Special counsel Jack Smith on Friday asked the judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case to impose a protective order over the evidence in the case.
The protective order is meant to ensure that neither Trump nor codefendant Walt Nauta, his presidential valet, disclose sensitive information obtained during the discovery process, where prosecutors will show the defense what evidence it has amassed during their investigation.
The special counsel’s motion said the materials include “sensitive and confidential information,” including personal identifiable information, information that reveals investigative techniques, non-public information relating to potential witnesses, and personal information contained on electronic devices and accounts.
Notably, the special counsel also said the materials include “information pertaining to ongoing investigations, the disclosure of which could compromise those investigations and identify uncharged individuals.”
US District Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump-appointed judge assigned to preside over the case, referred the matter to US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, citing local court rules. Reinhart approved the search warrant the FBI executed at Mar-a-Lago last year.
The special counsel’s proposed protective order would bar the defendants and their lawyers from disclosing the discovery materials “directly or indirectly to any person or entity other than persons employed to assist in the defense, persons who are interviewed as potential witnesses, counsel for potential witnesses, and other persons to whom the Court may authorize disclosure.”
The order also would require those on the defense teams who access discovery materials to sign an agreement recognizing the restrictions on sharing it, and it would require that the defendants only view the materials under the supervision of their counsel. In addition, the defendants would not be allowed to keep copies of the materials.
“The Discovery Materials, along with any information derived therefrom, shall not be disclosed to the public or the news media, or disseminated on any news or social media platform, without prior notice to and consent of the United States or approval of the Court,” the proposed order states.