🇺🇸 Pleas, please!

Plus, trading wings for paint brushes.

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Monday. An enterprising and inspiring 14-year-old invented a soap that treats skin cancer. Now he’s won the honor of being America’s Top Young Scientist.

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TRENDING

Right: Why the Press Lied About the Gaza Hospital Batya Ungar-Sargon, FOX News

Right: Romney Admits He Knew Nothing About Burisma Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

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Israeli Strikes, Speaker Race Grows, Argentina Election

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US: Pentagon bolsters U.S. presence in Middle East following Iran proxy attacks on troops (POLITICO)

World: Iran sentences women journalists on charges over Amini protests (Reuters)

World: Biden and Netanyahu agree to a ‘continued flow’ of humanitarian aid to Gaza (POLITICO)

World: Argentina election: vote count starts as chance of run-off rises (Reuters)

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JUSTICE

Pleas, please!

The Fulton County mugshots of Kenneth Chesebro (left) and Sidney Powell (right).

On Thursday, Sidney Powell, a Trump lawyer charged in the Georgia racketeering case pled guilty to six demeanors in exchange for probation, a fine, community service, an apology letter to Georgia’s citizens, and a commitment to testify in future trials. On Friday, Kenneth Chesebro, another Trump Lawyer, also pled guilty to a felony with similar terms as Powell.

Reporting from the Right: Third Trump defendant Kenneth Chesebro pleads guilty in Fulton RICO case (Washington Examiner)

Reporting from the Left: Kenneth Chesebro pleads guilty in Georgia after Sidney Powell plea (MSNBC)

From The Flag: These pleas mark the second and third co-defendants to take a plea deal in former President Donald Trump’s Georgia election subversion case. Scott Hall, another co-defendant among the 19 in the case, was the first to take a plea deal at the end of September. Here’s how both sides are reacting to the development.

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Mixed: This Case Is Shaky vs. This Could Be Bad For Both Sides

  • The fact that DA Fani Willis is offering reduced charges suggests that she doesn’t have anything more to prosecute than minor infractions.

  • DA Willis has employed a very calculated approach by overcharging the defendants in order to eventually extort plea deals out of them that were too good to refuse.

  • “Law professor Jonathan Turley says attorney Sidney Powell could wind up being a ‘dangerous witness’ for both sides.”

Sidney Powell’s Guilty Plea Points to a Faltering Case in Atlanta Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review: “Here, to the contrary, Willis is not only abandoning the RICO charge; she’s not even getting felony guilty pleas of any kind. If these were serious prosecutions, we would not be seeing probation sentences. If Willis truly believed in her ballyhooed RICO charge…she’d induce her cooperators to plead guilty to the RICO charge and explain, in the plea allocution, what they did, particularly in conjunction with Donald Trump, that makes them guilty. … Willis is not doing that. Yet I wouldn’t call these sweetheart plea deals. A plea bargain is properly branded “sweetheart” when…there appear to be serious charges that the prosecutor could easily prove but refrains from charging. Willis’s case appears to be the opposite. She filed the grandiose allegations in an indictment that depicts Trump as if he were the boss of a Mafia family — with Powell as one of his lieutenants. Now she’s pleading people out to minor infractions. There’s good reason to believe that’s because minor infractions are all she’s got.

Sidney Powell’s Plea Proves Fulton County Prosecutor Went Nuclear To Get Trump Margot Cleveland, The Federalist: “Willis basically extorted a guilty plea from Powell by charging her with seven serious felonies… But what reason would Willis have to offer such a favorable deal? None, if Willis truly believed Powell committed the felonies for which she was charged and Willis had the evidence to prove them. After all, it is not as if Powell’s testimony is needed to establish the other crimes charged against the other defendants. … So why let Powell off with what would be a slap on the wrist if Powell had committed the felonies as charged? The answer seems clear: Powell hadn’t committed the felonies, and Willis never thought she had. But she overcharged Powell to add gravitas to the supposed election conspiracy claims and to make an offer for a first-offender misdemeanor plea deal an offer too good to refuse. … By charging the defendants with multiple felonies, however, Willis made it exceedingly difficult for them to change a conviction.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Sidney Powell Could Be 'Dangerous Witness' Jeffrey Rodack, Newsmax

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

This Is Bad News for Trump

  • Powell’s testimony could help the prosecution target others involved in the alleged conspiracy, and it may also influence how other lower-level defendants may choose to cooperate in the case.

  • These plea deals could give prosecutors a valuable weapon in their efforts to hold the other defendants, including Trump, accountable.

  • Trump’s defense may have relied on blaming his lawyers, but now they’ll be witnesses for the prosecution.

What Sidney Powell’s Deal Could Mean for the Fulton County Case Against Trump David A. Graham, The Atlantic: “Powell is the second person to plead guilty to involvement… [Her] testimony may help prosecutors target Jeff Clark, a little-known Justice Department official who attempted to lead a coup inside the department, getting Trump to appoint him acting attorney general, and to convince state legislatures to overturn election results. (He has pleaded not guilty.) …[there’s also] the question of how other people accused in the case might react to Powell’s plea. Prosecutors likely hope that it might convince some of the lower-level defendants to conclude that their chances of beating the rap are low but also that cooperating now might produce favorable terms. Agreements to testify would, in turn, presumably make it easier to mount a successful case against the biggest names in the case—Trump, of course, as well as the attorneys Eastman and Rudy Giuliani, and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. A trial for these defendants likely won’t occur until next year.

Sidney Powell’s plea is bad news for Trump and other co-defendants Jennifer Rodgers, CNN: “The existence of the plea deal suggests her testimony at trial will be different — and that Georgia prosecutors are not only convinced that it is credible and reliable, but also that it can help them convict other defendants in the case. As a result, Powell’s plea could be devastating for Trump and her other former co-defendants in the Georgia election interference case. Her testimony could potentially play a significant role in the federal election interference case brought by special counsel Jack Smith as well. … Powell’s legal troubles are not over. She still faces potential jeopardy in the federal election interference case, as well as major lawsuits by two voting machine companies. … But she has limited the damage to herself in Georgia, while at the same time providing prosecutors with a major weapon in their efforts to hold the rest of the defendants, including former President Trump, accountable for their conduct.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Jan. 6 architect's guilty plea turns the tables on Trump’s attempt to blame his lawyers Tatyana Tandanpolie, Salon

FLAG THIS

Stark Divisions on Trump’s Actions

Americans are divided in their views of President Donald Trump regarding his alleged attempt to interfere in Georgia’s 2020 vote count.

A poll from AP-NORC conducted in August, right before the indictment charges were made, found a little over half (51%) of American adults believed Trump acted illegally in the Georgia case (PBS).

How do you think the terms of these plea deals will effect Trump's prospects in the trial, mainly the defendants agreeing to testify on behalf of the prosecution.

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FLAG FINDS

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WATERCOOLER

Beirut Bombing, Vent Writing, Ferret Janitor

The explosion of the Marine Corps building in Beirut, Lebanon.

On This Day in 1983: A suicide bomber drives a truck packed with explosives into the US Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 US military personnel. That same morning, 58 French soldiers were killed in their barracks two miles away in a separate suicide terrorist attack.

Today I learned scientists trained a ferret to run through the Fermilab particle accelerator's main ring to keep it clean.

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