Judge in Trump’s classified documents case grants prosecutor’s request to keep government witness names secret


judge overseeing former president donald trump‘s classified documents case resulted in a partial victory for federal prosecutors on Tuesday. months of controversy By granting their request to keep the names of government witnesses confidential.

U.S. District Judge Eileen rules on Special Counsel Jack Smith’s request to reconsider an earlier order in which the government said more than 20 potential government witnesses could be publicly identified in the Florida case. In response, it issued a 24-page order.

Under Cannon’s new order, the names of potential witnesses will be redacted, but key parts of their statements to investigators may be made public.

Cannon said that redacting personally identifying information could address Smith’s safety concerns for potential witnesses and that “the large scale of sealing substantive witness statements that do not identify individuals could be addressed.” It will no longer be necessary to approve “large-scale demands.”

She also criticized Smith in her order, arguing that his claims and evidence should have been brought forward sooner.

“While the record is clear that the special counsel could have and should have raised the current allegations earlier, the court will not fully consider the new allegations,” Cannon said. “We have therefore chosen to reconsider our previous order.”

A spokesperson for Mr. Smith’s office declined to comment on the order, instead pointing to the special counsel’s court filing on the matter. Trump’s lawyers did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday night.

The issue comes after Trump’s team submitted an unredacted version of a motion demanding discovery from the government, arguing that the Biden administration and parts of the intelligence community should be considered part of Smith’s prosecution team. It first surfaced when I asked for permission to submit.

Mr. Trump’s team attached evidence to a sealed version of the motion, including the names and statements of potential government witnesses. Smith opposed President Trump’s request to unseal the motion, which contained personally identifying information.

Cannon last month heard argument on a motion to reconsider a previous order to release Smith’s name, arguing it would amount to intimidation and harassment of witnesses.

“This is not a hypothetical concern,” David Harbach, an attorney for the special counsel team, said during a hearing last month. “That’s a real concern and they know it.”

One of Trump’s lawyers, Emile Bove, countered that the Trump team is “not here to harm people or harass anyone.” Rather, Trump’s lawyers argued during the hearing that the exhibit contained witness information that supported their claims.

According to Cannon’s order, the public version of Trump’s discovery motion and accompanying exhibits will be released by April 22.The lawsuit focuses on President Trump’s alleged mishandling. confidential documentthere is no trial date yet.

President Trump is accused of knowingly retaining national defense information and participating in a program to remove security videos. He faces more than 30 charges, all of which he has pleaded not guilty to.

This case is one of four criminal indictments against President Trump. He also faces charges related to charges of conspiring to defraud the United States by working to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and falsifying business records related to hush-money payments to adult film stars. is also facing. He also pleaded not guilty to all these charges.

daniel burns

This was reported by Washington-based NBC News reporter Daniel Burns.

Megan Lebowitz

Megan Lebowitz is a political reporter for NBC News.

Source of this program
“These WordPress plugins are cute!!”
“Judge Eileen Cannon said a significant portion of witness statements to investigators could be made public, but the names of potential witnesses would be redacted.”
Source: Read more
Source link: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/judge-trump-classified-docs-case-keep-government-witnesses-secret-rcna147120