For former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and their 17 other co-defendants, the threat of jail time is getting very real for those charged, arrested and booked in the Georgia election fraud case.
After trying desperately to avoid arrest by having his case transferred to federal court, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows surrendered Thursday afternoon. He is now in the same boat as his 18 fellow defendants in the Georgia case, even as Meadows is widely believed to be cooperating − to some degree − with Special Counsel Jack Smith and his federal prosecutors, who brought their own conspiracy case against Trump in Washington.
And one of the Georgia state false electors has blamed Trump, saying his group was only following the orders of the commander-in-chief.
In short, now that they’ve seen the inside of the notoriously dangerous Fulton County jail and had their fingerprints and mug shots taken, the alleged co-conspirators are mulling their options in terms of how to fight the case as it moves to court.
And by all appearances, it’s going to get complicated, contentious and potentially ugly, as the Fulton County 19 weigh how much they want to fight for their own interests at the expense of everyone else.
“This case has all the indicators of a classic mob case,” says former federal prosecutor and Justice Department official Gene Rossi, who has done a lot of these cases.
“When prosecutors at the federal and state level charge RICO, the multiple defendants initially are one team. But at some point in the process, each defendant realizes I have to be out for myself, I have to think about me,” Rossi told USA TODAY. “And at some point, I don’t know how many defendants will decide, ‘Let’s call the prosecutors. Let’s offer our cooperation and let the chips fall where they may, and we will take our punches and hopefully get a lighter sentence.’ ”
“That decision may not happen soon, but it will happen,” Rossi adds. “And that decision will be made quickest by the people who are at the lower end of the totem pole. So, 15 through 19 will likely cooperate a lot faster than somebody in the top seven.” [Continue reading…]