Shafer and Shawn Still to remove their cases from Fulton County court to federal court.
Trump’s attorneys previously indicated they planned to seek to have his trial moved to federal court.
But in a surprise court filing Thursday, Trump’s lawyers told Judge McAfee that they would not do so.
“This decision is based on his well-founded confidence that this honorable court intends to fully and completely protect his constitutional right to a fair trial, and guarantee him due process of law throughout the prosecution of his case,” Trump’s lawyer Steven Sadow told McAfee in that filing.
Trump’s decision not to see a federal trial in the case could reflect the recent lack of success his White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, had in requesting a transfer of his trial there in the same case.
Meadows is appealing a federal district judge’s denial of his transfer bid.
Powell and another co-defendant, Kenneth Chesebro, are set to begin their trial on Oct. 23. Both of those defendants, who are attorneys, had requested speedy trials for their cases.
Judge Scott McAfee on Friday denied a motion by Chesebro to dismiss the charges against him.