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Federal judge approves request forbidding Trump from releasing evidence in classified-documents lawsuit

Donald Trump

On Monday, a request from special counsel Jack Smith was approved by a federal judge to keep former President Donald Trump and his co-defendant Walt Nauta from releasing any sensitive information pertaining to their lawsuit.

In his classified-documents case, the former president has been indicted on 37 criminal counts. Among the charges is willful retention of national-defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, 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,” wrote Judge Bruce Reinhart, who also approved the warrant to search Mar-a-Lago last year.

“Defendants shall only have access to Discovery Materials under the direct supervision of Defense Counsel or a member of Defense Counsel’s staff. Defendants shall not retain copies of Discovery Material” Reinhart wrote after Smith sought the order last Friday.

Smith and his colleagues feared Trump and Nauta would disclose evidence that will be made available during discovery. The materials include “sensitive and confidential information” and also “information pertaining to ongoing investigations, the disclosure of which could compromise those investigations and identify uncharged individuals,” ABC reported.

Reinhart explained that any violations to the order could result in contempt of court or other civil or criminal sanctions. National Review writes:

“The documents Trump is accused of retaining contained information about U.S. nuclear programs, potential vulnerabilities of the U.S. and its allies, and plans for a possible retaliation in case of a foreign attack, according to the indictment. Also alleged is that on two separate occasions in 2021, when he was no longer president, Trump discussed classified military information at the Bedminster Club with individuals who were not authorized to receive it.”

Due to the sensitive nature of the documents. two of Trump’s attorneys who have already made appearances in this case are seeking security clearance in an expedited fashion.