Judge issues order limiting Trump's access to evidence in documents case

 June 21, 2023

A Florida judge handed a pretrial win to prosecutor Jack Smith in his witch hunt against former President Trump, ruling the former president cannot access the evidence against him in the classified documents case without his lawyers present.

The terms were included a in a protective order handed down by magistrate judge Bruce Reinhart, the same judge who signed the notorious search warrant for the raid of Mar-A-Lago last year.

"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,” Reinhart wrote.

Judge limits Trump

If Trump violates the protective order, he could face additional criminal consequences.

Smith requested the order, saying it was needed to shield "sensitive material" pertaining to the investigation, "the disclosure of which could compromise those investigations and identify uncharged individuals."

Trump was issued a similar protective order in his Manhattan "hush money" case, which was brought by an unabashedly partisan soft-on-crime prosecutor, Alvin Bragg.

Trump, the top Republican challenger to Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election, has condemned the prosecutions as politically motivated efforts to hamper his campaign.

Next hoax?

On the upside, the cases have helped Trump bring in millions of dollars to fund his campaign and mountainous legal expenses.

Trump is facing up to 400 years in prison for his alleged mishandling of classified documents under the Espionage Act, a law that has been used to put traitors and spies like Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to death.

Trump has said he had the authority to declassify the documents and that the case ought to fall under the Presidential Records Act which does not include criminal sanctions.

He has also complained about selective prosecution, noting others who mishandled documents like Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton have not faced consequences.

Trial date set

The documents case is being overseen by Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee who came under fire from the left for her favorable rulings to Trump following the Mar-A-Lago raid. Some liberals have already demanded that Cannon recuse herself from the trial.

She is also being attacked for setting an "aggressive" timeline, even though Trump is constitutionally entitled to a speedy trial.

The need for a quick trial is particularly important given the unprecedented nature of the case, which pits the government of the incumbent president against his chief political rival in a rapidly approaching election.

Cannon has set a tentative trial date for August, which could mean the case is wrapped up by September.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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