Trump lawyers say proposed order on info release is too broad, urge more limited rules

by Gabriel Martinez
election subversion case

Donald Trump’s attorneys informed a judge who is overseeing the election conspiracy case against him that the prosecutors’ proposed order to prevent the public sharing of evidence is excessively broad. They argue that it could limit his rights under the First Amendment.

Rather than restricting all evidence provided by the government in the case accusing Trump of scheming to overturn his 2020 election defeat, the legal team suggests only limiting certain documents, like grand jury materials.

Prosecutors contend that a protective order is especially crucial in Trump’s situation due to his known habit of utilizing social media. They fear Trump might wrongly distribute sensitive information online, potentially intimidating witnesses.

In their request for the order last Friday, prosecutors pointed to a post from Trump on his Truth Social platform, where he threatened those who go after him. Trump’s lawyers dismissed this citation as attention-seeking and unrelated to the case, describing it as general political speech.

The lawyers, portraying the case as an assault on Trump’s free speech rights, communicated to the judge that protecting case-specific details doesn’t necessitate a universal gag order. They also accused the government of restricting First Amendment rights during a politically charged season, amplifying false allegations against Trump.

In response to special counsel Jack Smith’s team, who requested the protective order, the defense clarified that the proposed order would put strict restrictions on who could access evidence, including materials like grand jury testimony.

Prosecutors are prepared to provide a significant amount of evidence, much of which consists of sensitive and confidential information. They’re seeking additional protective measures concerning classified evidence handling.

Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing in this case and other federal cases against him, including one accusing him of unlawfully keeping classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. He views these cases as attempts to sabotage his 2024 campaign.

Last week, Trump pleaded not guilty to charges that could lead to a lengthy prison sentence if convicted. These charges include conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and conspiracy to obstruct Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

This marks the third criminal case filed against the early favorite for the 2024 Republican presidential primary this year. However, it is the first case to seek accountability for Trump’s actions during the tumultuous period following his election loss and the U.S. Capitol attack on January 6, 2021.

Earlier, in June, Smith charged Trump with numerous felony counts related to his illegal retention of classified records after leaving the White House. A newly unsealed indictment accuses him of colluding with staff at Mar-a-Lago to erase security footage sought by investigators.

In a similar move, Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart imposed a protective order in June, barring Trump and his attorneys from publicizing evidence provided by prosecutors without prior consent. More rules are being sought by prosecutors in this case concerning the defense team’s management of classified evidence.

Richer reported the story from Boston.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: protective order

What are Donald Trump’s lawyers arguing against in the election conspiracy case?

Donald Trump’s legal team is arguing against a proposed protective order by the prosecutors that aims to prevent the public disclosure of evidence in the case. They believe the order is too broad and would restrict Trump’s First Amendment rights. The lawyers suggest limiting only specific documents, such as grand jury materials, rather than all evidence handed over by the government.

Why do prosecutors believe a protective order is necessary?

Prosecutors feel that a protective order is particularly essential in Trump’s case due to his inclination for using social media. They are concerned that Trump could improperly share sensitive case information online, potentially having a “harmful chilling effect on witnesses.”

What is Trump’s response to the charges against him?

Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and conspiracy to obstruct Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. He has characterized all the cases against him as attempts to disrupt his 2024 campaign and has denied any wrongdoing.

How have Trump’s lawyers characterized the proposed protective order?

Trump’s lawyers have characterized the proposed protective order as an attack on his right to free speech and believe that the need to protect sensitive information doesn’t require a blanket gag order. They also accused the government of attempting to restrict First Amendment rights during an election season and of proliferating false allegations against Trump.

What kind of restrictions would the proposed order impose?

The prosecutors’ proposed protective order seeks to prevent Trump and his lawyers from disclosing materials provided by the government to anyone other than people on his legal team, possible witnesses, the witnesses’ lawyers, or others approved by the court. It would put stricter limits on “sensitive materials,” including grand jury witness testimony and materials obtained through sealed search warrants.

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Mike91 August 8, 2023 - 12:10 am

What’s with the government putting a gag order? Feels very restrictve to me, Can’t say I’m surprised though.

Aaron.B August 8, 2023 - 3:15 am

Where’s this all going to end, trump’s lawyers are fighting hard, but the charges are pretty serious. what do you guys think is going to happen next?

JamesThompson August 8, 2023 - 8:58 am

Wow this is huge news. Trumps lawyers really going after the prosecutors. Who’s right here? guess only time wil tell…

Sara_M August 8, 2023 - 9:31 am

did anyone see the post on Trump’s Truth Social platform? I’m really curious to know what people think about that

JennyLovesCats August 8, 2023 - 11:02 pm

Trump and his team always make things so dramatic. This feels like deja vu all over again with him! Always something going on.


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