A protective order requested by special counsel Jack Smith to prevent former President Donald Trump from releasing sensitive material in connection with his case involving classified papers was granted by a federal judge on Monday.
Smith sought the order to ensure that neither Trump nor codefendant Walt Nauta, Trump's presidential valet, disclose sensitive information obtained during the discovery process, according to ABC News.
During this phase of the trial, the prosecution will show the defense what evidence it has gathered during its investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents since he left office.
Smith sought the order to ensure that neither Trump nor codefendant Walt Nauta, Trump's presidential valet, disclose sensitive information obtained during the discovery process.
After prosecutors said that Trump regularly failed to return hundreds of papers holding classified information ranging from U.S. nuclear secrets to the capabilities of the nation's defense forces, the president was charged with 37 felony counts connected to his handling of confidential materials last week.
These charges were brought about as a result of the investigation into his handling of classified materials.
According to the protective order, Trump and Nauta "shall not disclose the Discovery Materials or their contents directly or indirectly to any person or entity other than persons employed to assist in the defense, persons who are interviewed as potential witnesses, counsel for potential witnesses, and other persons to whom the Court may authorize disclosure."
In other words, the disclosure of the discovery materials or their contents is prohibited.
Prosecutors stated in their request for the order that the documents contain "sensitive and confidential information," which includes personally identifiable information, information that reveals investigative techniques, non-public information relating to potential witnesses, and personal information contained on electronic devices and accounts. On Friday, the prosecutors filed their request for the order.
Notably, the special counsel has stated that the documents in question contain "information pertaining to ongoing investigations, the disclosure of which could compromise those investigations and identify uncharged individuals."
According to the order issued by the judge, any violations of the protection order "may result in contempt of court or other civil or criminal sanctions."
Prosecutors in New York City claimed they were afraid that President Trump would release on social media information related to a different case involving a hush payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
According to the prosecutors, they issued a similar protection order last month after seeking it and getting it.
In both investigations, Trump has categorically denied any misconduct on his part.