Fulton County prosecutors seek emergency protective order after proffer footage surfaces

Fulton County prosecutors seek emergency protective order after proffer footage surfaces

Fulton County prosecutors filed an emergency request for a protective order in the Georgia election subversion case Tuesday after recorded statements made by multiple defendants as part of their plea deals were made public.

On Monday, ABC News and The Washington Post published footage of the proffer sessions, which showed the four defendants who pleaded guilty being questioned by prosecutors about their involvement in various efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

Prosecutors said the footage was turned over to the remaining defendants as part of discovery, urging the court to impose restrictions on how the defendants can disclose the materials.

“The release of these confidential video recordings is clearly intended to intimidate witnesses in this case, subjecting them to harassment and threats prior to trial, constitutes indirect communication about the facts of this case with codefendants and witnesses, and obstructs the administration of justice, in violation of the conditions of release imposed on each defendant,” prosecutors wrote in their motion.

Top Stories from The Hill

To prevent further disclosure, prosecutors said they will not provide videos of any proffer sessions to defendants moving forward.

“Instead, defendants must come to the District Attorney’s Office to view confidential video recordings of proffers. They may take notes, but they will be prohibited from creating any recordings or reproductions,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) charged former President Trump and 18 others in a sprawling racketeering indictment that accuses each of them of conspiring to unlawfully keep Trump in power following the 2020 election.

Four of the 19 defendants have since taken plea deals, including three Trump-aligned attorneys: Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis and Kenneth Chesebro. Bail bondsman Scott Hall, who was charged over an elections office breach in Coffee County, Ga., also took a deal.

As part of their agreements, each sat down with prosecutors in a recorded session to discuss the facts of the case. They also agreed to testify truthfully against the remaining co-defendants, who all pleaded not guilty.

First detailed by ABC News, Ellis during her session described a conversation she had with Trump White House official Dan Scavino in December 2020.

“He said, ‘The boss is not going to leave under any circumstances. We are just going to stay in power,’” Ellis said. “And I said to him, ‘Well, it doesn’t quite work that way, you realize.’ And he said, ‘We don’t care.’”

During Powell’s session, she reportedly referenced Trump floating appointing her as special counsel to investigate election fraud. Powell told prosecutors that, if appointed, she would have aimed to seize voting equipment, according to The Washington Post.

Powell also reportedly detailed how Rudy Giuliani — another defendant in the case — called her “every name in the book” during one White House meeting.

“The government’s main witness, Sidney Powell, just cleared Rudy Giuliani from any involvement in a conspiracy by making it unequivocally clear that Rudy Giuliani told her that he would never work with her on anything, under any circumstances,” Ted Goodman, political adviser to Giuliani, responded in a statement after the footage surfaced.

“If Fani Willis had any integrity, she’d dismiss the case against Rudy Giuliani and end this farce of a trial designed solely to keep President Donald Trump out of the White House in 2024,” Goodman added.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.