Kenneth Chesebro, a key co-defendant in former President Donald Trump’s Georgia election interference case, has taken a last-minute plea deal in which he has agreed to testify in the case.
Chesebro pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of conspiracy to commit filing of false documents and will receive five years’ probation and a $5,000 fine, in exchange for agreeing to testify and provide documents and evidence.
The agreement is the first felony plea deal among the 19 defendants in the case. Two other defendants have also taken deals.
Chesebro’s deal comes after the jury selection process in his case had already gotten underway Friday.
Chesebro, an attorney, was facing seven counts after prosecutors said he drafted a strategy to use so-called “alternate electors” to prevent Joe Biden from receiving 270 electoral votes in the 2020 election, according to the Fulton County DA’s indictment.
“How do you plead to count 15, conspiracy to commit filing false documents…?” the prosecutor asked at Chesebro’s court appearance in Atlanta Friday.
“Guilty,” Chesebro replied.
Chesebro, who lives in Puerto Rico, told Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee that he was willing to stay in town for a few days to negotiate “the logistics” of his probation.
Before concluding, Chesebro spoke directly to the judge, saying, “I just want to thank you for the way you’ve handled these proceedings.”
Speaking outside the courthouse, Chesebro’s attorney described the plea arrangement as “too good to turn down.”
“He gets to go home to his family now … and not spend one day in jail,” attorney Scott Grubman said. “He was facing very, very serious charges.”
Despite that, Grubman said Chesebro had been “inaccurately” described as the “architect” of the so-called fake elector plan.
“If that was true, would the DA have offered him probation?” Grubman asked.
Asked by ABC News if Trump should be concerned about Chesebro’s potential testimony, Grubman said, “I don’t think so.”
“He’s a man of his word,” he said if Chesebro. “If he’s called, he’ll testify.”
Chesebro’s plea comes a day after former Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell took a plea deal in which she received probation in exchange for agreeing to testify.
Powell and Chesebro were both originally scheduled to go to trial next week after both demanded speedy trials.
Chesebro, according to sources, last month rejected a similar plea deal with the state, ABC News was first to report.
Powell, Chesebro, Trump, and 16 others pleaded not guilty in August to all charges in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state of Georgia.
Georgia bail bondsman Scott Hall last month took a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to tampering with voting machine equipment and received probation in exchange for agreeing to testify at the trial of other co-defendants.