Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

A Georgia bond bailsman, Hall was accused of participating in an effort to remove and tamper with election equipment.

Scott Hall, one of the 19 co-defendants in a case over election interference in the state of Georgia, has pleaded guilty to five criminal counts as part of a deal with Fulton County prosecutors in the United States.

He becomes the first to plead guilty in the wide-ranging case, which alleges that former President Donald Trump and allies engaged in a “criminal enterprise” to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential race.

A mugshot of Scott Hall, dressed in a white shirt and dark suit. A Fulton County seal is superimposed at the top of the image.
Scott Hall was among the first of the 19 co-defendants to surrender to Fulton County authorities on August 22 [Fulton County Sheriff’s Office/AP Photo]

As part of the deal, Hall agreed to testify in future proceedings. He received five years’ probation and a fine of $5,000 in exchange for pleading guilty to five misdemeanor counts of conspiring to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties.

Hall, a Georgia bail bondsman, was also one of the first to surrender to Fulton County authorities in August, when the 19 co-defendants faced a deadline to turn themselves in.

He originally faced seven felony charges — including conspiracy to defraud the state, computer theft and unlawful possession of ballots — based on allegations he helped breach election equipment in rural Coffee County, Georgia, in a failed effort to prove Trump’s false claims of voter fraud.

Trump, a Republican, has long maintained, without evidence, that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him. His Democratic rival, current President Joe Biden, narrowly won key swing states like Georgia, thereby propelling him to the White House.

But in the weeks after the 2020 vote, Georgia prosecutors maintain that Trump and his supporters “knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election” in the state.

Trump and top allies like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were among the 19 co-defendants ultimately named in the indictment — the fourth set of criminal charges the former president faces.

It was also his second involving election interference allegations: A federal-level indictment was filed in Washington, DC, shortly before the Georgia charges were announced. Trump has denied wrongdoing in all four cases.

The prosecutors are pursuing the 19 co-defendants in the case on charges they violated the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a law often used against organised crime and gang members. It allows the prosecutors to charge multiple participants for separate crimes that share the same end goal.

Hall was a minor player in that alleged conspiracy. Georgia’s indictment explains Hall had “been looking into the election on behalf of the President at the request of David Bossie”, a conservative activist and Trump ally.

Those efforts allegedly took a criminal turn on January 7, 2021, just one day after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election results.

Hall, who had connections to the state Republican Party, was searching for evidence of voter fraud to back up Trump’s claims, according to prosecutors. He flew from DeKalb County to Coffee County, where local officials — also charged in the indictment — gave him access to the Coffee County Board of Elections and Registration Office.

Prosecutors said he was joined at the office by workers hired from the data firm SullivanStrickler, who made copies of data from sensitive election materials, including ballot scanners and hard drives.

In a recording later released to the media, Hall can be heard saying: “I went down there. We scanned every freaking ballot.”

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By Joy

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