The US Department of Justice has requested a protective order from a federal judge against former President Donald Trump. The order is meant to prevent Trump from disclosing sensitive information about his criminal case related to the 2020 presidential election.
The prosecutors filed the request with US District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, stating that it is particularly important given Trump’s history of making social media posts about individuals involved in legal matters against him. They argue that if Trump were to disclose details or grand jury transcripts obtained in the discovery process, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses and adversely affect the fair administration of justice in the case.
Just hours before the prosecutors made their request, Trump posted on his Truth Social page, warning, “If you go after me, I’m coming after you!” The Department of Justice believes that this post refers to his election interference case, either specifically or by implication.
The proposed protective order would prohibit Trump and his defense lawyers from revealing discovery material obtained from the government to anyone outside of his legal team. It would also impose stricter controls on sensitive materials, including information from sealed search warrants and grand jury testimony.
On Thursday, Trump pleaded not guilty to the latest criminal charges against him, which involve four felony counts related to an alleged conspiracy to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential race. Trump has criticized the case as politically motivated, claiming that prosecutors are targeting him because Biden would be unable to defeat him in a 2024 election rematch.
This is not the only criminal case Trump is facing. Earlier this year, he was charged with dozens of felony charges related to the mishandling of classified documents after leaving office. He also faces another case related to alleged hush-money payments made to porn actress Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign.
In addition, special counsel Jack Smith recently filed three additional charges against Trump, accusing him of plotting to delete security camera footage before federal agents raided his Florida estate as part of the classified documents probe. Trump pleaded not guilty to the 37 previously filed charges in that case and has stated that he will also plead not guilty to the latest charges.
The protective order requested by the US Department of Justice is intended to preserve the integrity of the ongoing criminal case against Trump and prevent the disclosure of sensitive information that could have a negative impact on witnesses and the fair administration of justice. The judge will have to consider the request and decide whether to issue the order.