Kenneth Chesebro, a Trump-Aligned Lawyer, Pleads Guilty in Georgia

Kenneth Chesebro, a lawyer criminally charged in Georgia for his role in what prosecutors describe as a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election in favor of Donald J. Trump, accepted a plea deal on Friday, becoming the third of 19 co-defendants to plead guilty in the wide-ranging criminal racketeering indictment that also names Mr. Trump.

The plea from Mr. Chesebro, 62, came a day after Sidney K. Powell, another Trump-aligned lawyer charged in the case, pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution. Both defendants had exercised their right to a speedy trial under Georgia law, and had been preparing for jury selection to start on Monday.

Their trial will no longer go forward. But Mr. Chesebro’s plea has added to a sudden sense of momentum in favor of prosecutors in Fulton County, Ga. As part of his plea deal, Mr. Chesebro agreed to “truthfully testify” against the remaining co-defendants, as did Ms. Powell and Scott Hall, an Atlanta bail bondsman who accepted a plea deal in the case in late September.

Under the agreement, Mr. Chesebro pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of conspiracy to commit filing of false documents and was sentenced to five years’ probation, although if he complies with its terms he may later ask that his probation be reduced to three years. He was also instructed to write a letter of apology to the state of Georgia (he said he had already done so) and to pay $5,000 in restitution to the Georgia secretary of state’s office.

The two consecutive plea deals spell only bad news for Mr. Trump and his 15 remaining co-defendants, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, his former personal lawyer, and Mark Meadows, his former White House chief of staff, who are set to be tried at a later date.

Mr. Chesebro, a Harvard-educated lawyer, was accused in the indictment of conspiring to create slates of so-called fake electors pledged to Mr. Trump in Georgia and several other states that Mr. Biden had won. His lawyers had argued that he broke no laws and was merely offering legal counsel to clients.