In the aftermath of the 2020 election, former President Donald J. Trump planned to refuse to leave the White House “under any circumstances” despite losing at the polls, a longtime Trump aide told one of the lawyers who is cooperating with prosecutors in Atlanta as part of a plea agreement.
The lawyer, Jenna Ellis, described the aide’s statement during an interview with the district attorney’s office in Fulton County, Ga., parts of which were obtained and published on Monday by ABC News.
Such interviews, known as proffer statements, have been conducted with Ms. Ellis and three other defendants who reached plea agreements in the Georgia election interference case against Mr. Trump and more than a dozen of his allies.
ABC obtained excerpts from the interviews with Ms. Ellis and Sidney Powell, another lawyer indicted in the case.
The snippets from the videotaped interviews offer the first public glimpse of the conversations that Ms. Ellis and Ms. Powell have had with prosecutors since their guilty pleas last month. It is not clear what effect the information they are sharing with prosecutors may have at trial.
Ms. Ellis was one of 19 people, including Mr. Trump, who were indicted by a Fulton County grand jury in August on charges of conspiring to overturn the former president’s 2020 election loss. All of the defendants were charged under the state’s racketeering law; each was indicted on other felony counts as well.
As part of a deal that she struck with prosecutors on Oct. 24, Ms. Ellis, a former Trump campaign lawyer, pleaded to lesser charges, avoiding jail time and pledging to cooperate with the investigation. Scott Hall, a bail bondsman in the Atlanta area, and another Trump-aligned lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro, have also pleaded guilty.
Their proffers, and Ms. Powell’s, were recently turned over to other defendants’ lawyers as part of the discovery process.
Ms. Ellis said in her statement that a longtime Trump aide, Dan Scavino, told her a few weeks after the election that “the boss is not going to leave under any circumstances,” referring to Mr. Trump. Mr. Scavino added that “we are just going to stay in power.”
Ms. Ellis said she responded, “Well, it doesn’t quite work that way, you realize.”
Mr. Scavino’s response, she said: “We don’t care.”
Stanley Woodward Jr., a lawyer for Mr. Scavino, declined to comment on Ms. Ellis’s account.
The account lines up with previous reporting from a book on Mr. Trump by Maggie Haberman, a reporter for The New York Times, in which Mr. Trump was said to have told an aide, “I’m just not going to leave.”
Ms. Powell, who advanced numerous conspiracy theories about election fraud after the November 2020 election, described discussions in the White House with Mr. Trump, including one in which he contemplated making her a special counsel, though the job never materialized.
Responding to the ABC report, Steve Sadow, Mr. Trump’s lead counsel in the Georgia case, said on Monday that “any purported private conversation” should be considered “absolutely meaningless” in the case.
“The only salient fact to this nonsense line of inquiry is that President Trump left the White House on Jan. 20, 2021, and returned to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.,” he said.
A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office declined to comment.
Alan Feuer contributed reporting.