Judge doesn’t want media ‘festival’ in Trump 2020 presidential election trial

During a hearing dedicated to the request of special prosecutor Jack Smith, who is concerned about witness intimidation if Donald Trump illegally discloses key documents of this procedure, the magistrate also defined the structure of the former president. Must be authorized to comment publicly on the file.

Despite the highly political nature of the case, a former president who campaigned to win back the White House after pleading not guilty to charges of fraudulently trying to sway the outcome of the vote, the judge said he wanted to lead the debates. Usually as much as possible.

“I will not take into account in my decision the effects it may have on the 2024 presidential campaign,” he warned in response to objections from defense attorneys John LaRue to the prosecutors’ requests. He said he was concerned about “good administration of justice” above all.

Mr. Regarding the structure of comments authorized for Trump, he agreed with the defense’s request that the restrictions granted in his order relate only to “sensitive elements” of the file.

On the other hand, Judge Sudken accepted the proposed definition of “sensitive elements” to include transcripts or recordings of witness statements, citing the “risk of witness intimidation.”

He also rejected the defense’s request for non-Trump lawyers to have access to a trove of documents that prosecutors are expected to provide to them in the coming weeks.

“The Babysitter”

The question of Donald Trump’s access to “sensitive” documents without his lawyers has sparked a confrontation between one of the lawyers, Thomas Windom, and John LaRoe.

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He was referring to another case in which a former president is being tried by a Florida (southeast) court in 2024 for keeping classified documents after leaving the White House and not turning them over to the National Archives.

Donald Trump’s lawyer protested that he had never seen a “forced suggestion for a babysitter to sit next to their client” in a case like this.

Judge Sutgen ruled in a “compromise” settlement, authorizing the former president to consult “sensitive” material without the supervision of his lawyers, but without the possibility of photographing or reproducing it with any electronic or other devices.

It is the responsibility of his counsel to ensure that his notes do not contain any information that would allow him to identify a person named in the file.

In closing, the judge cautioned against “any inflammatory statements that contaminate the selection of the jury,” which would encourage him to set an early date for trial.

Calling for an “immediate trial”, Jack Smith proposed a January 2 date, estimating it would “take no longer than four to six weeks”.

The defense has until Aug. 17 to make its own proposed schedule before a new hearing on the matter before Judge Sudgan on Aug. 28.

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