Here’s a List of the 10 Aides, Employees and Co-defendants Who’ve Flipped on Donald Trump
Donald Trump faces legal quagmire as many ex-aides flip on him
Donald Trump is currently involved in a legal quagmire, with 91 various counts filed against him, ranging from election meddling accusations in Georgia to allegations of corporate fraud related to hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. As these legal storms intensify, a dramatic twist in the former president's spate of legal challenges may be found in the growing number of one-time confidants, advisers, employees, and co-defendants who have opted to "flip" on the former President, frequently at a time when they are facing legal problems. Here is a list of the 10 crucial persons who have chosen to cooperate with authorities, each of whom may hold a piece of the puzzle in the legal maze that Trump is now navigating.
1. Sidney Powell
On October 19, former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell agreed to a plea deal with Georgia prosecutors and pled guilty to six counts of conspiracy to interfere with her election duty. Powell, who was accused of breaching the state's anti-racketeering law with Trump and 17 others, entered the plea barely a day before jury selection began in her trial, PBS reported. She pleaded convicted to six crimes, including conspiring to intentionally interfere with election duties. As part of the agreement, she will serve six years probation, pay a $6,000 fine, and write an apology letter to Georgia residents. She has also recorded a statement and agreed to testify truthfully against her co-defendants, including Trump, in future trials.
2. Mark Meadows
Mark Meadows, Trump's former Chief of Staff and one of 18 co-defendants in Trump's Georgia election meddling lawsuit, was granted immunity from criminal prosecution in exchange for his testimony. Meadows testified under oath to Smith that he repeatedly told Trump that allegations of significant voter fraud in the 2020 election were unfounded, according to ABC News, and that Trump was "dishonest" to the American people when he claimed to have won the election before official results were in. "We didn't win," Meadows was quoted as saying to Smith's team after their loss.
3. Jenna Ellis
Jenna Ellis was one of three former Trump lawyers indicted alongside Trump in his Georgia election meddling case. As part of a plea agreement, she cried as she pleaded guilty to a felony charge of aiding and abetting false statements and writings on October 24, reported Business Insider. She has also promised to assist prosecutors. "I believe in and I value election integrity. If I knew then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post-election challenges," Ellis said in court, her voice breaking as she described her conduct. "I look back on my experiences with deep remorse."
4. Kenneth Chesebro
On October 20, a day after Powell pled guilty, Kenneth Chesebro, another former Trump lawyer and co-defendant in the RICO case, entered a plea of guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to file false documents. Chesebro will be subject to the same deal terms as Powell, including the necessity to testify against the other co-defendants and submit an apology letter to Georgia residents.
5. Michael Cohen
Once one of Trump's most valued "fixers," his connection with Michael Cohen, the personal attorney for Trump and a former executive of the Trump Organization, has long been soured. Cohen is scheduled to testify as a prominent witness in Trump's civil fraud trial, in addition to assisting the New York District Attorney's office in its investigations of the businessman ahead of his criminal trial. Cohen's disapproval of Trump has been widely expressed. He gloated following Trump's indictment in the Stormy Daniels case earlier this year.
6. Patrick Birney
In testimony given this month in the New York corporate fraud civil case, Patrick Birney, Vice President of Finance for the Trump Organization, stated that Trump had told his CFO that he wanted his net worth figures to "go up" annually, per Business Insider. Though Birney was not named as a defendant in the fraud case, Attorney General Letitia James has previously provided proof of Birney's testimony connecting Trump to the broad fraudulent exaggerations of how Trump valued his properties. According to her, Trump inflated his wealth by as much as $3.6 billion a year to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance premiums and loan interest.
7. Shawn Still
Georgia state senator Shawn Still was checked into Fulton County Jail in late August. He is one of the 19 codefendants in Georgia who are being charged with felonies for election tampering. Politico reported that Still's lawyer contended that, in his capacity as a presidential elector, he was not responsible for Trump's behavior because he just followed his instructions. “Mr. Still, as a presidential elector, was also acting at the direction of the incumbent president of the United States,” an attorney for Still argued. “The president’s attorneys instructed Mr. Still and the other contingent electors that they had to meet and cast their ballots on Dec. 14, 2020.”
8. David Shafer
In a petition, Shafer—an additional one of the 19 codefendants in the Georgia election case and a former head of the Georgia Republican Party—argued that he "acted at the direction of the incumbent President and other federal officials," according to Politico. Shafer's attorney, Craig Gillen, however, said Insider via email that the court petition did not claim that Shafer was "following direction from Trump."
9. Cathleen Latham
Cathleen Latham, teacher & political activist, is one of the 19 codefendants in the Georgia elections case and the former chairwoman of the Coffee County GOP. She claimed that she simply intervened to alter election results "at the direction of the President of the United States," citing Politico, just as Still and Shafer did. According to jail records, Cathy Latham turned herself in in August to face 11 accusations, including conspiracy to conduct electoral fraud and impersonation of a public official.
10. Yuscil Taveras
Yuscil Taveras oversaw information technology at Trump's Mar-a-Lago mansion, where he's accused of hiding confidential documents after leaving office. The Justice Department claims that Trump's advisers were moving secret materials around, and Taveras was requested to remove surveillance film from the premises. According to earlier reporting by Insider, Taveras did not remove the video, which is now a key component of the Justice Department's case. After switching attorneys, Taveras eventually entered into a cooperation plea deal with federal prosecutors and implicated Trump, despite his original claim that he could not recall any talks involving the security footage.
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