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Judge Slaps Trump With Protective Order in Mar-a-Lago Case, Issues Strict Orders on Evidence-Sharing

Judge Aileen Cannon issued a protective order on Wednesday, September 13, in the ongoing Mar-a-Lago case, marking a significant development in the Justice Department’s prosecution of former President Donald Trump for mishandling government secrets.

This order paves the way for the sharing of classified evidence while imposing strict restrictions on Trump’s ability to discuss these materials publicly.

The protective order does not acknowledge Trump’s request to redesignate a space within his Mar-a-Lago residence as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF).

Instead, it entrusts a chief information security officer, a neutral party responsible for managing classified evidence, with the task of arranging for Trump and his legal team to review the sensitive materials as reported by The Hill on Wednesday, September 13.

The order employs standard language typically found in protective orders related to classified cases.

Crucially, the order explicitly prohibits Trump from making public comments about the classified evidence.

It emphasizes that even if such information appears in the public domain, it remains off-limits for discussion unless officially released as part of a government statement.

This protective order arrives more than three months after the Justice Department indicted Trump on 33 counts of violating the Espionage Act, as well as charges related to obstruction of justice.

These charges stem from Trump’s alleged failure to return classified documents during his tenure as president.

The delay in establishing a protective order has hindered the sharing of crucial evidence in a case heavily reliant on classified materials.

It has also triggered Trump’s attempt to reinstate a SCIF within his former presidential residence, where he previously reviewed classified information.

Trump’s attorneys argued that re-establishing a secure area akin to what existed during his presidency would facilitate secure conversations related to his defense.

They contended that it would eliminate the need to mobilize security details and local law enforcement every time classified information was discussed.

Prosecutors, however, characterized this request as “extraordinary” given that the very location Trump sought to use is at the center of the allegations, where he is charged with mishandling some of the nation’s most closely guarded secrets.

With the issuance of this protective order, the legal battle over classified evidence in the Mar-a-Lago case enters a new phase, setting the stage for further proceedings and the eventual trial of the former President.

Moriah Ballard
Moriah Ballard
Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.


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