UNITED STATES NEWS

The judge in Trump’s Georgia election case limits the disclosure of evidence after videos’ release

Nov 16, 2023, 10:10 AM

ATLANTA (AP) — The judge overseeing the election interference case against former President Donald Trump and others in Georgia issued an order on Thursday that prohibits the release of certain evidence.

The ruling came after news outlets this week reported on the contents of and published clips from interviews that four defendants conducted with prosecutors as part of their plea deals.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee wrote that allowing parties the “unfettered ability” to publicly share pretrial materials undermines the discovery process, during which lawyers for both sides share evidence. “Potential jurors should be limited from exposure to materials that may be deemed inadmissible at trial,” McAfee wrote.

“The likelihood of harm in this case is severe, as extensive media coverage guarantees broad dissemination of any disclosed discovery materials,” McAfee wrote.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had initially asked for an order prohibiting the disclosure of any of the evidence shared with the defense. But prosecutors told the judge during a remote hearing Wednesday they agreed with a more narrowly focused order proposed by one of the defendants.

A lawyer for a coalition of news outlets, including The Associated Press, argued during the hearing against any protective order, saying such a step requires the showing of a substantial threat of physical or economic harm to a witness — and that this burden had not been met.

McAfee also set a hearing for Tuesday on Willis’ request to revoke the bond of defendant Harrison Floyd and the judge said Floyd is required to attend. Willis says Floyd has been trying to intimidate and communicate with witnesses and others defendants, in violation of the conditions of his bond agreement. His lawyer, Chris Kachouroff, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Willis’ motion is without merit.

Trump and 18 other people were charged in August with participating in a wide-ranging scheme to illegally try to keep the then-Republican president in power after his 2020 loss to Democrat Joe Biden. Four people have pleaded guilty after reaching deals with prosecutors. The remaining 15 have pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set.

McAfee’s order instructs prosecutors to review their discovery and designate as “sensitive materials” anything they believe should not be disclosed. Defendants will have 14 days after receiving the discovery to contest that designation. If the two sides cannot agree on whether it is appropriate, the judge will decide. The evidence would not be disclosed until he has ruled.

The protective order does not apply to information or records that are publicly available, that the defendants obtain in another way or that has been field or received as evidence in another court proceeding.

Defense attorney Jonathan Miller, who represents former Coffee County elections director Misty Hampton, told the judge he had released the videos of the interviews to one media outlet, but did not identify it. The Washington Post and ABC News reported on the videos Monday.

The interviews, called proffers, gave a glimpse into what kind of testimony might be offered at trial by the four people who pleaded guilty: lawyers Sidney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro and Jenna Ellis, and bail bondsman and Trump supporter Scott Hall.

Miller said he believes that the interviews with two of those people — Powell and Hall — could be helpful to his client and argued that the public had the right to see what they said.

United States News

Associated Press

Florida prepares for next round of rainfall after tropical storms swamped southern part of the state

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Forecasters warned Floridians to prepare for additional flash flooding after a tropical disturbance dumped as much as 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rainfall in the southern parts of the state, with worsening conditions expected Friday. The disorganized storm system was pushing across Florida from the Gulf of Mexico at roughly […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

1 of 2 abducted Louisiana children is found dead in Mississippi after their mother is killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said. A Louisiana resident who had dated the woman was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, in connection with the deaths and […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Ready to renew your US passport? You can now apply online

WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s an easier way to renew your passport — online. The State Department has opened a trial run allowing a limited number of people to apply for their updated travel documents with a few clicks. You can’t just start anytime — windows will open at midday Eastern time each day and then […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

You don’t think corn dogs are haute cuisine? These chefs, using alligator sausage, beg to differ.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Stefani De Palma, an award-winning chef and head of the a team vying to represent the Americas in a French culinary competition in January, knew she wanted her team’s work to feature flavors of her native California. The challenge at the Bocuse d’Or Americas competition this week in New Orleans was […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Attorney charged in voting machine tampering case announces run for Michigan Supreme Court

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An attorney charged in connection with an effort to illegally access and tamper with voting machines in Michigan after the 2020 election said Thursday that he’s running for the state’s high court. Republican Matthew DePerno, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, made the announcement on the social platform X. “After […]

12 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Collins Comfort Masters

Here's how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

The judge in Trump’s Georgia election case limits the disclosure of evidence after videos’ release