The decade's most triggering comedy
The federal judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s prosecution in Washington, D.C., regarding alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, said on Friday that he will not be treated differently than any other defendant and warned Trump that she will take action to stop him from attempting to intimidate witnesses or taint the jury pool.
Judge Tanya Chutkan made the remarks during a hearing about an order sought by prosecutors to protect discovery evidence in the case.
Chutkan repeatedly stated throughout the hearing that she will not let politics interfere in the case and she considers his presidential campaign as “a day job,” no different than any other defendant.
“He is a criminal defendant,” Judge Chutkan said. “He is going to have restrictions like every other criminal defendant.”
She said that she would not “allow him any greater or lesser latitude than any defendant in a criminal case.”
The protective order said in part that Trump must not have access to a smartphone or any other device capable of “photocopying, recording, or otherwise replicating the Sensitive Materials” when he is viewing the materials outside of the defense counsel’s presence.
“Defense counsel must also ensure that all Sensitive Materials are collected and safeguarded when the defendant is no longer reviewing them,” she added.
The order was not a gag order, rather it was a measure to restrict Trump’s ability to release discovery evidence to the public, which could give unindicted co-conspirators evidence about potential cases against them.
LAURO frustrated that government wants Trump's team to "babysit" the defendant. But Chutkan notes that Trump readily agreed to that condition in Florida so it undercuts defense argument here.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) August 11, 2023
The judge warned Trump’s legal team about statements that he makes outside of the courtroom, which comes after he recently posted on Truth Social: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU.” Trump’s team claims that the statement was directed at politicians and had nothing to do with the case.
“I do want to issue a general word of caution — I intend to ensure the orderly administration of justice in this case as I would in any other case, and even arguably ambiguous statements by the parties or their counsel,” she said. “I caution you and your client to take special care in your public statements in this case. I will take whatever measures are necessary to protect the integrity of these proceedings.”