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Judge issues order that Trump keep quiet about disclosure of discovery material issued in classified documents case

Former President Donald Trump prepares to speak at the Trump National Golf Club on June 13, 2023, in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Washington (CNN) — A magistrate judge has signed off on special counsel Jack Smith’s request that former President Donald Trump and his co-defendant Walt Nauta be prohibited from disclosing information the discovery handed over to the defense in the criminal case Trump and Nauta now face from the special counsel.

Among the restrictions approved by US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who previously approved the search warrant the FBI executed at Mar-a-Lago last year, is that “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.”

The order sought by prosecutors and approved by Reinhart was expected and used standard language. However, it comes in a first-of-its-kind federal criminal case against an ex-president who has a proclivity to express opinions on social media and who is being prosecuted, in part, because of his alleged mishandling of sensitive government information.

The order follows the language that Smith proposed and it governs the unclassified discovery the defense will receive. The defendants did not oppose Smith’s request.

The classified materials federal investigators have collected, which are at the heart of Smith’s case, will be subjected to their own procedures for the case. The two Trump attorneys who have made appearances in the case confirmed Friday to US District Judge Aileen Cannon, who will preside over the case, that they have been in contact with the Justice Department about expediting their security clearances.

Trump faces 37 counts in the indictment brought by Smith earlier this month, which alleges that he illegally retained national defense information and that he concealed documents and obstructed the Justice Department investigation into the handling of those materials. He pleaded not guilty last week.