A Sports Style Ranking of the Willis Indictments

Keith
7 min readOct 25, 2023

As Fani Willis starts her 19 game season with a 4–0 start it might be fun to rank the indictments if only to score the value of the wins so far. A top ranking reflects the value of an eventual victory (conviction) or plea agreement. You can read the indictment HERE.

  1. Donald Trump: This call is an obvious no brainer and Trump earns the #1 ranking by a lot. All the defendants are charged with RICO violations, which is an organized criminal scheme. The indictment presents Donald Trump as the head of that team. He is the quarterback. Trump is charged with 13 counts, technically tied with Giuliani. But Trump’s dominance in the scheme can be established by a simple word count. Trump’s name is mentioned 193 times in the 98 page indictment, compared to a mere 67 mentions of Giuliani’s name.

Status: Case Pending.

Chance of plea deal: low, effectively zero.

2. Rudy Giuliani: The call for second place is about as easy as the call for first. The only argument for pushing Giuliani further down the list is that he has become such a pathetic player. However, on this scheme/team, he was a big player, second only to Trump. The indictment presents him as Trump’s chief lieutenant in the RICO scheme of crimes. He is charged with as many counts as Trump. The diversity of his accounts shows him to be a multi-position player as he was deeply involved in everything from lying to the state legislature, to forging electoral college certificates, and associated conspiracies.

Status: Case Pending

Chance of plea deal: moderate, higher than one might think. Giuliani would be such a valuable witness against Trump that Willis has plenty of incentive to offer him a good deal. Rudy has 13 counts of reasons to take one. Chesebro and Ellis have just pled guilty to counts where Rudy is one of the coconspirators. Another reason for Rudy to take a deal is so he can stop paying lawyers that he can’t afford to pay.

3. Mark Meadows: The calls get tougher now and there is a strong case Meadows should be lower. The best argument being that he is charged with but one other count than the RICO. However, Meadows moves up the rankings because that one charge is significant. He is charged with Count 28 for soliciting Brad Raffensperger to violate his oath in the notorious January 2, 2021 call. Only one other person is also charged under that count, Donald Trump. Meadows also moves up the list because he had the highest formal position in the scheme as Trump’s Chief of Staff.

Status: Case Pending

Chance of plea deal: moderate to high. With only one charge Meadows is probably an easy deal to make. He could likely get a plea down to a single misdemeanor and cooperation. Think of the value of that cooperation to Willis, potentially even higher than that of Giuliani. Some believe he has already cut a cooperation deal with Smith, though I do not.

4. John Eastman: Charged with 10 counts that line up nearly perfectly with the counts against Trump. On the federal level Eastman is best known authoring the memo claiming Pence could throw out electoral votes when presiding over the Senate count. That is mentioned in the acts in furtherance of the RICO conspiracy, though not a specific charge. In the Georgia indictment he is charged mostly with conspiring with Trump to create the fake electors. He’s also the only person co-charged with Trump for Count 27, conspiring to submit a false document to a Georgia court.

Status: Case Pending

Chance of plea deal: moderate. Eastman could provide very valuable testimony against Trump, and he is in plenty of trouble here to justify a plea deal. The problem would be its implications for him to be charged elsewhere, to include on the federal level.

5. Kenneth Chesebro: Is the architect of and then a leading foot soldier (along with Giuliani) in the fake electors scam.

Status: Convicted by plea agreement. Chesebro pled guilty to one of his seven felony counts and escapes with five year probation and cooperation with testimony.

Value of plea agreement: High. It is quite notable that Chesebro pled guilty to a crime he allegedly committed with Trump. His ability to implicate Giuliani and Trump in the fake electors matter should concern them greatly.

6. Sidney Powell: Leader of Team Kraken and already sanctioned by courts, she would be higher if charged on federal level. In Georgia her counts (beyond RICO) were confined to her role in a scheme to break into Coffee County voting machines and illegally download data. Still her overall role in the criminal enterprise makes her a strong witness for RICO.

Status: Convicted by plea agreement. Powell pled guilty to six misdemeanors. She avoids jail with six years probation and full cooperation with prosecutors.

Value of plea agreement: Moderate to high. If she can tie Trump to the Coffee County break in that moves this to high. Otherwise her ability to generally testify about the criminal enterprise overall is also very good.

7. Jeffrey Clark: I’m tempted to move Clark up this list. Like Meadows he has only one non-RICO charge against him. However, that charge (which does not mention Trump) involves one of the most appalling abuses of power in the entire Trump coup attempt. Clark, a mid-level DOJ civil attorney mostly confined to environmental law, authored a letter intended for Georgia lawmakers falsely claiming the DOJ found evidence of substantial election fraud in the state. He then attempted to convince his superiors to sign this letter. When they refused Trump joined in and threatened to fire them and make Clark Attorney General. Count 22 charges Clark for his role in this, but not Trump.

Status: Case pending.

Chance of plea deal: Moderate. Clark’s acts were arguably so fraudulent that he has little defense. His testimony might be valuable if it can help demonstrate Trump knew his election fraud claims were false.

8. Ray Stallings Smith III: Not exactly a household name, Smith was an attorney for Trump’s campaign in Georgia and was hip deep in almost everything Trump was involved in illegal there. Smith rates this high because of 13 counts against him, tying the high for Trump and Giuliani. Smith gave false testimony to the Georgia legislature, submitted false statements alleging fraud to state officials, and was very involved in organizing the fake electors, though not one himself.

Status: Case pending.

Chance of plea deal: High. Smith’s long list of charges give him plenty of reasons to take a plea. The flipping of Jenna Ellis puts him in a difficult position on the merits.

9. Jenna Ellis: Is this low because she had only one charge other than RICO. That charge (Count 2) is a conspiracy with Giuliani, Eastman and Smith to lie to state legislatures. She pled to aiding and abetting in that. Ellis went around with Giuliani trying to convince state legislatures to change their elector slates based on false claims of election fraud.

Status: Convicted by plea agreement. Pled guilty to one count of felony aiding and abetting the submission of false statements. Receives five years probation, $5,000 fine, 100 hours community service, and must cooperate to include testifying against other defendants.

Value of plea agreement: Moderate. Her flipping puts a lot of pressure on Giuliani to cut a deal.

10–12: Stephen Lee, Trevian Kutti and Harrison Floyd: I lump these together as part of the same despicable act. Lee and Kutti went to the home of election worker Ruby Freeman claiming to be able to protect her if she would just admit to her role in election fraud. Floyd played the part of a supposed “black crisis manager” put on the phone to assure her of such protection. They claimed horrible things would happen in 48 hours if Freeman didn’t confess. A heroic Freeman rejected this pressure, throwing them out with the words, “the devil is a liar.” Two days later, under FBI advice, Freeman had to flee her home as a threatening mob surrounded it.

Status: Cases pending.

Chance of plea deal: High. Much of the threatening conduct was recorded by police body cam. An open question is the value a plea deal would provide to prosecutors. An enduring question is, who put these idiots up to this? It may have been Lee’s idea. The Illinois pastor drove all the way to Georgia for this, and recruited the other two because he was concerned Freeman wouldn’t listen to him because he is white. However, if they can identify a bigger name as behind this the value of a plea deal would be much higher.

13–15: Cathleen Latham, Scott Hall and Misty Hampton: The big fish (or should I say “Kraken”) has already been caught in the Coffee County voting machine break in with the guilty plea of Sidney Powell. Scott Hall has also already taken a plea. The others will likely follow.

Status of Cases: Latham and Hampton pending.

Hall: Convicted by plea agreement.

Chance of plea deal: With Powell and Hall already flipped look for the other two to follow quickly. Latham has a tougher settlement because in addition to the voting machine break in is also charged as a fake elector.

16. Robert Cheeley: Organizer of the fake elector operation, he also gave false testimony to the Georgia legislature and is charged with perjury to the special grand jury.

Status of case: Pending

Chance of plea deal: High.

17. David Shafer: Former state GOP chairman was a fake elector and is charged with false statements to investigators.

Status of case: Pending

Chance of plea deal. High

18. Michael Roman: Could be higher. Senior member of Trump’s national election campaign charged with helping to organize the fake elector scheme.

Status of case: Pending

Chance of plea deal: High. Could be valuable in tying fake elector scheme to Donald Trump and others in the campaign (e.g. Giuliani). Rumored to have entered into a proffer agreement with Federal Special Prosecutor Smith.

19. Shawn Still: Fake elector.

Status of case: Pending

Chance of plea deal: High

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Keith

Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80