A federal judge in Florida has instructed former President Donald Trump and his legal team not to disclose any evidence related to a classified documents case unless they have proper authorization to do so. The ruling comes as a win for special counsel Jack Smith, who requested the court to prevent Trump and his defense team from publicly disclosing materials obtained during the discovery process.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, in his order, stated that Discovery Materials, along with any information derived from them, should not be disclosed to the public or media outlets or disseminated on any news or social media platform unless prior notice and consent from the United States or court approval is obtained.
Furthermore, Reinhart imposed restrictions on the defendants’ access to the discovery materials. They are required to be under the supervision of their defense counsel or their staff, and retaining copies is prohibited. The judge also emphasized that any notes taken by the lawyers must be securely stored.
Recently, Trump appeared in a federal courtroom in Miami and pleaded not guilty to 37 charges, including 31 alleged violations of the Espionage Act pertaining to the “willful retention” of national defense information. Additional charges related to obstruction and making false statements were also filed against him. Trump has expressed his opinions about the investigation on social media and in public, repeatedly asserting that he is the target of a “witch hunt” and labeling Jack Smith as a “thug.”
Walt Nauta, a Trump aide implicated in the documents case, is encompassed by Judge Reinhart’s order. Nauta is scheduled for arraignment on June 27.
Smith’s team filed a motion seeking a protective order for the evidence on Friday, cautioning that the materials encompass “sensitive and confidential information” that, if disclosed, could jeopardize ongoing investigations. Prosecutors revealed that Trump and Nauta’s legal representatives did not object to the request.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who Trump nominated, has been assigned to preside over the documents case, although other judges are handling certain aspects. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman oversaw Trump’s arraignment. Referring to local rules, Cannon referred the motion regarding evidence disclosure to Judge Reinhart, who had previously authorized the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last year.