A federal judge issued a protective order on Monday blocking former President Donald Trump from being able to release any of the evidence that prosecutors are set to turn over to his defense team as part of the discovery process in the classified documents case.
The former president pled not guilty earlier this month to 37 felony counts, including 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information. Other counts include conspiracy to obstruct justice, corruptly concealing documents or records, and making false statements.
“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,” Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said in the order.
The order said that Trump and his team also cannot disclose any of the material, due to the sensitivity of its contents, in “any public filing or in open court without notice to, and agreement from, the United States, or prior approval from the Court.”
The order also warned Trump, co-defendant Walt Nauta, and the defense attorneys that any violation of these rules could result in further criminal charges in the case.
“Defendants shall only have access to Discovery Materials under the direct supervision of Defense Counsel or a member of Defense Counsel’s staff,” the order said. “Defendants shall not retain copies of Discovery Material.”
The order said that all the documents must stay in the custody of the defense counsel in a secure manner and that all the material must be returned to the U.S. government or completely destroyed within 90 days of the case being brought to a conclusion.
The defendants are not allowed to retain any copies of the material, but they are allowed to take notes on the material, though that material must be securely stored.