U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is based in Washington, D.C., issued an order on Tuesday scheduling the hearing to take place on Friday at 10 a.m. ET and waiving the requirement of the defendant’s appearance.
The order made its way to the docket a couple hours after Smith’s and Trump’s teams sent a joint filing in response to Chutkan’s demand that they settle on two dates and times for when they would be available to appear for a hearing by the end of the week.
While Smith’s team said the government is available “any time” Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, Trump’s legal team asked that the hearing be pushed back until next week because of scheduling issues.
“President Trump will not appear. However, he would like to have both his counsel John Lauro and Todd Blanche at the hearing,” their response said.
“Todd Blanche is not available on Thursday, since he must appear for a court proceeding in the protection brought against the same defendant, President Donald, by the Special Counsel in [the Southern District of] Florida,” they added. “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 joint filing did not explain the assertion that Friday had been “lost” as an option. The Daily Wire reached out to Trump’s lawyers seeking comment on the judge’s order on Tuesday.
Last week, Smith’s team filed a request for a protective order — one day after Trump’s arraignment in Washington, D.C. — following the former president posting to Truth Social in all capital letters, “If you go after me, I’m coming after you!”
Noting that want to provide the defense with discovery materials “as soon as possible,” prosecutors said they wanted a variety of restrictions aimed at preventing the disclosure of sensitive evidence and warned that Trump publicly revealing certain information could “have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case.”
Trump’s lawyers filed their response to Smith’s proposed order just before the deadline at 5 p.m. ET after Chutkan denied their request for an extension over the weekend. The defense asked for a narrower protective order while raising concerns about Trump’s First Amendment rights being unduly constrained. In addition, they asked for a hearing on the matter “at the earliest convenient date.”
After Smith’s team rebuffed the counter-proposal by Trump’s lawyers, Chutkan made the ruling on Monday night that ordered both sides to work out possible hearing dates and times.
Trump, who is running a 2024 campaign for another term in the White House, has pleaded not guilty to charges over an alleged effort to overturn the results of the last presidential contest. In a post to Truth Social on Tuesday, Trump raised conflict of interest concerns regarding Chutkan, noting her past work at a law firm that also had employed Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden.
The former president has broadly denied any wrongdoing while claiming he is the target of a “witch hunt” as he faces multiple criminal indictments on both the federal and state levels — including charges in another, documents-related case brought by Smith. In June, a judge granted a protective order that restrained Trump from disclosing evidence in the documents case.