A U.S. judge in Florida ruled on Monday that defense lawyers for former President Donald Trump could not release evidence in the classified documents case to the media or the public.
According to a court filing, the protective order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart puts strict conditions on Trump’s access to the materials, and limits what Trump can discuss about the case with others, including through social media. If he shares information with people not directly involved in the case without a judge’s permission, he could face criminal contempt charges.
The order — at the request of the Justice Department — states: “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.” It also specified that Trump shall not retain copies, and that he may only review case materials “under the direct supervision of Defense Counsel or a member of Defense Counsel’s staff.”. The order also prohibits Trump’s aide and co-defendant Walter Nauta from disseminating restricted information about the case.
Last week, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 charges, including 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information. The Justice Department alleges that Trump unlawfully kept classified intelligence documents and did not comply with government requests to return them. The documents include intelligence briefings related to various foreign countries, foreign military capabilities and nuclear capabilities. There also are documents relating to communications with a leader of a foreign country and information about military attacks by a foreign country.
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