The Justice Department has requested that the federal judge overseeing Donald Trump’s election fraud case issue a protective order.
In the Friday night filing, Special Counsel Jack Smith argued the importance of imposing strict orders on Trump to prevent him from disclosing crucial details about the four-count indictment that was issued on Tuesday.
The DOJ request was made hours after Trump wrote: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!,” in a Truth Social post.
“If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details or, for example, grand jury transcripts obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case,” Smith wrote in the filing.
Prosecutors contended that the former president has a tendency to disclose confidential information to his supporters, and this behavior has been evident in recent months related to other two indictments brought against him.
Smith cited Trump’s Friday Truth Social post in the filing and stated that the Justice Department was prepared to hand Trump’s team a “substantial” amount of evidence, “much of which includes sensitive and confidential information.” However, they expressed concern that the former president might leak it on social media.
Smith asserts that three different proposed protective order drafts were shared between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Trump’s legal team. However, each of these drafts was rejected by one of the parties involved.
If approved, the federally mandated protective order would permit Trump and his team to discuss the evidence internally and with witnesses, but it would prohibit any public disclosure.
It would additionally impose stricter limits on “sensitive materials,” encompassing grand jury witness testimony and materials acquired through sealed search warrants.
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