Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has submitted narrower regulations compared to the prosecution’s desires regarding his use of evidence in the criminal case on election interference.
In a recent court filing on Monday, Trump’s lawyers emphasize the contention that the special counsel prosecutors are politically motivated to curtail his First Amendment rights.
Trump’s Lawyers in the Fight for Evidence Control:
According to the lawyers’ court brief, “the government seeks to limit First Amendment rights in a trial about First Amendment rights.” The administration, party members, and media friends have promoted the indictment and circulated untrue claims during an election season, making it much worse that it does so against its main political rival.
Prosecutors propose a more stringent protective order for evidence, citing Trump’s public statements that could influence witnesses or justice in the case.
The latest filing highlights the discord between prosecutors and Trump’s lawyers, focusing on the details of the protective order, an order typically issued without much fanfare.
The special counsel’s office countered Trump’s lawyers on Monday, sharing complaints about Trump’s attorney’s remarks on TV networks and a social media post about former Vice President Mike Pence.
Prosecutors claim Trump aims to manipulate public opinion on his case. They ask the judge to restrict Trump’s public sharing of evidence collected by the DOJ that he’ll learn before trial.
The defendant’s proposed protective order, focused on pretrial publicity, contradicts Justice’s interests, prosecutors write on Monday.
- US District Judge Tanya Chutkan plans a hearing this week to resolve the dispute over restrictions.
- Chutkan asks both parties for scheduling options by 3 p.m. Tuesday for the hearing this week.
- Smith’s and Trump’s teams dispute the schedule in court filings.
Dispute Over Public Disclosure of Case Evidence – Timing and Scope The Justice Department didn’t seek special protection for Trump’s records related to the case.
Trump’s recent submission cites President Joe Biden’s comments and a meme on his Twitter account, showing Biden capitalizing on the indictment. Trump’s lawyers acknowledge the need for privacy for some evidence, suggesting common ground with prosecutors.
“However, protecting information doesn’t require a blanket gag order,” Trump’s lawyers say. “The Court can limit its protective order to genuinely sensitive materials, respecting Trump’s First Amendment rights.”
Trump requests changes to Smith’s proposal, narrowing “sensitive” discovery materials and expanding access beyond legal team members.
Prosecutors caution against broadening access, potentially allowing co-conspirators access to evidence. They note Trump could release witness interview transcripts and videos under the changes.
Trump’s lawyers also suggest changes for managing non-public evidence in pre-trial proceedings and trials.
Protective and Gag orders:
Prosecutors seek protective orders to prevent defendants from discussing sensitive discovery information publicly. Such orders ensure fairness and compliance with federal rules for grand jury proceedings. They’re common in criminal and civil cases. Gag orders, unlike protective orders, prevent defendants from publicly discussing pending cases. They’re rarer due to constitutional concerns.