Trump’s Lawyer Vows to Fight Special Counsel’s Protective Order in Jan. 6 Case

Trump’s Lawyer Vows to Fight Special Counsel’s Protective Order in Jan. 6 Case
Former President and 2024 hopeful Donald Trump speaks during the Alabama Republican Party's summer dinner in Montgomery, Ala., on Aug. 4, 2023. (Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images)

Former president Donald Trump’s attorney in the 2020 election interference said the former president’s legal team opposes a protective order requested by special counsel Jack Smith that would restrict information that Mr. Trump and his allies can share about the case.

Attorney John Lauro told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the protective order that special counsel Jack Smith requested should not be imposed as that information should be made available to the public in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election.

“The press and the American people in a campaign season have a right to know what the evidence is in this case provided that this evidence is not protected otherwise,”  Mr. Lauro told the outlet. “So, we’re going to oppose it.”

In this case, Mr. Trump has been charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding—the certification of the electoral vote—and conspiracy against the rights of citizens.

Mr. Trump has pleaded not guilty and has called the investigation an act of election interference meant to hamstring his 2024 presidential bid.

A day after Mr. Trump pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges filed by Mr. Smith, he took to social media to state, “If you go after me, I’m coming after you!”

Protective Order

Mr. Smith responded to Mr. Trump’s social media post by asking U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, to issue a protective order that would restrict what Mr. Trump can share publicly about the case and evidence.
“Such a restriction is particularly important in this case because the defendant has previously issued public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him,” Mr. Smith wrote in a filing (pdf), citing the Truth Social post.

“If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details—or, for example, grand jury transcripts—obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case,” Mr. Smith said, adding that such posts may influence jurors.

A spokesperson for Mr. Trump responded to the filing by suggesting that the post was not a retaliation against Mr. Smith’s charges.

“The Truth post cited is the definition of political speech, and was in response to the RINO, China-loving, dishonest special interest groups and Super PACs, like the ones funded by the Koch brothers and the Club for No Growth,” the spokesperson said.

Mr. Trump’s legal team filed a motion asking for more time to review Mr. Smith’s request for a protective order. But Judge Chutkan on Aug. 5 denied that request, giving Mr. Trump’s legal team until 5 p.m. on Aug. 7 to respond.

Mr. Lauro’s remarks to CNN indicate Mr. Trump’s legal team is opposed to the protective order and will formally enter a motion opposing it.

Mr. Trump’s team had requested until Aug. 10 to respond to Mr. Smith’s request to ensure “adequate time to prepare a fulsome response,” adding that the issue, if given time, could be resolved “without court intervention.”

NTD Photo
Former President Donald Trump speaks to members of the Alabama GOP during their summer meeting in Montgomery, Ala., on Aug. 4, 2023. (Julie Bennett/Getty Images)

Trump Demands Chutkan’s Recusal

Following Judge Chutkan’s decision to deny Mr. Trump’s legal team’s request for an extension, the former president demanded that she be recused from the case and that the trial should take place at a different venue than Washington DC.

“There is no way I can get a fair trial with the judge ‘assigned’ to the ridiculous freedom of speech/fair elections case,” Mr. Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social. “Everybody knows this, and so does she! We will be immediately asking for a recusal of this judge on very powerful grounds, and likewise for venue change, out [of] [Washington].”

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U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in an undated photo. (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts via AP)

Mr. Trump has previously raised concerns about not being able to get a fair trial in Washington.

After being assigned to the case, Judge Chutkan made headlines for having issued tough sentences in cases relating to the Capitol breach. Reports indicate that in nine of her 31 such cases, she issued tougher penalties than prosecutors recommended.

Naveen Athrapully contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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