Trump Prosecutor Willis Predicts Georgia Trial May Go Past 2024 Election

(Bloomberg) -- Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis predicted that any trial of former president Donald Trump and his allies by her office could run into 2025.

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Willis appeared Tuesday at the Washington Post Live’s Global Women’s Summit, where she said the trial likely won’t end before the 2024 election. She also denied that her office leaked videos of former Trump attorneys who made statements to investigators.

“I believe the trial will take many months, and I don’t expect that we will conclude until the winter or the very early part of 2025,” said Willis, adding the case will be on appeal “for years.”

Trump is making his third run for the White House, and he faces four criminal indictments. In addition, the 77-year-old testified in New York last week at a $250 million civil fraud trial over asset valuations at the Trump Organization, the family real estate business at the heart of his persona.

Read more: Trump Insists on ‘Disclaimer’ Defense Already Tossed in NY Trial

The videos, first reported Monday by ABC, showed statements by former Trump attorneys Jenna Ellis and Sidney Powell made to Willis’s prosecutors in Atlanta. They spoke as part of their plea deals to crimes related to the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Four of the 18 people indicted with Trump have pleaded guilty.

“These confidential video recordings were not released by the state to any party other than the defendants charged in the indictment,” Willis said in an emergency motion filed in Fulton County Superior Court. The release is “clearly intended to intimidate witnesses in this case, subjecting them to harassment and threats prior to trial.”

In her statement, Ellis said former Trump administration official Dan Scavino told her after the election that “the boss” would refuse to leave the White House, ABC reported.

Powell said to prosecutors: “Did I know anything about election law? No,” ABC reported. “But I understand fraud from having been a prosecutor for 10 years.”

Read more: Trump Lawyer Ellis Pleads Guilty in Georgia Election Case

In her motion, Willis renewed her Sept. 27 request for a protective order over materials handed to defendants prior to trial through the process known as discovery. The judge in the case has not yet imposed such an order, which typically bars the release of evidence that could arise at trial.

The Washington Post also included details from statements by Ellis, Powell and two other defendants who pleaded guilty, attorney Kenneth Chesebro and bail bondsman Scott Hall.

Willis, a Democrat, spoke Tuesday to hundreds of people at the Washington Post event, reiterating her disappointment at the leak.

“I’m not happy that it was released and that you and your colleague got to do your story,” Willis said.

Willis said she couldn’t talk about the criminal case, in which she charged Trump and the others under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. But she did respond to a question about whether the case was too big.

“That is an uninformed opinion,” Willis said. “I certainly have RICO indictments that are bigger than 19” defendants.

Willis, who is Black, said she has been subject to repeated threats since the indictment, and the scope has surprised her.

“Did I know in a matter of a couple months it would be 100-something threats?” she said. “No. Did I expect that when the threats came, so many of them, the nature of them would be so racist and this country still had that much venom for the fact that I’m a Black woman? In the last three years I’ve been called the N-word so many times I wouldn’t even think to count.”

--With assistance from Zoe Tillman.

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