He is the first to plead guilty among former US President Donald Trump’s eighteen co-defendants in the case of alleged unlawful attempts to reverse the result of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia.

Initially facing seven charges, Scott Hall, 59, pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiracy to interfere with election duties during a hearing before a Fulton County judge, Scott McAfee, Friday, September 29.

As part of a deal with the prosecution, he received a five-year suspended prison sentence, a $5,000 fine and two hundred hours of community service. He also pledged to write a letter of apology to Georgia voters and testify at the other defendants’ upcoming trials, which could be an important asset for Fulton County Prosecutor Fani Willis.

A violation that lasted several weeks

In the 98-page indictment, Mr. Hall is described as an associate of David Bossie, a longtime adviser to Donald Trump. Authorities say Scott Hall and his co-defendants conspired to allow others to “unlawfully access secure voting equipment and voter data” in Coffee County in January 2021.

The security breach in the county, about 300 miles southeast of Atlanta, was among the first known attempts to gain access to voting systems by allies of Mr. Trump, who were seeking evidence to support their unfounded claims according to which this equipment had been used to manipulate the vote in the presidential election. It was followed shortly after by intrusions in three Michigan counties involving some of the same people, then in a western Colorado county that Donald Trump won handily.

Authorities say the breach began on January 7, 2021, a day after the violent assault on the Capitol in Washington, and continued for a few weeks.

No date set yet for Donald Trump

Not all co-defendants in this case will be tried at the same time. Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro − both lawyers − have called for a speedy trial, which will begin on October 23. Ms. Powell is accused of hiring and paying a team of computer experts to copy election material data and software without authorization. Mr. Chesebro is accused of trying to get sixteen Georgia Republicans to sign a certificate falsely declaring that Mr. Trump had won the election, by declaring themselves the “duly elected and qualified” electors of the state.

No dates have yet been set for the sixteen other defendants, including Mr. Trump and his former personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Donald Trump, favorite in the Republican primaries, denounces his legal troubles as so much “electoral interference” at the instigation of the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden to exclude him from the race for the White House in 2024.

Unlike this sprawling procedure in Georgia, the case investigated at the federal level by the special prosecutor, Jack Smith, for allegedly illicit attempts to obtain the reversal of the results of the vote won by Joe Biden, only targets a single defendant: Donald Trump. The trial in federal court in Washington is scheduled to begin March 4, 2024, and is expected to last about four weeks, according to Jack Smith. In Georgia, the prosecution expects a trial to last four months.