U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee of the Southern District of Florida, has issued a protective order to govern classified evidence regarding former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents after he exited office in 2021.
The court document filed on Wednesday stipulates that all classified materials must be reviewed and discussed by Mr. Trump and his legal team within a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF).
President Trump had previously raised objections to the requirement, citing his need for access to an extensive amount of classified documents located at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
“The Court finds that this case will involve information that has been classified in the interest of national security. The storage, handling, and control of this information will require special security precautions mandated by statute, executive order, and regulation. The purpose of this Protective Order (“Order”) is to establish the procedures that must be followed by the Defendant, defense counsel, the parties, and all other individuals who receive access to classified information or documents in connection with this case,” the order stated.
“The procedures set forth in this Order shall apply to all pre-trial, trial, post-trial, and appellate matters concerning classified information in this case and may be modified from time to time by further order of the Court acting under this Court’s inherent supervisory authority to ensure a fair and expeditious trial. The limitations on disclosure of classified information set forth in this Order are binding on Defendant and his counsel and violations may result in criminal and/or civil penalties,” the order added.
“The Defendant may disclose classified information to the defense as necessary for the preparation of his defense. Any classified information provided to the defense by the government or the Defendant is to be used solely by the defense and solely for the purpose of preparing the defense. The defense may not disclose or cause to be disclosed in connection with this case any information known or reasonably believed to be classified information except as otherwise provided herein,” the order adds.
JUST IN: Judge Cannon has signed an order to govern the handling of classified info in the Trump documents case.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) September 13, 2023
According to investigative reporter Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations, legal insiders have suggested that Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case against President Trump involving classified documents is likely to be dismissed in whole or in part due to a procedural error.
In an X platform post, Sperry wrote that the charges of false statements under USC 1001 would be dismissed since President Trump was never interviewed by a federal agent.
Sperry suggested that Smith’s case lacks substantial evidence, and instead is founded on rhetoric intended to incite the jury.
“NEW: Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 indictment of Trump repeatedly relies on a fuselage of subjective, even inflammatory language devoid of underlying facts and evidence to appeal emotionally to jurors, including: “fraudulent/fraudulently” (63) “false/falsely” (94) “fake” (5) “sham” (3)” he wrote in another X post.
Sperry also claimed that Smith’s case relies in large part on an “emoji.”
“DEVELOPING: Jack Smith’s Mar-a-Lago obstruction case against Trump is based on an emailed ’emoji’ related to security camera footage that was never actual [sic] destroyed, according to legal insiders,” he tweeted.
Florida Republican Representative Matt Gaetz has threatened to summon Smith before a congressional committee following the Special Counsel’s filing of added charges against President Donald Trump.
These criminal indictments, which include conspiracy to defraud the United States, are part of an inquiry into purported efforts to reverse the 2020 election prior to the January 6th 2021 assault on the United States Capitol.
In response to this filing, Gaetz has sharply criticized both Smith and other members of his own party.
“House Republicans should immediately demand that Jack Smith present himself for a transcribed interview with the Judiciary Committee in the next 15 days.,” Gaetz said in a Newsmax interview he posted to YouTube.