Four former Donald Trump loyalists who pleaded guilty in the Georgia 2020 election interference criminal case shed new light on their efforts in videotaped conversations they had with prosecutors, according to portions of those videos obtained and published by news outlets, including that the former president was not going to leave the White House “under any circumstances.”
The statements that ex-Trump attorneys Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro and Atlanta-based bail bondsman Scott Hall gave prosecutors were required as part of the plea deals they cut with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in the sprawling racketeering case brought against them, the former president and 14 others.
Ellis told Willis’ team that Dan Scavino, Trump’s onetime deputy White House chief of staff, dismissed her concerns that Trump’s legal options for challenging the election were becoming increasingly limited, according to one of the videos obtained by ABC News and The Washington Post. The outlets obtained only portions of the videotaped statements from the four defendants.
“And he said to me, you know, in a kind of excited tone, ‘Well, we don’t care, and we’re not going to leave,’” Ellis told prosecutors in the video. “And I said, ‘What do you mean?’”
“And he said, ‘Well, the boss,’ meaning President Trump and everyone understood ‘the boss,’ that’s what we all called him, he said, ‘the boss is not going to leave under any circumstance,’” she said, according to the video.
An attorney for Scavino did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment. Scavino did not respond to ABC News.
ABC News first reported details of Ellis’ and Powell’s so-called proffer statements to prosecutors. The Washington Post later Monday published details of the other two defendant’s statements, as well as excerpts from some of the videos, which the newspaper said ranged in length from around half an hour to several hours.
Some of the stories track with what has been widely reported before, including by CNN and other outlets in late 2020 and early 2021, about the delays in allowing the transition between Trump’s presidency and that of Joe Biden. But the videos published Monday nonetheless provide some new details about efforts by those close to Trump to reverse the election in his favor.
The former president has pleaded not guilty to more than a dozen charges in the Georgia case.
Steve Sadow, Trump’s lead counsel in the case, told ABC News in a statement that Ellis’ “purported private conversation,” as described by the attorney, are “absolutely meaningless.”
“The only salient fact to this nonsense line of inquiry is that President Trump left the White House on January 20, 2021, and returned to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida,” Sadow told ABC. “If this is the type of bogus, ridiculous ‘evidence’ DA Willis intends to rely upon, it is one more reason that this political, travesty of a case must be dismissed.”
Other information was revealed to prosecutors by Powell, Chesebro and Hall, according to the Post, which reported Chesebro said in his statement that he briefed Trump at a White House meeting “on election challenges in Arizona and summarized a memo in which he offered advice on assembling alternate slates of electors in key battlegrounds to cast ballots for Trump despite Biden’s victories in those states.”
Powell, who was known for pushing some of the more fringe legal theories after the election, told prosecutors in her videotaped statement that if Trump named her special counsel to look into election irregularities, as she wanted him to do, “she would have sought to seize election equipment and would have used the military to do so if necessary.”
Powell also said that she “still believes ‘machine fraud’ tainted the 2020 presidential election,” according to the videotaped statement obtained by the newspaper.
Hall, who was the first defendant to plead guilty, had been accused of conspiring to unlawfully access voter data and ballot counting machines at the Coffee County election office on January 7, 2021.
He told prosecutors as part of his proffer statement that his role in the episode was that of a “political tourist,” according to the Post, which said that the bail bondsman claimed to have only flown to the rural county “for s—s and giggles.”