Protective order sought after witness footage leaked in Donald Trump election trial

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has requested an emergency protective order to protect court materials after footage of witnesses discussions with prosecutors was leaked. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA_EFE

Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Prosecutors in former President Donald Trump's election interference trial have asked for an emergency protective order after footage of conversations between witnesses and prosecutors was leaked to the public.

Trump faces charges of racketeering and conspiracy related to attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

So-called proffer videos of Trump's co-defendants speaking to prosecutors were published Monday by several news media outlets. Proffer recordings from former Trump associates Kenneth Chesbro, Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell were leaked.

Footage of bail bondsman Scott Hall, who pleaded guilty to charges related to subverting the election in September, making proffer statements also was leaked.

A proffer agreement is one in which a defendant agrees to provide information to prosecutors in a case. Typically, defendants' statements are given to prosecutors with the understanding that the information they provide can't be used against them in court.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis made the emergency request in a filing to the Superior Court of Fulton County on Tuesday.

"The State of Georgia, by and through Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis, and on an EMERGENCY BASIS renews its prior request that this court enter a protective order over all discovery materials produced by the state to any defendant in this matter," Willis wrote in her filing.

"The release of these confidential videos was clearly intended to intimidate witnesses in this case, subjugating them to harassment and threats prior to trial," Willis wrote.