Jun 19, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Judge orders Trump not to release evidence in classified documents case

Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks outside the clubhouse at the Trump National Golf Club on June 13, 2023 in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Former President Trump at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on June 13. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former President Trump and his legal team cannot keep nor publicly disclose any federal evidence in the classified documents case against him, a federal judge in Florida ruled Monday.

Why it matters: Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart's order against the former president and co-defendant Walt Nauta, a Trump aide, which also limits their access to material, is a victory for special counsel Jack Smith, who requested it to prevent sensitive details being revealed during the discovery process when prosecutors present the defense with evidence.

  • The order warns any violations could result in criminal contempt charges.

Driving the news: "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," states the order issued in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

  • "Defendants shall only have access to Discovery Materials under the direct supervision of Defense Counsel or a member of Defense Counsel’s staff. Defendants shall not retain copies of Discovery Material."

The big picture: Trump pleaded not guilty in a Miami court last week to all 37 criminal charges related to retaining classified information and obstruction of justice in the federal documents case.

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