The federal judge presiding over former President Trump’s election fraud case has ordered his attorneys to respond to prosecutors’ request for a protective order by Monday, according to a court filing Saturday.
Judge Tanya Chutkan gave Trump’s attorneys a single business day to respond to special counsel Jack Smith’s request for a strict protective order which would prevent Trump from discussing case evidence in public.
Smith made the request last Friday after Trump made a social media post appearing to threaten witnesses in the case.
“IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Trump wrote on Truth Social Friday.
The Trump campaign has since said the post was not intended to be threatening.
Federal prosecutors argued that a strict protective order is necessary because Trump has a history of discussing case issues publicly. Negotiations between prosecutors and the Trump team over a protective order broke down Friday, prosecutors claimed.
Trump’s attorneys must now either accept Smith’s proposed protective order or submit a revised proposal by 5 p.m. Monday.
“Such a restriction is particularly important in this case because the defendant has previously issued public statements on social media regarding witnesses, judges, attorneys, and others associated with legal matters pending against him,” prosecutors wrote in the proposal filing Friday.
“If the defendant 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,” they continued.
Trump was indicted on four federal charges Tuesday, alleging that he attempted to orchestrate a fake electoral college vote scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 election. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday.
Smith also indicted Trump in a separate federal case over alleged mishandling of classified documents in June.