Former President Donald Trump suffered another defeat in connection to his Federal indictment after a federal judge approved a gag order on him. The order prohibits Trump from disclosing evidence from the classified documents case without permission.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart approved the order on Monday, handing Special Counsel Jack Smith a huge win. Reinhart’s order places restrictions on Trump’s access to discovery materials.
A federal judge issues a sweeping 'gag order' to Donald Trump in the classified documents case.https://t.co/O3a7dnQcAr
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) June 19, 2023
The restrictions mean that Trump would only be able to view the evidence against him if his lawyers or their staff were present. The judge’s order also bars President Trump from keeping copies of evidence, with only the former president’s counsel allowed to keep copies.
Reinhart’s order comes after Smith filed a motion on Friday seeking to bar Trump from disclosing evidence to members of the press.
“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,” Smith wrote in a request to the court.
They just don't want him speaking in his own defense.
Biden’s DOJ demands judge issue gag order on Trump in seized documents casehttps://t.co/xQNrVKXsFs
— Libby Emmons (@libbyemmons) June 17, 2023
Smith argued that the evidence contains materials that are sensitive and confidential. Smith’s team also argued that making those materials public could jeopardize ongoing investigations if disclosed.
Legal experts believe Smith’s argument signifies that the special counsel might still bring more charges against Trump and other individuals. Former federal prosecutor Mitchell Epner suggested that Trump’s aide Walt Nauta, who’s also charged in the case, might face more charges.
Trump is facing 37 charges, including 31 alleged violations of the Espionage Act for holding on to national defense information. The former president is also facing charges of obstruction and making false statements. Last week, Trump was arraigned in a Miami federal courtroom and pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Former Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell has described Smith as a prosecutor who is willing to extend the law to get a win. McDonnell maintained that Smith would rather win than get things right.
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell believes that Special Counsel Jack Smith has an "overzealous and over aggressive" approach, and that he "would rather win than get it right."
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) June 14, 2023
“I think he’s overzealous and overaggressive,” McDonnell said