Donald Trump’s attorneys argued in court Monday that only “genuinely sensitive materials” should be shielded from the public, citing established law and the former president’s First Amendment rights.
The court filing was in response to a request by special counsel Jack Smith to limit what evidence could be publicly shared in the case involving Trump’s alleged 2020 election interference and his actions on Jan. 6, 2021. Smith’s request was in response to a Truth Social post from Trump that said, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”
“In a trial about First Amendment rights, the government seeks to restrict First Amendment rights,” Trump’s legal team said, according to CBS News. “Worse, it does so against its administration’s primary political opponent, during an election season in which the administration, prominent party members, and media allies have campaigned on the indictment and proliferated its false allegations.”
“President Trump does not contest the government’s claimed interest in restricting some of the documents it must produce, such as those containing Rule 49.1 information and Rule 6 grand jury materials,” the attorneys said. “However, the need to protect that information does not require a blanket gag order over all documents produced by the government. Rather, the Court can, and should, limit its protective order to genuinely sensitive materials.”
(According to the network, the rules cited refer to personally identifiable information and grand jury material.)
Smith responded to the request, claiming “the Government has proposed a standard, reasonable order that will streamline the flow of discovery to the defendant while preserving the integrity of these proceedings.”
“The defendant has proposed an unreasonable order to facilitate his plan to litigate this case in the media, to the detriment of litigating this case in the courtroom,” Smith added. “Normal order should prevail. No oral argument is necessary. The Court should enter the Government’s proposed protective order.”
Judge Tanya Chutkan responded by ordering a hearing on the DOJ’s Motion for Protective Order, with both sides instructed “to meet no later than 3 p.m. on Tuesday to determine two dates and times on or before Friday that work for both parties in order for the hearing to take place,” Fox News reported.
The judge also said Trump will not be required to appear.
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