On Monday, United States Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart granted the Department of Justice’s Motion for a Protective Order in the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump and his presidential valet, Walt Nauta. The DOJ filed the motion on Friday.
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, where prosecutors will show the defense what evidence it has amassed during their investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents since leaving office.
In their motion seeking the protective order, prosecutors contended that discovery materials would include “sensitive and confidential information,” including “information pertaining to ongoing investigations, the disclosure of which could compromise those investigations and identify uncharged individuals.”
Pursuant to the Order, a full copy of which can be viewed below, the Defendants (Trump and Nauta) and their attorneys are prohibited from disclosing discovery materials to anyone other than those assisting in the defense or interviewed as potential witnesses without prior authorization from the Court.
Additionally, the Order provides Defendants shall only have access to discovery materials under the supervision of their counsel and specifically prohibits disclosure to the public, including news media, without prior authorization.
3. Disclosure of Discovery Materials. Defendants and Defense Counsel 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 (collectively, “Authorized Persons”). Before providing materials to an Authorized Person, Defense Counsel must provide the Authorized Person with a copy of this Order, and Defense Counsel shall obtain from each person to whom disclosure will be made a signed Protected Discovery Material Agreement (“Agreement”) available as Attachment A to the Order in which the recipient (1) acknowledges the restrictions set forth in this Order, and (2) agrees that he/she will not further disclose or disseminate the Discovery Materials. Defense Counsel shall keep a copy of each signed Agreement to identify the individuals who received the Discovery Materials and the date on which such information was first disclosed. No disclosure is permitted to any individual or entity that has not signed such Agreement, except by further order of the Court. Potential witnesses and counsel for potential witnesses may be shown copies of the Discovery Materials as necessary to prepare the defense, but they may not retain copies without prior permission of the Court.
5. Defendants’ Review of Discovery Materials. 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. Defendants may take notes regarding Discovery Materials, but such notes shall be stored securely by Defense Counsel or a member of Defense Counsel’s staff in the same manner as the Discovery Materials.
6. No Disclosure to the Public. 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.