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The federal in Washington, D.C., overseeing former President Donald Trump’s case involving charges tied to the Jan. 6 Capitol Building riot has issued an order involving his request to extend a filing deadline in a dispute with special counsel Jack Smith.
Late last week, Smith’s team filed a request for a protective order to prevent Trump and his team from viewing certain evidence out of fear that the former president would disclose it on social media or during a campaign rally.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday gave Trump’s team until Monday to respond to the government’s motion. And on Saturday, she struck down a request by Trump to extend the filing deadline until later in the week.
The government’s “request pointed to a post by Trump on Truth Social from earlier in the day to argue that the former president has a habit of speaking publicly about the details of the various legal proceedings he’s facing,” CNN reported late Saturday.
“And in recent days, regarding this case, the defendant has issued multiple posts—either specifically or by implication—including the following, which the defendant posted just hours ago,” the special counsel’s office wrote in its motion which contained a screenshot of the Truth Social post from Trump that read: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”
After Chutkan on Saturday ordered Trump’s legal team to state its position on the motion by 5 p.m. ET Monday, lawyers for Trump requested more time to weigh in on what restrictions should be imposed. Trump’s lawyers asked to have until Thursday to respond, and suggested a hearing on the matter might be necessary if an agreement with prosecutors isn’t reached.
Smith’s team, however, urged Chutkan to stick to her original Monday deadline, arguing in a Saturday afternoon filing that the request from Trump’s legal team amounted to an “unnecessary delay.”
The prosecutors expressed their readiness to swiftly produce discovery in the case, a crucial step to initiate the proceedings. However, they noted that the defendant “is standing in the way.”
In both the election subversion case and the separate classified documents case filed against the former president by Smith, Trump’s team has indicated their desire to prolong the proceedings. In the Florida documents case, where the dispute is unfolding, Trump’s lawyers made a request for the trial to be postponed until after the 2024 election. But the federal judge overseeing that case, Aileen Cannon — a Trump appointee — rejected that motion and scheduled a trial for May.
In their original protective order request, Smith’s team argued that if Trump “were to begin issuing public posts using details – or, for example, grand jury transcripts—obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case.”
As part of their requests, the prosecutors are seeking several restrictions, including a provision that would prohibit Trump’s lawyers from providing him with copies of “sensitive” discovery materials, which encompass grand jury documents and witness interviews.
Under the proposed rules, Trump would be allowed to view such materials, but he would be prohibited from recording or noting any personal identifying information from the documents.
Smith’s filing said that the order “is consistent with other such orders commonly used in this District and is not overly restrictive.”
In a Washington, DC, courthouse on Thursday, Trump entered a plea of not guilty to four charges filed against him by Smith a few days earlier. The charges, which include conspiracy to defraud the United States, are part of the investigation into alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election leading up to the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.