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Judge sides with Trump over Jack Smith in Supreme Court ruling in Jan. 6 case

Judge sides with Trump over Jack Smith in Supreme Court ruling in Jan. 6 case

A federal judge ruled in favor of Donald Trump on Friday, denying special counsel Jack Smith’s request for a protective order that would have limited the former president’s statements before the 2024 election.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan determined that prosecutors did not provide sufficient grounds for the protective order. However, he cautioned Trump to be careful with his comments and disclosures about the case.

“Mr. Trump, like any American, has a right to free speech,” Chutkan said. “But that right is not absolute.”

“In a criminal case like this, the defendant’s freedom of expression is subject to the rules,” he added.

Judge Chutkan then reprimanded Donald Trump for his alleged discussion of the trial on social media.

“It is a fundamental principle of the judicial process in this country,” he said, citing precedent, “that legal trials are not like elections, which must be won through the use of the boardroom, the radio and the newspaper”.

“This case is no exception,” he said.

The judge then stipulated what should be considered sensitive materials in the case.

“After all stages of this case are completed, all sensitive materials and all copies made of them will be destroyed or returned to the United States, unless otherwise ordered by the court,” the judge ruled. “The court may require a certification on the disposal of sensitive materials; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not apply to any work product, notes or other documents.”

The United States can designate the following materials it produces for defense
advice as “Sensitive Materials”:

Materials that contain personally identifiable information as identified in Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 49.1; Rule 6 materials, including grand jury subpoena statements, witness testimony, and related exhibits submitted to the grand jury; Materials obtained through sealed search warrants and 2703(d) warrants; Sealed orders obtained by the Government filter team related to this case; Recordings, transcripts, reports of interviews and related witness exhibits
interviews; and Materials obtained from other government entities.

“The Government must indicate to defense counsel, in discovery correspondence or otherwise, what materials constitute Sensitive Materials prior to or concurrently with disclosure,” the judge added.

That decision followed Trump’s statement at TRUTH Social, which read, “IF I COME AFTER ME, I’LL COME AFTER YOU!” The Trump campaign clarified that the post was aimed at political groups and not witnesses in the case.


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