A lot of people were shocked by former attorney Sidney Powell’sguilty plea to misdemeanor charges linked to election interference in Georgia in 2020 ― but not as much as the Trump camp.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman told CNN’sDana Bash on Thursday that Powell’s plea deal “caught Trump world by surprise, as it did all of us.”
Haberman said Powell’s agreement with prosecutors was “one of the best-kept secrets” out of the Fulton County District Attorney’s office and that Trump insiders don’t know what to make of it. As part of the deal, Powell will be asked to testify as a witness in the trials of other defendants in the case, perhaps including the former president.
“They are still trying to figure out what it means,” she said, adding that there are different opinions about its potential effect on Trump’s case. “There are some people in his world who are telling me they don’t think this is that big of a deal for him — they think her ability to actually really testify is marginal. They are arguing that this shows that the DA [Fani Willis] overcharged in this case.”
Haberman said other Trump insiders think Willis “intentionally charged this way so she could end up getting guilty pleas.”
As a result, she said, “there’s concern about the degree to which Powell could offer information, not just about former President Trump, but about [former Trump lawyer and New York City mayor] Rudy Giuliani.”
Haberman said Trump is still most concerned with the civil fraud trial going on in New York because it’s about his business.
“That’s really where the bulk of his mind share is,” she said. “There’s nobody in Trump world who is pretending this is a good development. They’re just split on what exactly it means.”
Watch Haberman’s CNN interview below.