Judge Orders Trump, Lawyers Not to Share Evidence Ahead of Trial

Judge Orders Trump, Lawyers Not to Share Evidence Ahead of Trial
Former U.S. President Donald Trump reacts on stage following his arraignment on classified document charges, at Trump National Golf Club, in Bedminster, N.J., on June 13, 2023. (Amr Alfiky/Reuters)

Former President Donald Trump and his lawyers were ordered on June 19 not to share evidence in Trump’s criminal case with any people not involved in the case.

Trump, co-defendant Waltine Nauta, and their attorneys must not disclose the discovery materials to the public or news media, or post it on any “news or social media platform,” without the consent of the U.S, government or approval of the court, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said in the order.

Following Trump and Nauta being charged with multiple crimes, including concealing documents, government officials are preparing to hand over discovery materials to the defendants and their representatives.

The materials will include depositions of testimony given by witnesses to the grand jury that approved the charges, as well as other evidence prosecutors plan to present at the trial in the case.

The order from Reinhart, who was appointed by other judges and has criticized Trump on social media, comes in response to a request for such an order from prosecutors.

The government said it was ready to provide unclassified materials to the defense, but that the disclosure of information could compromise ongoing investigations and make public the identity of people who have not been charged.

“As a result, the government proposes protections against the dissemination of discovery materials and the sensitive information that they contain,” special counsel Jack Smith said in the request.

Lawyers for Trump and Nauta did not oppose the motion, according to Smith. The lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.

More on Order

“Defendants and Defense Counsel shall not disclose the Discovery Materials or their contents directly or indirectly to any person or entity other than persons employed to assist in the defense, persons who are interviewed as potential witnesses, counsel for potential witnesses, and other persons to whom the Court may authorize disclosure,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said in the order.

While Reinhart said that he may authorize the disclosure of information to certain people, lawyers for the defendants must take steps before disclosing the information.

Once a person is authorized to receive the information, the lawyers must give the person a copy of Monday’s order and the person must sign an agreement to not disseminate the materials he or she receives, Reinhart said.

The lawyers must keep a copy of each signed agreement.

“No disclosure is permitted to any individual or entity that has not signed such Agreement, except by further order of the Court. Potential witnesses and counsel for potential witnesses may be shown copies of the Discovery Materials as necessary to prepare the defense, but they may not retain copies without prior permission of the Court,” Reinhart wrote, adding that defendants must also not copy or reproduce the materials unless necessary to prepare for the trial.

Earlier Order

Trump is also facing felony charges in New York. In that case, the judge also ordered that Trump and his lawyers not disclose discovery materials before trial.

Trump cannot provide such information to any third party or to “any news or social media platforms … without prior approval from the court,” the order from acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan stated.

That order was granted after a request from Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan District Attorney.

Bragg’s office had argued in a court filing that Trump “has a longstanding and perhaps singular history of attacking witnesses, investigators, prosecutors, trial jurors, grand jurors, judges, and others involved in legal proceedings against him, putting those individuals and their families at considerable safety risk.”

This is a breaking story that will be updated.

Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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