DOJ asks judge to issue protective order after Trump posts apparent threat of revenge

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested a protective order following a perceived threat of revenge from former President Donald Trump, relating to the criminal case against him for allegedly attempting to overturn his 2020 election loss.

The Context: Prosecutors approached U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan with the protective order request, which would limit the public communication from Trump and his legal team regarding the case handled by special counsel Jack Smith.
* Trump recently pled not guilty to charges of blocking a peaceful power transition.
* A protective order differs from a “gag order”, it limits the disclosure of information and is often employed in criminal cases.

Trump’s Actions: The request was prompted by a post Trump made on his social media platform, Truth Social.
* In the post, written entirely in capital letters, Trump stated, “If you go after me, I’m coming after you!”
* Prosecutors aired concern over a “harmful chilling effect on witnesses” if Trump were to share provided grand jury transcripts or evidence online.

Legal Limitations: The proposed protective order would regulate the sharing of materials provided by the government.
* Disclosure would be limited to Trump’s legal team, potential witnesses, the witnesses’ lawyers or other court-approved individuals.
* Strict limits would be placed on “sensitive materials”, including grand jury witness testimonies and materials garnered through sealed search warrants.

Ongoing Cases: Trump currently faces multiple criminal cases, with this being the latest in relation to his supposed efforts to retain power following his election loss.
* This is the third criminal case launched this year against the former President, who is also seen as an early front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
* Two other cases, originating from hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign and classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate, are due for trial in March and May respectively.

View original article on NPR

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