Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who’s pursuing an election interference case against Donald Trump, filed a request for an emergency protective order Tuesday after confidential footage of key witness testimony was released to the public.
The order sought by the Georgia prosecutor would prohibit all parties in the case from disclosing any discovery materials. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee agreed to schedule an emergency hearing on the request for Wednesday.
In the motion, Willis said it was plain to her that there were sinister intentions behind the footage being leaked.
“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,” she wrote in her request.
The leaked footage ― which included videotaped interviews from lawyers Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro, and from bail bondsman Scott Hall, was obtained and reported on by ABC News and The Washington Post on Monday. The four of them are among the 19 defendants named in Willis’ election conspiracy case against former President Trump, who’s set to go to trial on 13 charges brought by Willis. All four of them have pleaded guilty as part of plea deals, while Trump maintains his innocence.
Revelations from the leaked footage include Ellis saying one of Trump’s attorneys told her the former president was “not going to leave” the White House after losing to now-President Joe Biden in 2020, Powell detailing her plans for seizing voting machines, Chesebro explaining how he proposed the fake elector scheme to Trump, and Hall revealing more about his role in the alleged harassment of Fulton County election worker Ruby Freeman.
Willis’ Tuesday request doubles down on efforts by her office to obtain a protective order in September. However, the court “has neither ordered a hearing on the State’s motion nor entered the requested order,” Tuesday’s filing emphasizes.
The trial for this case ― one of four Trump has been indicted in recent months ― is not yet scheduled.