ATLANTA, GEORGIA – Fulton County’s district attorney, Fani Willis, has submitted an emergency motion to a judge, seeking a protective order on specific discovery materials related to the case against former President Donald Trump and other defendants. Willis, who is leading the prosecution, argued that the order is necessary to protect witnesses and ensure the confidentiality of sensitive information.
The request comes in response to the recent release of recorded statements given to prosecutors by four defendants who have accepted plea deals, including Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, Scott Hall, and Kenneth Chesebro. Several media outlets, including the Washington Post and ABC News, published these statements, prompting Willis to cite the leaks as a violation and a potential threat to witnesses in the case.
The prosecutor’s office is also refusing to provide defense attorneys with confidential video recordings of proffers, allowing them only to take notes during the viewing. According to the filing, “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.”
Furthermore, Willis has requested an emergency hearing on a motion filed in September for a permanent protective order. Legal analysts have raised concerns about the absence of a protective order and suggested that the court should investigate how the unauthorized disclosures occurred.
The leaked videos contain statements from Sidney Powell, a former federal prosecutor who claims to have communicated frequently with President Trump following the 2020 election. However, Powell denied possessing in-depth knowledge of election law. The former president denied having Ms. Powell on his election team, while her attorneys confirmed she didn’t sign an agreement.
Attorneys representing President Trump dismissed the leaked statements as “absolutely meaningless” and criticized the case as a “political travesty” that should be dismissed. Meanwhile, one of the defendants, Harrison Floyd, condemned the leak, accusing it of tainting the jury pool.
The filing of the emergency request for a protective order aims to safeguard witnesses and maintain confidentiality in the ongoing case involving former President Donald Trump and multiple defendants. The release of recorded statements and the refusal to provide certain materials to defense attorneys have raised concerns about potential witness intimidation and obstruction of justice.