The judge presiding over the federal criminal case alleging Donald Trump willfully mishandled national security secrets issued an order Wednesday limiting the former president’s access to the evidence while also barring him from publicly discussing sensitive material.
The 16-page order from U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is largely in line with a proposal submitted by special counsel Jack Smith’s team in July for how national security information at the center of the case should be handled by Trump and his attorneys.
“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,” Cannon wrote. The version proposed by prosecutors called for the order to be “forever binding.”
Despite Trump’s public assertions that he had declassified all the documents that FBI agents found while executing a search warrant at his Florida resort last year, the order refers to the materials in question as still being classified.
“The Court finds that this case will involve information that has been classified in the interest of national security,” and the “storage, handling, and control of this information will require special security precautions,” Cannon wrote.
“All classified documents or material and the information contained therein shall remain classified unless the documents or material bear a clear indication that they have been declassified by the agency or department that is the originating agency of the document, material, or information contained therein,” it continues. [Continue reading…]