Prosecutors ask for emergency seal of evidence after video leak in Georgia election subversion case
Atlanta (CNN) — A leak of discovery materials in the Georgia election subversion case against former President Donald Trump and his co-defendants prompted the Fulton County district attorney’s office Tuesday to file an emergency motion for a protective order in an attempt to prevent other material from becoming public.
Portions of proffer videos – the legal term for videotaped conversations some of Trump’s co-defendants had with prosecutors – were leaked to several news outlets on Monday. ABC News and The Washington Post reported on the videos, including on-camera statements from former pro-Trump attorneys Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro as well as Atlanta-based bail bondsman Scott Hall.
The four of them were required to give the proffers to prosecutors as part of the plea deals they cut with the DA’s office in the sprawling racketeering case brought against them.
On Tuesday, Fulton County DA Fani Willis renewed a motion for a protective order of discovery materials and said that the “release of these confidential video recordings is clearly intended to intimidate witnesses in this case” by subjecting them to “harassment and threats prior to trial.”
Included in the motion by prosecutors was an apparent admission via email from one of Trump’s co-defendants.
“It was Harrison Floyd’s team,” Todd Harding, Floyd’s attorney, said in an email thread with the DA’s office, apparently acknowledging they leaked the videos. The email chain includes current and former defense attorneys on the case.
In a subsequent email, Harding called the prior email admission “a typo.”
The Fulton County district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment about the emergency protective order or leaked videos.
The judge in the case had previously failed to rule on the initial protective order filed in September by the DA’s office. In the months since the motion, the district attorney’s office did not follow up to ask for an official ruling.
“Going forward, the State will not produce copies of confidential video recordings of proffers to any defendant to prevent further public disclosure,” prosecutors added in Tuesday’s motion.
“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.”