Chicago-based publicist, suburban minister indicted alongside Trump in Georgia election scheme

Trevian Kutti former publicist for R. Kelly, Kanye West

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and the ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Chicago-based publicist, suburban minister among Georgia indictments
Chicago-based publicist Trevian Kutti and suburban minister Cliffgard Lee are among those charged in alongside Trump in the Georgia indictment.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago-based publicist and a suburban minister are among these charged Monday in Georgia, as part of a sweeping indictment alleging they schemed to illegally overturn former President Donald Trump's 2020 election loss and stop the peaceful transition of power.

Publicist Trevian Kutti was interviewed by ABC7 Chicago over the weekend in the city about a topic unrelated to the indictment.

Prosecutors said she traveled from Chicago to Atlanta in an attempt to pressure an election worker to report election fraud claims in testimony.

Kutti is a former publicist for artists R. Kelly and Ye, formerly known as Kanye West.

SEE ALSO: Georgia grand jury indicts Donald Trump, 18 allies in 2020 election meddling probe

Suburban minister and ex-law enforcement chaplain Stephen Cliffgard Lee is also charged. He is seen on Georgia police bodycam footage obtained by Reuters in which Lee allegedly intimidated an election worker in December 2020.

Lee is also seen in a campaign video on YouTube for an Illinois pro-Trump congressional candidate. His attorney told the I-Team that he will be "vigorously contesting" the charges in Georgia and have a formal statement soon.

"In this case, we're looking at what is effectively alleging the bullying of an election official. And that might carry some more weight than some of these other charges which are a little murkier and maybe a little hard for a jury to appreciate it," said ABC7 Chief Legal Analyst Gil Soffer.

Kutti was also captured on bodycam video in which Retuers reported Kutti warned an election worker she was in danger because of the election, and that people were going to show up at her house.

Kutti, along with Trump and 17 others have nearly two weeks to surrender.

The Fulton County district attorney plans to try all 19 defendants together.

The indictment, brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, follows an investigation that lasted more than two years and marks the fourth criminal case brought against the former president.

"As dark as it sounds, this is a one man crime spree. But far more seriously, what's at stake here isn't just the rule of law. In a very real sense, our democracy is at stake," said U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago).

"Now he's under four new indictments that essentially add up to treason. Trump is the biggest liar in American history. And here in Illinois, we have no tolerance for that kind of b******t," said Governor JB Pritzker.

Those charged in Monday's indictment face a slew of charges, including racketeering, violating the oath of a public officer, forgery, false statements and other offenses.

The I-Team reached out to Kutti but did not receive a response. And while Lee has not personally responded either, he was seen last Sunday in the pulpit of an Orland Park Lutheran church, delivering his sermon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.