THE COLUMN: The Lights Go Out in Georgia

Michael Walsh23 Oct, 2023 6 Min Read
Gangland aficionados know what's coming next.

Last week brought more bad news for the Donald Trump campaign: several of his associates in the Georgia fiasco of 2020-21 -- including, ominously, Sidney "Kraken" Powell -- pleaded guilty to lesser charges in that state's holy war against the former president. Georgia is the place, you may recall, where even after the disputed/fortified/stolen presidential election was effectively over, the GOP still had a chance to hang onto the Senate but managed to blow both seats to Democrats (Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock) who otherwise would never have had a chance. The other guilty pleas were made by attorney Kenneth Chesebro and a bail bondsman, Scott Hall.

As part of the two lawyers' plea deals, they've both agreed to testify against the many other defendants in the case including, potentially, Rudy Giuliani and even Trump himself. Naturally, this was immediately spun by members of the Trump campaign as a win: 

Former President Donald Trump will benefit from the plea deal Sidney Powell accepted from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, according to Georgia lawyer Steve Sadow, who said Powell’s requirement to truthfully testify in upcoming trials related to the 2020 election in Georgia will help Trump. Sadow said in a statement to The Messenger that Powell’s testimony, which is required as part of her plea deal, “will be favorable” to his defense strategy, “assuming truthful testimony in the Fulton County case.”

Big fish.

Some commentators have tried to put a similarly optimistic face on things, including the estimable John Hinderaker at Power Line: "News organizations are headlining Sidney Powell’s guilty plea in the Georgia case in which she is a co-defendant with Donald Trump as if it were significant news. It isn’t, except, of course, to Ms. Powell." Others have pointed out that Powell and Chesebro have basically pleaded guilty to picking their feet in Poughkeepsie, and have skated on the really big RICO charges.

Appearing Thursday in a downtown Atlanta courtroom, [Powell] was sentenced to six years of probation for six counts of conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties. That is a significantly less-severe outcome than she would have faced if found guilty of the seven felonies for which she was originally indicted, which included a violation of the state racketeering law. Her criminal trial was set to begin next week.

Ms. Powell gave prosecutors a recorded statement on Wednesday as part of her plea deal. “If she’s already given a statement, she’s obviously given the prosecution some useful information,” said Melissa D. Redmon, an assistant law professor at the University of Georgia and a former Fulton County prosecutor.

Ms. Redmon said that it would be particularly helpful to the state’s case if Ms. Powell provided evidence that Mr. Trump and other high-profile defendants carried out a plan to assemble bogus electors — a major piece of the case — while knowing that they actually had no proof of widespread voter fraud.

Cue now the chorus of voices shouting about the Steal, despite the fact that a) at the time no courts took any of the cases and b) now that the matter is being adjudicated, the Trump team is losing and rolling over on its own. Ms. Powell, one of the former president's staunchest defenders whose personal credibility considerably enhanced public trust in the rightness of Trump's case, did what was best for herself in taking the plea deal; Powell is not stupid, and wisely chose not to sacrifice herself for someone who would toss her aside without a second thought — and who in fact has already distanced himself from her.

In any case, I have discussed the arguments regarding the Steal in two pieces here at the Pipeline; The System IS the Steal, and The Sting, and addressed many of the issues as they were happening in my columns for the Epoch Times, which were favorable to Trump.

Bigger fish.

Trump has attempted to bolster his support by identifying himself with the fate of the nation, directing most of his animus at his most potent challenger, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, largely for his effrontery in running against Trump for the nomination. Trump is demanding "loyalty" in a field in which loyalty is situational at best, and usually goes by the name of back-scratching. But the Republic is in too desperate a shape for considerations of "loyalty" when "victory" is the only thing that matters. Unbeholden to anyone else for his surprise victory in 2016, no one else is beholden to him now that he has squandered it in defeat. The only loyalty any candidate owes is to the country he seeks to lead, and Donald Trump is not the nation. 

As the Romans knew, politics is a cruel, masculine business. Once the election was called for Joe Biden, however unfairly or even illegally, the Trump campaign should have congratulated the "winner," withdrawn, and lived to fight another day; in other words, it should have emulated Richard Nixon, who lost the closely contested election of 1960 to John F. Kennedy. However difficult, that would have been the honorable and patriotic thing to do. Recall that from the start of his first presidential campaign Trump was already questioning the reliability of the electoral system and even then hinting he would contest any count that he lost. Here's a reminder

US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said the election is "absolutely rigged" by the "dishonest media" and "at many polling places". His comments appear to contradict his running mate Mike Pence, who told NBC Mr Trump would "absolutely" accept the election result, despite media "bias". Mr Trump's adviser Rudy Giuliani has also accused Democrats of "cheating".

Polls suggest Mr Trump is losing ground in some key battleground states against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Mr Trump has questioned the legitimacy of the election process in a series of tweets, the latest of which said on Monday: "Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. "Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!"

An earlier tweet said: "The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places - SAD." The White House candidate also tweeted: "Election is being rigged by the media, in a coordinated effort with the Clinton campaign, by putting stories that never happened into news!"

And that was the election he won

Tale of the tape.

What Trump could have done -- and what he and his disastrously managed presidential re-election campaign should have done -- was fight fraud before the election. They knew which six states would be determinative. As I wrote in the New York Post in my Oct. 2020 pre-election column: "The good news for Trump is that if he can win Nevada and hold on to Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Arizona and Georgia, he can afford to lose Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota and still cross the finish line with at least 275 electoral votes. In the weird year of 2020, that’s as good as a landslide."

He didn't, of course, losing several of them as narrowly as he had won them in '16, and that was that. I was watching the returns come in on Election Night into the wee hours, and went to sleep with him a million votes ahead in Pennsylvania, only to awake a few hours later with him well behind there. It practically screamed fraud, and it was -- fraud legalized in the wake of the Covid hoax, the widespread adoption of ballot harvesting, drop boxes, an expanded voting period to weeks instead of just one day, and serious abuse of absentee ballots -- and all eminently preventable had the RNC under the useless Ronna Romney McDaniel been on the ball. 

Now the Democrats are building a case against Trump and his petulant, inadvisable rear-guard resistance. As anyone who's followed gangland prosecutions knows, you flip the smaller fish early with very attractive plea deals, such as were given to Powell and Chesebro, with an eye on the big prize. And when that happens, the former president will have no one to blame but himself.

Michael Walsh is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. He was for 16 years the music critic and a foreign correspondent for Time Magazine. His works include the novels As Time Goes By, And All the Saints, and the bestselling “Devlin” series of NSA thrillers; as well as the nonfiction bestseller, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace and its sequel, The Fiery Angel. Last Stands, a study of military history from the Greeks to the present, was published by St. Martin's Press in December 2019. He is also the editor of Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, published on Oct. 18, 2022, and of the forthcoming Against the Corporate Media. Follow him on Twitter: @theAmanuensis


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17 comments on “THE COLUMN: The Lights Go Out in Georgia”

  1. I hope Raphael Warnock sends Donald Trump a nice fruit basket every Christmas because Trump did a masterful job of putting Warnock in the Senate.

  2. Grover Cleveland lost the election of 1888 to a large extent due to fraud. He then worked to institute secret ballots for the 1892 election. He won that election. Trump missed the opportunity to work towards changing the ballot laws which created the potential for fraud such as ballot harvesting.

  3. Thanks Mr Walsh, big fan of your books.
    Its simplistic to suggest Trump should have done something in the states, and neglects the facts that the steal is state level- see Arizona, for example.

    That requires a great deal more planning at the state level for years in the ground with vote buyers, like NPR bragged about pre-election: hispanic oriented non profits taking all the aunties and abuellas out to the casino for lunch and giving them cash cards for the favor of helping them fill in and deposit their mailed in ballots.
    Add COVID and it was a perfect storm.

    Yes, Georgia is lost, as is AZ.
    Its off our list for retirement.

  4. Will the first Sino-American Friendship Center open in Georgia?
    Comrade commissar Kemp (Uniparty) would be so pleased.
    Fun exercise=Read 1984 and substitute Uniparty for the party, do it while you can 1984 is banned.

  5. None of the courts given a chance to hear anything on election fraud took the opportunity. They made excuses because they are,
    1. Corrupt
    2. Cowards

  6. If election integrity, the Constitution, and everything we had taken for granted until January 2020 are at all important to you, then Trump in '24 is your only choice. You don't have the luxury of casting him aside to take up with a candidate more acceptable to the Inner Party or who doesn't tweet mean things. The lengths to which the Deep State -- it's real and has been around in public long enough to be lampooned on TV in the UK as far back as 1979 -- are going to destroy him will dictate the extent to which your support becomes non-optional.

  7. Biden and the Left committed vote fraud; in the exact same manner as they do every election in Philadelphia and in no way, shape or form did Biden win the 2020 election.

    And in 30 years that will be accepted as a fact, much like the Kennedy Nixon election that we all accept now as bought by Daddy from Daley.

    America, it had a good run.

  8. The attacks against Trump were an attack against the common man—populists—who foolishly attempted to influence policy by conspiring for a seat at the royal court—the Presidency. The sooner the common man abandons this pretense—his stolen status of wealth and influence —the sooner he can return his attention to his rightful inheritance: The House of Representatives. Control the House and you control the purse. (Expedited with the repeal of the 1929 Reapportionment Act, commensurate with restoring 1:30,000 (see Federalist 54-58)); Control the purse, you control government. Let the elite have their Oval Office. It is their right by design of our Constitution. But trust Madison’s wisdom and jealously control the House, and you will see how to make the government heel.

  9. The slate of alternate electors was assembled *during* the process to investigate voter fraud because there is a deadline for getting the electors certified, and if the investigation had proven fraud unequivocally and beyond the margin of Dem denial, the Dems would have been more than happy to "Oh, you don't have a slate of electors so you can't replace these. Too bad, so sad." Calling them 'bogus' electors is to accept the accusations of the fraudsters before you even begin an argument. Slates of alternate electors have been assembled in many previous elections by Dems and Republicans. The Vice-President either accepts them or rejects them, as the office has done for two centuries now without having the full power of the State devoted to putting the alternates in jail.

  10. "the fact that a) at the time no courts took any of the cases and b) now that the matter is being adjudicated" actually the cases in #B have nothing to do with the cases in #A ... which you know but ignore on purpose ... and several of the cases in #A have been re-filed in several states and adjudicated in Trumps favor, again something you know but choose to ignore ... you armchair pundits are all the same ... great Monday morning quarterbacks but have never put on the cleats and entered the game ... spare us your insight ...

    1. When the election of 2020 occurred I was starting to prepare for Senate confirmation for a position in the second Trump administration. Nothing "armchair" about it, Mr. Writing Under a Pseudonym.

  11. The defining characteristic of plea bargaining is that you overcharge the first targets and get them to flip as a trade for lesser charges. This is especially effective in a kangaroo court. Convictions not truth are the objectives.

  12. I also don't understand why the RNC and/or Trump did not fight all these Covid amendments to voting laws before the election. Why didn't Kari Lake do the same, such as having her rival removed as Sec. of State, the person who was supposed to be impartially running the election?

  13. J.J.,
    Good for you. The evidence has been presented in all sorts of forums, even with video proof of ballot box stuffing. Why were the courts unwilling to act, we'll never know, but before the election, there was no injury to redress and after, no one or no state had standing.

    Was there an in-between second where action could have been taken to hear the ample evidence of the cheat?

  14. Hi Michael:
    Looking ahead to next year's election "season," which I assume is already in full swing via the pre-printed/checked ballots for whoever the candidate might be, I don't think that even if we had a fully engaged and enraged RNC, any of the legalized fraud could have been or would have been eliminated, either via the courts or the legislatures. Especially the legislatures in the 6 states that threw it last time.

    On the plus side, we might all be vaporized in a nuclear war well before November of '24.

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