Sidney Powell, who once served as an attorney for the 2020 presidential campaign of former President Donald Trump, pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against her in the Georgia criminal indictment surrounding election interference.
Powell is one of 19 total defendants in the case, which was brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis after an investigation that lasted more than two years. She is alleged to have played a central role in promulgating the false claims that Trump won the 2020 election, and sought to work to overturn the results.
Along with her co-defendants, she’s being accused of being involved in a criminal conspiracy that sought to keep Trump in power following the results of the election. In Georgia specifically, the group is alleged to have taken actions to reverse the results.
In total, Powell is facing seven different charges, some of which fall under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as RICO. That act is often used to take down organized crime syndicates, and every defendant in this case is being accused of violating it.
The other charges being levied against Powell stem from a breach of election equipment in Coffee County, Georgia. The charges include multiple computer crimes, conspiracy to commit election fraud and conspiracy to defraud the state.
The latter charge is based around theft of data, since voter data is “property which was under the control of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.”
In a court filing made on Tuesday, Powell waived the right she had to have an arraignment. That was scheduled to be held on September 6, and is the same date that all the other defendants are scheduled for their arraignments.
An arraignment, however, is just a proceeding during which the charges a defendant faces are formally read to them, and at which they enter a plea.
Powell, though, has already entered her plea of not guilty. Her decision to skip the formal arraignment – and as a result enter her not guilty plea during a private court hearing rather than a likely televised one – follows suit with what Ray Smith did.
The attorney who’s based in Georgia also waived his right to arraignment, entering his not guilty plea on Monday in writing, according to court filings. He’s being charged with 12 counts, which include the same racketeering charge.
It’s possible that at least some of the other defendants could do the same thing as Smith and Powell and avoid having their plea entered during a televised event. The judge recently approved cameras for use in the courtroom in Fulton County.
In addition to waiving her right to an arraignment, Powell also requested that she face a speedy trial. She’s the second defendant to do that, after attorney Kenneth Chesebro did the same. His trial date has already been set for October 23.
Powell has long been a central figure in the election interference case. She once vowed that she would “release the Kraken” of alleged wrongdoing in the 2020 presidential election.
After surrendering last week at Fulton County jail, she was released on a bond of $100,000.