Former President Donald Trump’s legal team is proposing less restrictive rules than those offered by federal prosecutors over what details can be publicly disclosed in the Jan. 6 criminal case against Trump.
In a court filing submitted Monday evening, Trump’s lawyers proposed two options for a potential protective order’s guidelines “to shield only genuinely sensitive materials from public view.”
“This more measured approach is consistent with other protective orders entered by this Court in cases concerning the events of January 6, 2021, and appropriately balances the government’s claimed desire to ‘protect  highly sensitive categories of material’ and ‘expedite the flow of discovery,’ ” the filing read.
His attorneys also repeated Trump’s own claims that prosecutors for the Justice Department are politically motivated in their attempt to restrict the former president’s First Amendment protections.
“In a trial about First Amendment rights, the government seeks to restrict First Amendment rights,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the court filings. “Worse, it does so against its administration’s primary political opponent, during an election season in which the administration, prominent party members, and media allies have campaigned on the indictment and proliferated its false allegations.”
The filing comes in response to an effort made by special counsel Jack Smith late Friday to seek a protective order to limit what discovery evidence Trump can share publicly about this criminal case. The prosecutors said the order would also shield any “sensitive and confidential” information included in discovery from public view.
Trump’s lawyers were denied an extension over the weekend to get more time to respond to the motion for a protective order.
Negotiating the parameters of this protective order is a crucial step for prosecutors before they can begin the all-important discovery process and nail down a time for an actual trial.
Trump’s team included in their filing Monday correspondence between the defense and prosecutors that emphasized how both sides remain at odds on a protective order.
Trump’s attorneys included an email from prosecutors in court filings that said: “We have had a chance to review it and do not believe we will be able to come to an agreement on most issues.”
Judge Tanya Chutkan will decide next steps on the protective order. The next scheduled hearing is on Aug. 28 at 10 a.m. ET.