Donald Trump’s Co-Defendants Could Flip: Donald Trump will not be the only defendant on trial in Fulton County, Georgia.
The former president – along with 18 co-defendants – will stand trial next year for attempts to overturn the election results within the state.
Some are more implicated than others, but each will be forced to defend their actions and prove their innocence.
That could, according to his former lawyer, prove to be bad news for Donald Trump.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer until their high-profile split a few years ago said that co-defendants may ditch their loyalty to the former president to save their own skin.
Cohen will be a key witness in one of Trump’s four indictments regarding alleged hush money payments to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels.
A former ally, Cohen distanced himself from the 77-year-old in a move that collaborators may follow.
Over the past few weeks, Donald Trump allies have begun flipping to spare themselves from criminal repercussions. An aide at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, faced with the possibility of a perjury charge, suddenly changed his story about alleged efforts to erase surveillance video and cooperate with Special Counsel Jack Smith.
Later in August, three GOP activists indicted alongside Trump in Georgia claimed that their actions were taken at Trump’s behest. Moreover, chief of staff Mark Meadows signaled that his defense is likely to blame the former president for spearheading efforts to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
The number of defendants in the case who flip may increase as the Georgia case moves closer towards a jury. With them facing less charges than the former president, Trump’s co-defendants may opt seem less culpable by comparison.
“Strategically speaking, if you are one of the lesser important players, you would definitely want to be in the same trial with Donald Trump. All of the focus is going to be on him,” said Scott Weinberg, a Florida-based attorney, to Politico. “They don’t want the little guys, they want Trump. You’re always compared to who you’re next to.”
The Georgia case is most likely to see flips with so many co-defendants. The three GOP activists who posed as pro-Trump presidential electors have all stated they acted under Trump’s “direction.”
These false electors were later unsuccessfully used by Trump to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results. Meadows made clear in his testimony at last week’s hearing that these false electors were part of Trump’s strategy in power, marking another co-defendant to flip against the Republican frontrunner.
A trial date is yet to be announced for the former president, although the possibility of former allies flipping beforehand is all too real.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
From the Vault