Trump Under Threat Of Additional Prosecution In Classified Docs Case

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A court order under which Donald Trump has been placed in his new federal case alleging a willful retention of protected government documents includes a block on the former president accessing key evidence without his lawyers or their staff present.

The evidence at issue is what prosecutors will make available during the discovery period, which is a routine process that precedes trial and allows for the accumulation of potentially relevant materials like material evidence and witness testimony. The same order, which was issued by a federal magistrate judge, also formally blocks Trump from using this evidence without prior approval in public statements, including on social media and to journalists. With Trump, those are probably especially relevant prohibitions, considering his longtime habit of making sweeping public rants about the court matters he is facing. He is under the threat of additional criminal prosecution for contempt in the event of a violation.

“Defendants shall only have access to Discovery Materials under the direct supervision of Defense Counsel or a member of Defense Counsel’s staff. Defendants shall not retain copies of Discovery Material,” Bruce Reinhart, the judge, said. That portion of his ruling was highlighted by NBC News. The other defendant in the case is Walt Nauta, an aide to the former president who is accused of substantial involvement in Trump’s evasion schemes. Both Trump and Nauta face accusations of felony criminal offenses.

Prosecutors pushed for this order before its implementation from Reinhart and said the legal teams for the former president and his aide did not harbor any objections, unlike Trump’s legal team’s attempt to cut back prosecutors’ successful push for a similar order in Trump’s criminal case in Manhattan.

There, Trump’s representation alleged that the former president could suffer violations of his First Amendment rights, though he is still free to make more general statements about both that case and this later one, which was brought in Florida, close to Mar-a-Lago. Though Trump claims that the investigations he is facing amount to election interference, he is the one who helped ensure the probes had anything to do with an election, since he formally announced his 2024 bid after the feds started working.