Former President Donald Trump’s legal troubles may soon worsen due to cash-strapped co-defendants in Georgia cutting deals with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, according to former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman.
Akerman predicted during a Tuesday night CNN interview that the “next big thing” in the Georgia case would be a series of Trump’s co-defendants—including figures like his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani—deciding to cooperate with Willis to save themselves and their pocketbooks.
Giuliani, who is already reportedly struggling to pay off his ever-increasing legal debt, put his $6.5 million Manhattan apartment up for sale earlier this month in a seemingly desperate bid to improve his fortunes.
Akerman suggested that the former New York City mayor would have difficulty finding a lawyer willing to take his case in Georgia, regardless of his cash on hand, due to fears of being “stuck” with an unpaid bill, “just like” with Trump.
“He has to be able to pay a lot of money up front to some attorney to represent him in this case,” Akerman said. “He’s looking at a minimum of $500,000 to $700,000 up-front retainer to whoever is going to take this case. I mean, it’s a very serious case, it’s going to go on for a very long period of time.”
“Nobody’s going to want to be the last victim in the crime wave here,” he added. “I mean, they don’t want to be stuck with a major bill, just like Donald Trump has stuck person after person, lawyer after lawyer, in legal bills.”
Akerman went on to say that “a lot of” Trump’s co-defendants in Georgia would be compelled to cooperate due to being unable to afford private legal representation.
“They’re going to have to make a deal,” said Akerman. “And I think you’re going to see a lot of these people drop out over the next six months. That’s going to be the next big thing that happens in this case.”
When asked to comment on the former prosector’s remarks, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung told Newsweek that “Akerman is an idiot and has no idea what he’s talking about.”
Trump is facing 13 felonies related to attempts to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss in Georgia. The former president denies all wrongdoing and is expected to turn himself in to authorities in Atlanta on Thursday.
Former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis, who was also indicted in Georgia, confirmed on Friday in a post to X, formerly Twitter, that Trump was not paying for the legal defense of any of his co-defendants.
Ellis, who has been crowdfunding her own defense, questioned why the former president’s MAGA Inc. political action committee was not “funding everyone’s defense” in Georgia.
Michael Cohen, another of Trump’s former lawyers, said during a CNN interview on Monday that the former president was “an idiot” for not paying to defend his alleged co-conspirators.
“He is truly an idiot,” said Cohen. “He has not learned yet that three people you don’t want to throw under the bus: your lawyer, your doctor and your mechanic. Because one way or the other, you’re going to go down the hill, and there’ll be no brakes.”
“At the end of the day, when your life is basically hanging on the line, once again, you just don’t really want to throw another lawyer under the bus,” he added.