Judge bars Trump from disclosing evidence in documents case

A federal judge on Monday issued a protective order barring former President Donald Trump from disclosing on social media — or keeping — evidence that should be turned over to him by the government in the classified documents case.

The order against Trump and Walt Nauta, his co-defendant in the criminal case alleging he mishandled national security information, prohibits them from sharing evidence that federal investigators should begin turning over to their lawyers as part of the case discovery process.

“Discovery Materials, and any information derived therefrom, shall not be released to the public or the news media, or released on any news or social media platform, without notice and consent from the States United States or court approval,” Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said in the order.

It prohibits them from disclosing information about government evidence to people not directly involved in the case without explicit permission from a judge, and warns them they could face contempt charges criminal if they violate the order.

It also limits Trump’s access to the material.

“Defendants will only have access to discovery material under the direct supervision of defense counsel or a member of defense counsel’s staff. Defendants will not retain copies of discovery material” , said the decision.

The decision largely follows a request for a protective order the government filed Friday in the case. The government said in that filing that attorneys for Trump and Nauta have “no objection to this motion or the protective order.”

Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, declined to comment on the order.

The information prosecutors have sought to protect includes “sensitive and confidential information”, including “information that reveals sensitive but unclassified investigative techniques; non-public information relating to potential witnesses and other third parties (including grand jury transcripts and exhibits and recordings of witness interviews); third-party financial information; third-party location information; and personal information contained on electronic devices and accounts. “

“The documents also include information relating to ongoing investigations, the disclosure of which could compromise those investigations and identify uncharged individuals,” their filing from Friday said.

Trump, 77, was charged earlier this month with 37 federal charges, including willful withholding of national defense information, false statements and representations, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment last week. Nauta, whose lawyer declined to comment on the case, is expected to plead not guilty next week.

Trump was slapped with a similar order in the New York criminal case where he is charged with dozens of counts of falsifying business records. Trump’s attorneys had objected to parts of the order in that case.

Prosecutors with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said the restrictions were necessary because the “risk” of Trump using the evidence “inappropriately” was “substantial.”

“Donald J. Trump has a long and perhaps singular history of attacks on witnesses, investigators, prosecutors, trial jurors, grand jurors, judges and others involved in legal proceedings. against him, putting those individuals and their families in considerable danger,” the DA’s office had argued in a court filing.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in that case.

This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com

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