Judge limits Trump from discussing classified information in Mar-a-Lago case | ET REALITY


Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech during an event following his arraignment on classified documents at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, United States, on June 13, 2023.

Amr Alfiky | Reuters

a federal judge On Wednesday, he issued an order setting limits on where and how former President Donald Trump can discuss classified information with his defense attorneys in the criminal case in which he is accused of withholding classified documents after leaving the White House.

Judge Aileen Cannon’s protective order directing Trump and his lawyers to discuss that information in a secure location supported limitations sought by prosecutors from special counsel Jack Smith’s office over Trump’s objections.

But Cannon’s order, which came nearly two months after Smith first requested it in the U.S. District Court for South Florida, was vague on whether several concessions sought by Trump on the issue would eventually be granted. would grant in one way or another.

Cannon did not explicitly address a request from Trump to create a so-called Sensitive Shared Information Facility, or SCIF, at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, so he could discuss classified information there while preparing for trial. if.

Smith had objected to that request, noting, among other things, that Mar-a-Lago is the scene of the alleged crime.

Smith had also objected to Trump’s request that he be allowed to discuss classified information in his office at Mar-a-Lago or in his office at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

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Cannon’s 16-page order, which was issued after a two-hour sealed hearing Tuesday into the dispute, meant that the defense would only use a SCIF operated by the U.S. government to discuss classified information.

But he didn’t specifically rule out one being created at Mar-a-Lago or Bedminster in the future.

The judge also said that a classified information security officer already appointed to the case could authorize a location other than a SCIF for the defense to discuss classified information.

“The defense will discuss classified information only within the SCIF or in an area authorized by the CISO,” Cannon wrote.

He also wrote: “The CISO will establish procedures to ensure that a SCIF is accessible to the defense during business hours and at other times upon reasonable request, as approved by the CISO in consultation with the Court and the United States Marshals Service “.

“The SCIF will contain a work area for the defense and will be equipped with any secure office equipment requested by the defense that is reasonable and necessary for the preparation of the defendant’s case.”

A spokesman for Smith and Trump’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Cannon’s order prohibits Trump and his lawyers from disclosing any classified information to people not explicitly authorized. He noted that Trump and his lawyers could face “criminal and/or civil sanctions” if they violate the terms of his order.

Trump was indicted in early June by a federal grand jury in Florida on more than three dozen criminal charges related to his withholding of hundreds of classified documents after leaving the White House in January 2021, and his efforts to prevent officials from Americans will recover those records. In some cases, the documents contained national defense information.

Also charged in the case are his valet Walt Nauta and a Mar-a-Lago worker, Carlos De Oliveira, who are accused along with Trump of an alleged attempt to destroy video surveillance footage showing Nauta and De Oliveira. moving boxes containing classified documents at a time when they were being sought for a subpoena.

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