CNN — Two stalwart allies of former President Donald Trump flipped against him this week, a staggering turn of events that could now pose a grave threat to his ability to fend off criminal charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The rapid-fire developments are a massive boost for prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, and the separate but overlapping federal case against Trump that was filed by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith.

The pleas are a stark display of the reality that the Georgia case against Trump and his co-defendants is getting stronger. While Trump has vowed to fight until the bitter end, these newly inked plea deals force his co-defendants to confront the same difficult choice: cut a deal or roll the dice at trial.

For two prominent Trump co-defendants – Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro – the looming five-month trial, potentially resulting in a yearslong prison sentence, appears to have spurred them into flipping.

Their decisions to transform from Trump diehards to key witness against him have likely shattered any sense of invincibility that the former president or others charged may be feeling – perhaps for the first time.

Implicating Trump

Chesebro pleaded guilty Friday to a felony conspiracy charge, admitting he worked with Trump and other members of the former president’s inner circle to overturn the 2020 election by putting forward slates of fake Republican electors in multiple states that Trump lost.

Chesebro directly implicated Trump in a criminal conspiracy, and his plea establishes for the first time that the fake electors plot was illegal. Notably, Chesebro has now admitted that “the purpose” of the fake electors conspiracy was to “disrupt and delay the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” which is a key element of the federal charges Trump is facing.

As part of the plea, Chesebro established that the fake electors plot was part of “an attempt… to violate” the US Constitution and federal law, by subverting the Electoral College proceedings. This dovetails with the allegations against Trump in Smith’s federal indictment.

On Thursday, former Trump campaign lawyer Powell pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a separate, but complimentary, effort to interfere with the 2020 election by breaching Georgia voting systems.

While Powell’s guilty plea only covers charges related to the breach of election equipment in Coffee County, Georgia, her deal with prosecutors opens the door for testimony about first-hand interactions with Trump and other key co-defendants.

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