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The judge in former President Donald Trump’s Washington DC criminal case has issued one of her first and most important decisions.
U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan has rejected a plea from the former president’s team to move a hearing on a possible protective order past the Friday deadline she had set, Mediaite reported.
Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team said that they were prepared for a hearing any day this week, but the Trump attorneys said they were busy and asked for a delay.
“President Trump will not appear. However, he would like to have both his counsel John Lauro and Todd Blanche at the hearing. Todd Blanche is not available on Thursday, since he must appear for a court proceeding in the prosecution brought against the same defendant, President Trump, by the Special Counsel in SD Florida. Mr. Lauro is available on Thursday, with a preference for an afternoon setting. However, since we lost Friday as an option, we would respectfully request a setting on Monday (after 12:00 p.m.) or Tuesday (all day) to allow for both Mr. Blanche and Mr. Lauro to be present,” the attorneys said in their plea.
“MINUTE ORDER as to DONALD J. TRUMP: The court hereby schedules a hearing on the parties’ respective protective order proposals in this matter on August 11, 2023 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 9. The requirement of Defendant’s appearance is waived for this hearing. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 08/08/2023,” the judge’s order read.
This past weekend the judge had ordered the former president to respond to a motion filed by Special Counsel Jack Smith.
Chutkan issued her order on Saturday, hours after Smith filed the motion with the court, Mediaite reported.
“MINUTE ORDER as to DONALD J. TRUMP: It is hereby ORDERED that by 5:00 PM on August 7, 2023, Defendant shall file a response to the government’s 10 Motion for Protective Order, stating Defendant’s position on the Motion. If Defendant disagrees with any portion of the government’s proposed Protective Order, ECF No. 10-1, his response shall include a revised version of that Protective Order with any modifications in redline. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 08/05/2023,” the order said.
In the motion filed on Friday Smith used a post from Trump’s account on Truth Social as evidence for the need of a protective order.
“All the proposed order seeks to prevent is the improper dissemination or use of discovery materials, including to the public. Such a restriction is particularly important in this case because the defendant has previously issued public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him. And in recent days, regarding this case, the defendant has issued multiple posts—either specifically or by implication—including the following, which the defendant posted just hours ago,” Smith said.
“If You Go After Me, I’m Coming After You,” the former president said in the 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,” the special counsel said.
The special counsel’s team included a proposal for the judge to sign if she decided in their favor.
“The defendant and defense counsel shall not disclose the Materials or their contents directly or indirectly to any person or entity other than persons employed to assist in the defense, persons who are interviewed as potential witnesses, counsel for potential witnesses, and other persons to whom the Court may authorize disclosure (collectively, “Authorized Persons”). Potential witnesses and their counsel may be shown copies of the Materials as necessary to prepare the defense, but they may not retain copies without prior permission of the Court,” it said.
The former president shared a statement on Truth Social in response to the filing from Smith’s office.
“The Truth post cited is the definition of political speech, and was in response to the RINO, China-loving, dishonest special interest groups and Super PACs, like the ones funded by the Koch brothers and the Club for No Growth,” it said.