Jonathan Miller, the lawyer representing former Coffee County elections official Misty Hampton in the Georgia 2020 election case involving former President Donald Trump, admitted to leaking videos of another co-defendant’s interview with prosecutors.
This admission occurred during a hearing where Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis requested an order to prevent the disclosure of discovery material.
“In being transparent with the court, and to make sure that nobody else gets blamed for what happened, and so that I can go to sleep well tonight, judge, I did release those videos to one outlet,” Miller said. He believed that the leaked videos, which were published by ABC News and The Washington Post, were advantageous to his client.
These videos included statements from co-defendant Jenna Ellis. In one of the videos, Ellis mentioned that Trump adviser Dan Scavino told her that “the boss” would not leave the White House “under any circumstances.” This revelation was part of the plea deals taken by co-defendants Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell and Scott Hall.
Miller emphasized the public’s right to know about the case proceedings.
“To hide those proffers that show all the underlying things that went into those pleas misleads the public about what’s going on,” Miller said.
He added, “Two of those defendants were directly related to my client. And I don’t believe that either one of those hurt my client. If anything, I believe they helped my client.” He noted that this is “a very, very public trial” and argued that the district attorney’s office should not be able to “set the tone” for the entire trial.
“The public has a right to know,” he added.
Judge Scott McAfee, however, raised concerns about the implications of such disclosures.
“Well, it’s a good slogan, but do we have any case law that says pre-trial discovery is a part of our First Amendment concerns?” McAfee asked. He expressed concerns about the potential side effects of litigating the case in public before it even reaches the courtroom.
Most defendants agreed to a protective order proposed by co-defendant David Shafer. McAfee concluded the hearing without a ruling but indicated that his order would likely follow Shafer’s proposal.
“Until we decide what is going to be relevant and admissible, this case should be tried not in the court of public opinion as much as possible, but before a jury and with … evidence that has been vetted and approved,” McAfee said.
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