A lawyer for one of former President Donald Trump’s co-defendants in the Fulton County District Attorney’s 2020 election interference case admitted at a hearing Wednesday that he shared witness videos of key people in the case with a media outlet. To do so in the interest of his client.
Jonathan Miller, Misty Hampton’s attorney, testified during an emergency hearing for a protective order prompted by the release of portions of video statements from Sydney Powell, Jenna Ellis, Kenneth Chesbro and Scott Hall. ABC News And this The Washington Post. The judge said he would issue a protective order preventing the release of certain discovery information by Thursday morning.
Powell, Ellis, Chesbro and Hall were among the original 18 defendants indicted along with former President Donald Trump in the fraud case in August. All four pleaded guilty to related offences. Proffer’s videos were made in accordance with their plea agreements, which required them to provide prosecutors with truthful and accurate information. Powell testified that the videos show Ellis describing a conversation with Trump adviser Dan Scavino in which he said Trump would not leave the White House regardless of the election results, and that Trump repeatedly said he had lost the election.
“In order to be transparent with the court and to ensure that no one else is blamed for what happened, and so that I can sleep well tonight, judge, I released those videos in a shop,” Miller told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott. McAfee during the trial. “In all fairness to the court, the court should know that,” he said.
Asked why he did so, he noted that when the four’s guilty pleas are public, “to hide those concessions, to show that all the fundamentals went into those pleas, it misleads the public about what’s going on.”
Two of the defendants “are directly related to my client. And I don’t believe either of them hurt my client. If anything, I believe they will help my client and the public should know that.”
“The public has a right to know,” he added.
Miller did not name the defendants associated with his client, but Hampton is charged in a scheme to access voting machines in Coffee County, which Powell and Hall are also charged with. In his promotional video, Powell distanced himself from the conspiracy, while Hall identified another person as part of the “brain trust.” WThe Washington Post reports.
The DA’s office argued in court filings that a protective order was necessary to “protect witnesses and protect sensitive and confidential information” during the discovery process. It said the leaks were “clearly intended to intimidate witnesses in the case and subject them to harassment and intimidation prior to trial”.
Tom Clyde, an attorney for a coalition of media outlets that do not cover NBC News, urged the judge not to issue the protective order.
“Essentially what the State and the defendants are trying to do is get the court’s authority behind an order imposing confidentiality on information exchanged during the discovery process. No matter how newsworthy that information may be, how much it may inform the public about the circumstances of the case, particularly in this case, the circumstances of the election, which is of great public importance, ” said Clyde.
The judge said he was mindful of Clyde’s First Amendment concerns, but disagreed with his arguments.
“Until we decide what is appropriate and acceptable, this case should be tried, not in the court of public opinion,” he said. “We’ve already seen what happens when there’s no protective order.”
In a separate filing Wednesday, the DA’s office urged the court to revoke the bond of defendant Harrison Floyd, the former head of Trump’s Black Voices.
The DA’s office said Floyd “tweeted several times in general.” This month “To communicate directly or indirectly with codefendants and witnesses in an attempt to intimidate codefendants and witnesses, and otherwise obstruct the administration of justice.”
Floyd’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.