A grand jury on Monday brought racketeering charges against former President Donald Trump and 18 of his allies for allegedly trying to overturn the outcome of Georgia’s 2020 election after he lost to Joe Biden.
Besides naming Trump as the lead defendant, other notable figures indicted include the 77-year-old’s former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official. Another defendant and Trump ally, Trevian Kutti, was reportedly a former publicist for Ye, the rapper and fashion designer formerly known as Kanye West.
According to The New York Times, Kutti – a known figure in the cannabis and entertainment industries – is said to have gone to a Fulton County election worker’s home in January 2021 after the official was falsely accused of compromising the votes.
Kutti and the election worker, identified as Ruby Freeman, ultimately went to a police station for a meeting after the Trump ally told Freeman she worked for “some of the biggest names in the industry.”
During their meeting at the police station, Kutti allegedly warned Freeman. “I cannot say what specifically will take place,” Kutti was heard telling Freeman in a recording captured by police body camera, Reuters reported. “I just know that it will disrupt your freedom and the freedom of one or more of your family members … You are a loose end for a party that needs to tidy up.”
Kutti also told Freeman that she could help her, but the election official told Reuters that Kutti, on multiple occasions, attempted to have her falsely confess to meddling in the election. Per The New York Times, Kutti is a Trump supporter while Ye has had meetings with the former president and also expressed his approval for him.
But in a statement to Reuters in 2021, a spokesman for Ye said Kutti and the rapper did not have any ties at the time she met Freeman and tried to get a false confession from her. “Trevian Kutti was not associated with Kanye West or any of his enterprises at the times of the facts that are reported in these articles or since these facts occurred,” Pierre Rougier said at the time.
Prosecutors said Kutti met Freeman in an effort to make her falsely admit to election fraud. A special grand jury also wants Kutti to provide testimony, per court documents. The charges brought against Kutti include racketeering (violation of the Georgia RICO Act), conspiracy to commit solicitation of false statements and writings, and influencing witnesses.
Responding to the indictment in a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Kutti said the allegations were “baloney.” “I completely stand by what I said to the election worker that I was simply a crisis manager,” she claimed.