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Trump lawyers say proposed protective order is too broad, urge judge to impose more limited rules

by Ryan Lee
5 comments
election subversion case

Donald Trump’s attorneys asserted on Monday that the judge in charge of the election conspiracy case against the ex-president should refuse the proposed protective order concerning evidence. They claimed that the order is excessively broad and infringes on Trump’s First Amendment rights.

The legal team is instead calling for a more narrow imposition, concerning specific items like grand jury documents, rather than all evidence provided by the government. They argue that the Trump administration’s chief political opponent is being unjustly targeted, and that the prosecution’s proposed order would suppress First Amendment rights during a critical election season.

Special counsel Jack Smith’s team requested the protective order last Friday. This would dictate how Trump and his defense team may handle evidence given by the government while preparing for the trial that was revealed last week.

The prosecutors want to limit Trump and his lawyers from sharing materials supplied by the government with anyone except approved legal personnel or possible witnesses. Stricter rules would apply to “sensitive materials,” such as grand jury testimonies or materials obtained via sealed search warrants. According to this proposal, Trump would only be allowed to view these sensitive documents, not possess copies.

Though protective orders are common in criminal cases, prosecutors emphasize the need for such an order due to Trump’s habit of discussing his legal cases on social media platforms.

Trump’s denial of any wrongdoing has been steadfast, both in this case and another federal case accusing him of improperly keeping classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

A spokesperson for Trump stated that his social media posts are political speech, a claim made in response to criticism from special interest groups and Super PACs.

Prosecutors are prepared to provide substantial evidence, much of which contains confidential information. They argue that if Trump were to publicly share details, such as grand jury transcripts, it could negatively impact the fair administration of justice in this case.

Last week, Trump pleaded not guilty to four felony charges, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and conspiracy to obstruct Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s election win. These charges could result in a lengthy prison sentence if convicted, with the most serious offenses carrying up to a 20-year sentence.

This case is part of three criminal cases initiated against Trump this year and the first to directly hold him responsible for his actions leading up to the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

In June, Smith charged Trump with felonies concerning illegal possession of classified records and obstruction of government efforts to retrieve them. A recent indictment alleges Trump’s collaboration with Mar-a-Lago employees to delete sought-after security footage.

A similar protective order was enforced in June by Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, barring public disclosure of evidence without prior approval. Another protective order is being sought with additional rules regarding classified evidence handling.

Trump views these cases as an attempt to sabotage his potential 2024 campaign and continues to assert that his actions were within his rights to free speech and his entitlement to contest an election he perceives as having been stolen.

Trump’s lawyers recently requested additional time to respond to the prosecutors’ request for the protective order, but Judge Tanya Chutkan denied this request promptly.

Donald Trump, protective order, First Amendment rights, election conspiracy case, legal team

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5 comments

James Smith August 8, 2023 - 1:43 am

Wow, Trump’s lawyers are realy going at it! Fighting for his rights. But what’s he hiding?

Reply
Linda W August 8, 2023 - 2:37 am

Trump always seems to be in legal troubles, I wonder how this will effect his 2024 run, if he even chooses to run again.

Reply
Mike89 August 8, 2023 - 8:54 pm

never seen somthing like this before, or maybe i just wasnt paying attention? Whatever happens, will be interesting to watch unfold!

Reply
Sara Thompson August 8, 2023 - 9:06 pm

Is it just me or does it feel like these cases never end? Protective orders and all… Whats the real truth here?

Reply
Kevin O'Reilly August 8, 2023 - 9:19 pm

Protection of First Amendment rights is critical. But, shouldn’t there be a balance between free speech and ensuring a fair trial? It’s complicated!

Reply

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